July 9, 2013
"

Bin Laden relied on two local handlers to arrange his stay in Pakistan, and especially after the 2003 arrest of Muhammad, the group was very cautious. Bin Laden himself never left the compound in Abbottabad, and his handlers never used cell phones near the home, driving hours away to use public phones in cities like Peshawar. When his wife had to go to the hospital to give birth, the handlers told doctors she was deaf and dumb, so they would not discover she was an Arab. During the six years bin Laden and the handlers’ families lived together, their interactions were tightly controlled. It seems like no one but the handlers were allowed to meet bin Laden himself, and their wives and children were actively misguided about who their neighbor upstairs really was.

The closest bin Laden came to being caught was when, before moving to Abbottabad, the car he was traveling in was stopped by police for speeding. The police never found out he was one of the passengers.

Yet the report points out there were a number of occasions where Pakistani officials, if they had been doing their jobs, should have caught bin Laden. No Pakistani official has acknowledged the authenticity of the 337-page report.

"

Umar Farooq, on Osama Bin Laden’s close shaves with authorities in Pakistan.

August 17, 2012

For Just $325 You, Too, Can ‘Kill’ Osama bin Laden

Role-playing participants use high-end paintball guns to attack a guy wearing pads and a bin Laden costume in what looks… like a bare room. 

[…] Of course, none of this would probably work if the guy running the whole operation, Commander Larry Yatch, wasn’t a former Navy SEAL himself, getting people involved in the fantasy through his own connection to the reality.

Read more. [Images: Sealed Mindset Studios / Facebook]

April 26, 2012
This is the Memo That Killed Osama Bin Laden

If you can manage to decipher Leon Panetta’s chicken scratch, you too can read the final memo that launched the raid that killed America’s most hated enemy.  The memo is part of Peter Bergen’s Time cover story on Osama bin Laden’s last days and Obama’s call to go ahead, despite Joe Biden and Robert Gates’ disapproval, with the Navy SEAL raid on bin Laden’s Abottabad complex.  Here’s the transcription:

Received phone call from Tom Donilon who stated that the President made a decision with regard to AC1 [Abbottabad Compound 1]. The decision is to proceed with the assault. The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven’s hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out. Those instructions were conveyed to Admiral McRaven at approximately 10:45 am.

Read more at The Atlantic Wire.

This is the Memo That Killed Osama Bin Laden

If you can manage to decipher Leon Panetta’s chicken scratch, you too can read the final memo that launched the raid that killed America’s most hated enemy.  The memo is part of Peter Bergen’s Time cover story on Osama bin Laden’s last days and Obama’s call to go ahead, despite Joe Biden and Robert Gates’ disapproval, with the Navy SEAL raid on bin Laden’s Abottabad complex.  Here’s the transcription:

Received phone call from Tom Donilon who stated that the President made a decision with regard to AC1 [Abbottabad Compound 1]. The decision is to proceed with the assault. The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven’s hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out. Those instructions were conveyed to Admiral McRaven at approximately 10:45 am.

Read more at The Atlantic Wire.

May 13, 2011
cheatsheet:

officialssay:

“I have gotten from friends all over the country copies of the picture that was this iconic picture taken in the Situation Room while we were watching the operation. And they have been photoshopped in every way you can imagine, including putting you know, coming after the royal wedding, one of these had all of us in one of these big, wide-brimmed hats from the wedding,” said Defense Secretary Robert Gates, noting the potential for manipulation and misuse if the U.S. were to release the photos of bin Laden’s corpse.

Just because we can’t reblog this photo enough.

cheatsheet:

officialssay:

“I have gotten from friends all over the country copies of the picture that was this iconic picture taken in the Situation Room while we were watching the operation. And they have been photoshopped in every way you can imagine, including putting you know, coming after the royal wedding, one of these had all of us in one of these big, wide-brimmed hats from the wedding,” said Defense Secretary Robert Gates, noting the potential for manipulation and misuse if the U.S. were to release the photos of bin Laden’s corpse.

Just because we can’t reblog this photo enough.

May 13, 2011
Taliban Bombing Kills 80 in 'First Revenge for Osama's Martyrdom'

Two suicide bombers attacked recruits at a paramilitary training center in northwest Pakistan on Friday, killing 80 people and wounding 120 more in what a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban called “the first revenge of Osama’s martyrdom,” according to AFP. The spokesman, who claimed responsibility for the attack, warned of future attacks in Afghanistan and in Pakistan against Americans, and told the AP that the Taliban was also punishing the Pakistani army for failing to “protect its land” during the bin Laden raid—a criticism that has become quite popular in Pakistan these days. Today’s bombing in Pakistan’s Charsadda district near Peshawar, the AP notes, is the first major militant attack in Pakistan since bin Laden’s death and the deadliest this year.

Read more at The Atlantic Wire

May 12, 2011
What We've Learned So Far from Bin Laden's Journal

Bin Laden, the strategist The Associated Press reports that bin Laden was highly knowledgeable of U.S. counterterrorist efforts and “schooled his followers in working around them.” He also set the strategic agenda for Al Qaeda, encouraging militants to strike beyond New York, hitting small U.S. cities and Los Angeles and attacking trains as well as planes.

Bin Laden, the editor-in-chief  Bin Laden even took time to criticize Al Qaeda’s supposed English-language magazine, Inspire, which at one point “discussed using a tractor or farm vehice in an attack outfitted with blades or swords as a fearsome killing machine.” To bin Laden (and most thinking people, you’d assume) the ideas idiotic, reports ProPublica’s Sebastian Rotella. “Bin Laden said this is something he did not endorse. He seems taken aback. He complains that this tactical proposal promotes indiscriminate slaughter. He says he rejects this and it is not something that reflects what Al Qaeda does.”

Read more at The Atlantic Wire

May 11, 2011
"A dozen of those were taken at the Abbottabad compound and appear to be “taken right after the instant he was shot.” They sound gruesome. They show a massive head wound in the ear and eye. “The brains were coming out of his socket,” Inhofe said. But he said three other photos were taken on board the ship before bin Laden’s sea burial. In these, the body has been cleaned up and Inhofe, who has advocated releasing the photos, said, “It’s much more reasonable to show the public these photos.”"

— In an interview with The Atlantic Wire, Sen. James Inhofe describes the postmorten photographs of Osama bin Laden.

May 9, 2011
The Original Blueprints of Osama Bin Laden’s Compound

The Original Blueprints of Osama Bin Laden’s Compound

May 6, 2011
Is the U.S. Using Info from Bin Laden's Hard Drive for Drone Attacks?

Days after U.S. Navy SEALs took hard drives, memory sticks and personal computers from Osama bin Laden’s hideout, both Pakistan and the U.S. have launched major offensives against suspected Islamic militants. On Friday, a U.S. drone strike reportedly killed 12 militants in Pakistan and another U.S. drone strike in Yemen, the first since 2002, killed two suspected Al Qaeda operatives. And, as reported minutes ago, Pakistani forces have rounded up 40 people in Abbottabad suspected of having connections to bin Laden. Is the massive data trove recovered from bin Laden’s compound already paying off?

Read on at The Atlantic Wire.

May 5, 2011
My Favorite Photo Ever: A Military Dog Jumping Out of a Helicopter:

…a dog was among the contingent of commandos sent to kill Osama bin  Laden. The two lead photographs show dogs jumping out of aircraft, which  I find totally mindblowing.

Read on and see the other photo that blew Alexis Madrigal’s mind at The Atlantic.

My Favorite Photo Ever: A Military Dog Jumping Out of a Helicopter:

…a dog was among the contingent of commandos sent to kill Osama bin Laden. The two lead photographs show dogs jumping out of aircraft, which I find totally mindblowing.

Read on and see the other photo that blew Alexis Madrigal’s mind at The Atlantic.

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