Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Friday, May 6, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Bin Laden said to have directed Al Qaida ops from Pakistan compound

WASHINGTON — The U.S. intelligence community has been revising its assessment regarding Osama Bin Laden's role in Al Qaida.


Officials said the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency have been pouring over material found in Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan. They said the material, including hard drives, thumb drives and fiber-optics, suggest that Bin Laden helped direct major operations throughout the Middle East.

"For years, we thought Bin Laden provided inspiration and long ended direct contact with terror cells," an official said. "There is now strong evidence to suggest that he was far more active than that."

Also In This Edition

Bin Laden's home, raided on May 1 in an operation in which he was killed, was said to have contained advanced equipment, including five computers, 100 remote electronic storage devices, and 10 hard drives to communicate with networks in Africa and Asia. Officials said the compound contained a multi-media studio used by Bin Laden to produce audio and video messages to key operatives.

Officials said Bin Laden was believed to have relayed directives to virtually all Al Qaida networks. They said Al Qaida was in contact with networks in the Gulf, Horn of Africa, North Africa, East Asia and Chechnya.

"He was an inspirational and operational leader," House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Mike Rogers said.

Officials said Bin Laden might have been closest to Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which focused on Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Over the last 18 months, AQAP staged three attempts to bomb U.S. airliners.

"If there is any retaliation in the short-term, I think it will come from AQAP," former House Intelligence Committee chairman Peter Hoekstra said on May 5.

The White House has acknowledged that Bin Laden's compound could contain clues that would help capture his deputy, Ayman Zawahiri. Officials did not discount that Bin Laden had been planning major attacks from his haven near Islamabad.

"First of all and most importantly in any case is any evidence of planned attacks," White House spokesman Jay Carney said. "Second would be information that could lead to other high-value targets or other networks that exist that maybe we don’t know about or that we only know a little bit about. And then, you know, third and more broadly, on the Al Qaida network itself and in the sustaining network for Bin Laden in Pakistan — what allowed him to live in that compound for as long as he did."

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2011    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.