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Surveillance

Secret CIA Drones Spied on bin Laden

The CIA flew never-before-used stealth drones in dozens of missions in Pakistan to monitor the Abbottabad compound where Osama bin Laden was living, officials revealed Tuesday. The unmanned, top-secret aircraft allowed the CIA to fly into areas Pakistan has banned the U.S. drones—a crucial move to let the CIA gather high-resolution video intelligence for the risky mission. These new drones are a major advance in technology—and mark a change in from the remotely piloted planes, which have been a staple of counterterrorism activities since after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The stealth drones were used the night of the attack to provide images to President Obama and members of his national security team, although the CIA never once took any photographs in their surveillance missions.

May 17, 2011 7:10 PM