Osama Raid Nets Data Mother Lode

Computers, thumb drives, disks, and more seized
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2011 10:15 AM CDT
This frame grab from video obtained exclusively by ABC News, on Monday, May 2, 2011, shows a section of a room in the interior of the compound.   (AP Photo/ABC News)

(Newser) – The raid on Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad compound may turn out to be an intelligence triumph as well as a military one: The Navy SEALs who took Osama down also took his computers with them, seizing drives, disks, PCs, thumb drives, and other electronic equipment. An official tells Politico that "hundreds of people" are reviewing the material at a secret Afghanistan location. "They cleaned it out," said the official. "Can you imagine what’s on Osama bin Laden’s hard drive? It’s going to be great even if only 10% of it is actionable."

And because with this story, no detail is too small, other Osama-related bits:

  • The New York Times is no longer inserting "Mr." before bin Laden's name—but is it an F-you move or standard practice? According to one memo, "We pretty typically omit courtesy titles for 'historic' figures who are dead—ie, we don't say Mr. Roosevelt, Mr. Hitler, Mr. Einstein." But, notes the Huffington Post, Elizabeth Taylor, Saddam Hussein, and Ronald Reagan did get the honorific after death.
  • President Obama will visit Ground Zero on Thursday. It's his first trip as president, though he did stop at the site during his 2008 campaign, notes the Wall Street Journal.
  • A final message from beyond the grave? The New York Daily News reports that bin Laden's al-Qaeda followers are in possession of a tape made by bin Laden that he ordered be released in the event of his death.
  • Bin Laden's death set a Twitter record on Sunday night, reports CNN. Between 10:45pm and 2:20am ET there were an average of 3,440 tweets posted each second, the No. 1 rate of "sustained" tweeting ever. The peak, 5,106 tweets at one point, wasn't as high as New Year's Eve tweeting in Japan, which saw 6,939 tweets per second.

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