How Bin Laden Used Technology To Evade Capture
How did the most-wanted Al-Qaeda leader escape for over nine years? It may not be as complicated as one might think. United States officials gathered almost one hundred USB memory drives from Osama Bin Laden’s hideout on the day of the capture. Bin Laden would use a thumb drive whenever he needed to exchange an e-mail with the outside world.
He would write the e-mail message on his computer, unhooked to any internet connection, transfer the e-mail to a USB drive, and send the USB drive along with the courier to a distant Internet Cafe to be sent or distributed. The same process was performed whenever he received an e-mail, acting just a bit better than first-class mail.
Call it paranoia, but Bin Laden’s cautious manner in communications played a large role in him being able to evade U.S. authorities for so long. Fortunately, the thumb drive collected reveal a large list of e-mail addresses and phone numbers within the e-mails that is expected to generate a number of national security letters and subpoenas to Internet Service Providers. To add to the paperwork (although well worth it), the Justice Department has just come off a year of a much higher number of national security letters, allowing the FBI to demand information from companies without asking a judge to issue a subpoena.