Forensics, Biometrics and Classified Technologies Helped Track Bin Laden in His Compound

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The National Review has sources telling them that the Joint Special Operations Command used forensics training, biometric analysis and NSA/CIA resources to help commandos survey, locate and kill Osama Bin Laden inside his secret Pakistan compound.


While many of the technologies used are highly classified, it's believed that the combination of training, equipment and real-time access to intelligence databases allowed them instantly create usable data.

The way JSOC solved this problem remains a carefully guarded secret, but people familiar with the unit suggest that McChrystal and Flynn introduced hardened commandos to basic criminal forensic techniques and then used highly advanced and still-classified technology to transform bits of information into actionable intelligence. One way they did this was to create forward-deployed fusion cells, where JSOC units were paired with intelligence analysts from the NSA and the NGA. Such analysis helped the CIA to establish, with a high degree of probability, that Osama bin Laden and his family were hiding in that particular compound.

These technicians could "exploit and analyze" data obtained from the battlefield instantly, using their access to the government's various biometric, facial-recognition, and voice-print databases. These cells also used highly advanced surveillance technology and computer-based pattern analysis to layer predictive models of insurgent behavior onto real-time observations.

The entire post is a must-read, as it lays out how the security and intelligence agencies iaided and supplemented the work of military units in successfully killing Osama Bin Laden. But it's this last nugget placed at the end which is the most captivating. What are these classified technologies they used? [National Journal via Smart Planet]

To check out our full coverage on the successful raid of Osama Bin Laden's compound—from the planning to the aftermath—head here.


Michael Zhao

I expect that in the next day, we can expect to see a press release outing the guy who actually shot Osama with his full name and picture without giving him any added security detail. But it'll be chill because at the end of the press release, Obama would mention that Al Qaeda should cut him some slack and not try to kill him. Anyway, he was just unlucky to be the one who actually shot him. ;)