Tuesday, May 3, 2011
WASHINGTON (AP) -- When one of Osama bin Laden's most trusted aides picked up the phone last year, he unknowingly led U.S. pursuers to the doorstep of the world's most wanted terrorist.
A U.S. official says the monitored call ended a years-long search for bin Laden's personal courier. It was the key break in a worldwide manhunt. The courier, in turn, led U.S. intelligence to a walled compound in northeast Pakistan, where a team of Navy SEALs shot bin Laden to death.
Inside the CIA team hunting bin Laden, it always was clear that bin Laden's vulnerability was his couriers. He was too smart to let al-Qaida foot soldiers, or even his senior commanders, know his hideout. But if he wanted to get his messages out, somebody had to carry them, someone bin Laden trusted with his life.
Intelligence learned about the courier known as Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti from detainees in the CIA's secret prison network.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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