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Archive for May 2nd, 2011

DNA testing confirms Osama bin Laden’s death

Published: Monday, May 02, 2011, 11:04 AM
The Associated Press

The Obama administration used DNA testing and other means to confirm that elite American forces in Pakistan had in fact killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, officials said Monday, as the world absorbed the stunning news.

The officials said the DNA testing alone offered a “99.9 percent” certainty that bin Laden was shot dead in a daring U.S. military operation in Pakistan. Detailed photo analysis by the CIA, confirmation by other people at the raid site and matching physical features like bin Laden’s height all helped confirmed the identification.

Said one official: “There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind, this is Osama bin Laden.”

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter.

Still, it was unclear if the world would ever get visual proof. Bin Laden’s body was quickly buried at sea, and administration officials were weighing the merit and appropriateness of releasing a photo of bin Laden, who was shot in the head.

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The War Is Over. Start Packing!

Monday 2 May 2011
by: Robert Naiman, Truthout

We got our man. Wave the flag, kiss a nurse (or a sailor) and start packing the equipment. It’s time to plan to bring all our boys and girls home from Afghanistan. When the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks rolls around, let the world see that we are on a clear path to bringing home our troops from Afghanistan and handing back sovereignty to the Afghan people.

With more Sherlock Holmes than Rambo and judging from press accounts, not much role for the 100,000 US troops in Afghanistan, US intelligence tracked Osama bin Laden to a safe house in a well-appointed suburb of Pakistan’s capital and a small US force raided the compound. Press reports say Osama bin Laden was killed in a firefight in the compound and that his body has been buried at sea, in accordance with Islamic tradition that expects a burial within 24 hours.

Success typically has many authors, and I don’t doubt the ability of some to argue that our occupation of Afghanistan has contributed to this result. Perhaps, it will turn out that some prisoner captured in Afghanistan by US forces contributed a key piece of information that helped investigators find bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

MORE HERE

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Abu Faraj al-Libi and the Trail to Osama bin Laden

Emptywheel

By: emptywheel Monday May 2, 2011 6:26 am

According to reports, we first started tracking the couriers who would ultimately lead us to Osama bin Laden over four years ago.

The stream of information that led to Sunday’s raid began over four years ago, when U.S. intelligence personnel were alerted about two couriers who were working with al Qaeda and had deep connections to top al Qaeda officials. Prisoners in U.S. custody flagged these two couriers as individuals who might have been helping bin Laden, one official said

“One courier in particular had our constant attention,” the official said. He declined to give that courier’s name but said he was a protégé of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and a “trusted assistant” of Abu Faraj al-Libbi, a former senior al Qaeda officer who was captured in 2005.

“Detainees also identified this man as one of the few couriers trusted by bin Laden,” the official said. The U.S. intelligence community uncovered the identity of this courier four years ago, and two years ago, the U.S. discovered the area of Pakistan this courier and his brother were working in.

In August 2010, the intelligence agencies found the exact compound where this courier was living, in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The neighborhood is affluent and many retired Pakistani military officials live there.

The reference to Abu Faraj al-Libi is notable in this context for two reasons. He was one of the last High Value Detainees picked up. The Red Cross dates his capture to May 2, 2005 (though he appears to have been held in joint Pakistani-US custody for a time and his Detainee Assessment Brief says he was transferred to US custody on June 6, 2005), and of the HVDs moved to Gitmo in September 2006, he was the last to be picked up.

More interesting, though, are some details from his DAB. In 2003, OBL assigned al-Libi to be “the official messenger” between himself and others in Pakistan. And, apparently at that point, al-Libi moved with his family to Abbottabad, the city where OBL was found.

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