Osama bin Laden's Lair to be Examined by CIA
A CIA forensics team received approval to search the former hide-out of Osama bin Laden after Pakistani officials allowed the visit in an apparent move to reduce tensions with Washington. The scheduled search of bin Laden's compound was confirmed by a U.S. official at the Pentagon on Thursday.
“The team will gather up any additional information that can be found," a U.S. official told CNN.
About a month prior, Navy SEAL operatives gathered substantial intelligence assets in the raid on bin Laden's compound near Pakistan's premier military academy. During the raid, the al-Qaida leader , who claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, was shot dead.
Officials later described the operation as revealing a treasure trove of information, including electronic storage media. Material collected in the May 2 raid revealed that bin Laden had been masterminding more grandiose attacks on the United States and its allies abroad.
However, U.S. officials had reported that the material did not indicate an imminent threat on Western nations. Although a team of intelligence experts are poring through the material, the CIA wants to search for more clues that may have been overlooked.
Pakistan's government approved the investigations after reaching an agreement with CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell. It is not immediately clear when the team will depart, or whether multiple visits will be required.
Tension between Washington and Islamabad has been rising since Pakistani media revealed the identity of the CIA's undercover station chief last year. Relations between both governments were further strained after the SEAL team raid, which Pakistan was uninformed of beforehand.
Nonetheless, Pakistani authorities have not stopped cooperating with U.S. officials in efforts to halt future al-Qaida operations. Earlier, Pakistan allowed U.S access to three of bin Laden's wives. According to officials, none were cooperative with the investigation.
Islamabad is caught in a bitter fight with al-Qaida, which has led to acts of terror committed on Pakistani soil that include car bombings and assassinations of local officials and police officers.
On Sunday, at least five people were killed when gunmen stormed a naval base in the southern Pakistani city of Kirachi. A maritime patrol aircraft, a P-3C Orion, was also destroyed in the daring attack.
This marks the latest attacks in a string of al-Qaida operations apparently in revenge for the death of bin Laden a month earlier.