Tech insights into the bin Laden mission

Editor Nick Wakeman offers a roundup of news reports covering the technology that brought bin Laden down.

With the death of Osama bin Laden, there has been an explosion of coverage of the technology that suppored the Navy Seals’ mission.

Let’s rundown the major steps of that operation:

Land two helicopters at bin Laden’s compound.
Engage in a firefight.
Kill bin Laden.
Run the DNA and biometrics to prove it's him.
Collect other intelligence at the site.
Get the Seals and bin Laden’s body out.

All this happened in 40 minutes and was watched by the CIA and the president’s national security team in real time.

And of course, before any of this could happen, there was the effort to gather intelligence and monitor the site so there could be no doubt bin Laden was there.

The mission was a triumph of intelligence, training and technology as well as cooperation among several government agencies.

The operation will make a great book and movie, more gripping than a Tom Clancy novel because it is real and the value of taking bin Laden down was so high.

We’ve been trying to follow the tech angle on so here is rundown of some of the tech-related stories we’ve found interesting.

From the HuffingtoPost, here is a story that details the mission and how the U.S. tracked bin Laden’s trusted courier and the cell phone mistake that cracked the case.

More on the cellphone from NextGov

The use of satellite imagery to watch the compound was covered in a story by the New York Times.

 There is a nice tidbit in this National Journal article about the raid that mentions a replica of the compound being built for practice runs. The story is a good deep dive into the workings of the mission. 

From Wired magazine, a report on the use of portal biometic technologies.

Fast Company magazine also had a story on the DNA evidence used to identify bin Laden's body.

From our sister publication, Government Computer News, here is a report on how hackers are feeding on bin Laden news

Of course, this is just a short sampling of articles. If you see any stories on technologies, contractors or anything else of interest, please share.