Osama bin Laden's technologies uncovered
Officials sift through fugitive's technological belongings
- By Alysha Sideman
- May 09, 2011
Shortly after the government decided not to show a photo of Osama bin Laden dead, five videos found in the Pakistani compound were released to the public. These films are just a glint of the hundreds of technological treasures discovered by U.S.forces. Now the question is what will be done with the rest of the findings from the hideout?
American intelligence wants to know who bin Laden was talking to, what he was reading or watching, what he was thinking and what he didn't want us to know, reports Michael Tanji of Wired.com’s Danger Room.
Another important element is to determine how technologically sophisticated bin Laden's team is based on software and file formats such as extensions from engineering or computer-aided design and manufacturing programs, the article states.
One of the released videos shows bin Laden looking cold and feeble and watching himself on television. “This is someone who realized that the image he conveyed was the main value he had to his movement,” former CIA analyst Paul Pillar told ABCnews.com
However, not all the technology may be so easy to decipher.
Analysts now have the task of unencrypting the information collected. One U.S.official called the technology seized from bin Laden’s fortress “the mother lode of intelligence,” writes Kevin McCaney on Government Computer News.
Officials haven’t said whether, or how well, the electronic devices were encrypted, reports GCN.
The exact amount of technology confiscated is not known. The United Kingdom's Daily Mail reports the treasures include 10 computers, 10 cell phones and 100 memory sticks. But the Wall Street Journal reports that there were five computers, 10 hard drives and more than 100 portable storage devices such as DVDs and flash drives collected. Paper documents were also taken.
Officials hope that the information gathered from the compound will offer clues to how to hit other al Qaeda members. It is believed that those involved in previous terrorist attacks and details about future plans could be uncovered by sifting through bin Laden's tech, the Daily Mail states.
Alysha Sideman is the online content producer for Washington Technology.