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Osama bin Laden files prompt new scrutiny

Posted by on June 10, 2011 0 Comment

Washington: Everyone Osama bin Laden ever wrote to, spoke to or even mentioned in the volumes of correspondence seized from his Pakistan hideout is under new scrutiny, US officials say.

Surveillance has been stepped up on possible terrorist targets around the world, as intelligence experts near the end of decrypting and translating material seized from the bin Laden compound.

The trove of material has helped fill in the blanks on how known al Qaeda operatives work and think, and where they fit in the organisation.

The CIA and other US counter terror agencies have sharpened their focus on some midlevel members of the group who they now believe may be more important than originally thought, after reading their exchanges with their fallen leader.

The al Qaeda terrorists are keenly aware America is watching, and one official said at least two changed travel plans to avoid becoming the target of another Navy SEAL raid or some other form of US counterterrorist action.

The increased surveillance is the result of five weeks of round-the-clock work by a CIA-led team of data analysts, cyber experts and translators, who are “95 per cent done” decrypting and translating the material and expect to finish by mid-June, according to two US officials.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the ongoing review of the now-classified bin Laden files.

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