The Hunt for Osama Bin Laden

So this is obviously not one of my typical posts that are related to technology or business but this article was so compelling that I could not resist posting a link.

As we all know, on May 2, 2012, a team of US special forces from United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group or DEVGRU or SEAL Team six raided a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan where Osama was hiding for the past few years and killed him.

To me, the actual raid and its success is not really a surprise – US Special Forces are overwhelmingly better trained, better equipped and sophisticated than the Pakistani forces that could have potentially fought them. The key, to me, is that the intelligence apparatus of the United States did NOT give up looking for Osama Bin Laden for 11 years!!!! Imagine dedicating resources, analyst hours and money to hunt someone who might even have been dead.

Osama’s hiding location was found out by locating and following his trusted courier – Abu Ahmed Al-Kuwaiti. I read somewhere that Al-Kuwaiti was deemed to be important by the CIA because a few other prisoners at Guantanamo were quick to dismiss him as unimportant!!! Or when CIA located the house in Abbottabad, they counted the clothes left to dry out to estimate how many people lived in the house! We also now know of the doctor who conducted fake immunization drive in Abbottabad to get DNA samples from the children living in the house. Amazing!!

Most of the search and analysis related parts of the raid are classified for obvious reasons but do take a look at this article which describes what could (or most likely would) have been happened in the days before the raid – it’s a great read from Vanity Fair.

The Hunt for ‘Geronimo’

Also, if you are interested, the failed earlier attempt at Tora Bora.

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