Cell phone call may have tipped off Osama bin Laden's hideout

Officials speculate that a phone rang in the locale

U.S. officials say a cell phone slip up may have lit the trail to Osama bin Laden, since he probably went offline in 2002, writes Aliya Sternstein of Nextgov.

A key to finding out where the terrorist leader was hiding was to find third parties, such as couriers delivering food and other supplies to the compound, who were more likely to be carrying mobile devices, U.S. cyber-forensic officials told the publication.

Another mobile tip-off may have been caused by an error in judgment if the fugitive felt more comfortable after years in hiding, the article said.

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Reader Comments

Thu, May 5, 2011 Dave

You mean, like the police in Lahore used to track down terrorists last month? http://centralasiaonline.com/cocoon/caii/xhtml/en_GB/features/caii/features/pakistan/main/2011/04/12/feature-01 If they didn't know they could be tracked by their cell phones, they were fools. Nothing is being revealed here that isn't obvious if you think about it for a minute. The reason we catch criminals (common or terrorist) is that they often make mistakes. If they didn't, we would never catch them. As this case shows, it's awful hard not to make mistakes for 10 years when the US is the one hunting for you.

Thu, May 5, 2011 Steve

Somewhere a real 'spook' is being entertained by your naivete concerning how they operate. Stay honest as you wouldn't get far as a bad-guy. Everybody knows not to carry a cell phone around when they're up to no good.

Thu, May 5, 2011

Do you hear about Russian or Chinesse giving away how their intelligence work or even British MI7. Please, for the sake of our military and loved ones overseas keep these out of the reach of public. I'm only concerned when criminals are brought to justice for their criminal activities....

Thu, May 5, 2011 KM Washington DC

This story does not divulge information that is not already known by those we seek. As the story says, it was most likely a slip-up. There have already been stories for some time that the military was using cell phone transmissions to track terrorists in Iraq.

Wed, May 4, 2011

Now let's not give away all our secrets. Freedom of the press is vital, but so is our need to keep our secret weapons secret. On the other hand, the press can't write on something that a self-inportant "U.S. Official" doesn't brag about, right? A lot of this tactical info has no business being public knowledge; it gives a 10-second high to those who read it, and a 10-year setback to the those who use the tidbit to remove the bad guys.

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