Homeland Security

Satellites over Pakistan guided bin Laden raid, leaked NSA documents say

FILE: An aerial view of the NSA's Utah Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah.

FILE: An aerial view of the NSA's Utah Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah.  (AP)

A fleet of satellites collecting electronic intelligence over Pakistan guided the raid by U.S. Navy SEALs that killed Usama bin Laden, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

In addition, the Post said, citing documents supplied by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the NSA tracked calls from mobile phones, identified by specific calling patterns, to penetrate communications among al Qaeda operatives. One of those devices was linked to the Abbottabad, Pakistan compound where bin Laden was hiding and later killed.

The classified documents were part of this year’s “black budget” for U.S. intelligence agencies, the Post said.

The secret budget documents also said that within eight hours of the May 2011 raid on bin Laden’s compound, a U.S. military laboratory in Afghanistan analyzed DNA from his corpse and and confirmed it was the al Qaeda leader.

The Post reported the tests "provided a conclusive match."

In addition, the Post reported, the files also show the NSA warned in 2012 that it planned to investigate up to 4,000 reports of possible internal security breaches.

The Post said the NSA's concerns about insider threats were aimed at "anomalous behavior" of agency employees with access to top secret data. The account cited NSA concerns about "trusted insiders who seek to exploit their authorized access to sensitive information to harm U.S. interests."

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The Associated Press contributed to this report