Friday, May 6, 2011

The US forces who raided the safehouse of Osama Bin Laden appear to have caught him completely by surprise - and to have avoided detection by Pakistani radar. How did they do it?

One answer, experts believe, is that the special operations team used previously unseen stealth helicopters.
Graphic showing modified Blackhawk
1. Silver finish makes it harder to detect on radar and by infrared sensors
2. Shape of tailboom has been altered and possibly enlarged to evade radar
3. Pan-like cover or hubcap over the rear rotor head conceals exposed machinery which is more easily picked up on radar
4. Extra blades on tail rotor reduce noise and lessen typical chopper sound
Rest of aircraft: There is speculation that the main rotor could also have had extra blades, retractable landing gear and a cover over the main rotor head
Source: Aviation Week

Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda leader, dead - Barack Obama:Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden has been killed by US forces in Pakistan, President Barack Obama has said.

Bin Laden was shot dead at a compound near Islamabad, in a ground operation based on US intelligence, the first lead for which emerged last August.
Mr Obama said US forces took possession of the body after "a firefight".
Bin Laden is believed to have ordered the attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September 2001 and a number of others.
He was top of the US' "most wanted" list.
DNA tests later confirmed that Bin Laden was dead, US officials said.
Bin Laden was buried at sea after a Muslim funeral on board an aircraft carrier, Pentagon officials said.
Announcing the success of the operation, Mr Obama said it was "the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al-Qaeda".

Obama: Osama bin Laden's death does not end fight against al Qaeda Key dates in the hunt for Osama bin Laden

CBS News was told that the courier was "trusted" by bin Laden. "We identified areas where this courier and his brother operated, but they had extensive operational security," said the official -- and those elaborate security procedures made the U.S. even more suspicious of whom they were catering to.
Four years ago, the United States learned the man's identity, which officials did not disclose, and then about two years later, they identified areas of Pakistan where he operated. Last August, the man's residence was found, officials said.
The residence is in Abbotabad, Pakistan, an affluent area with lots of retired military. The compound was surrounded by an 8-foot wall with barbed wire. There were extra walls inside and 2 security gates. Also telling was that they burned trash, unlike their neighbors. There was a terrace on the 3rd floor with a 7-foot privacy wall. It was a million-dollar home with no telephone or internet connections, custom built to hide someone of significance. Another major indicator was that a family lived there, one whose size and make up was same as bin Ladens.
By mid-February, intelligence from multiple sources was clear enough that Mr. Obama wanted to "pursue an aggressive course of action," a senior administration official said.

Osama bin Laden is dead:After 10 years of hunting, a team of CIA officers and Navy SEALs kill bin Laden in a firefight near the Pakistani capital

In this Dec. 24, 1998 file photo, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden speaks to a selected group of reporters in mountains of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON - Osama bin Laden, the face of global terrorism and architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was killed in a firefight with elite American forces Monday, then quickly buried at sea in a stunning finale to a furtive decade on the run.
Long believed to be hiding in caves, bin Laden was tracked down in a costly, custom-built hideout not far from a Pakistani military academy.
"Justice has been done," President Barack Obama said in a dramatic announcement at the White House while a crowd cheered outside and hundreds more gathered at ground zero in Manhattan to celebrate the news.
The military operation took mere minutes.
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