Thursday, May 5, 2011

Aaron Mannes on FoxFive about OBL & Forensic Bingo

I appeared on the local Fox afffiliate this evening to discuss the impact of OBL's capture.

Analysts Look at Evidence Seized During bin Laden Raid:

By BOB BARNARD/ myfoxdc
U.S. officials say in the commando raid on Osama bin Laden's secret Pakistani hideout a mountain of evidence was seized: several computers, numerous hard drives, mobile phones and computer disks.

Those and other materials that were at bin Laden's fingertips are now in northern Virginia, getting a close look by analysts with the FBI and CIA.

"I'm thinking forensic bingo!" says University of Maryland researcher Aaron Mannes who has written a book about terrorist networks.

"The world of cyber forensics is very advanced now," Mannes tells us. "Really impressive, Hollywood-esque things are happening."

Perhaps shining a light on other senior leaders of al Qaeda.

"The dream find would be where is Ayman al-Zawahri so we can find him and get him," Mannes says. "Because that puts the momentum on our side."

Adds Mannes: "Like everybody, I'm really interested in Pakistan. What are we going to find out?"

About the Pakistani government's possible role in aiding and abetting bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network.

"Maybe we'll find out something about their contacts in Pakistani intelligence," says Mannes "I mean really... we'll just get a whole picture of how this thing works - nuts and bolts - how they maintained organizational continuity despite enormous international pressure."

On Capitol Hill, Attorney General Eric Holder told congress a number of agencies are reviewing the evidence.

"As we glean information from that material," Holder says, "we will make appropriate decisions with regard to who might be added to the terrorist watch list and the no fly list."

"The question is what do you look for?" says Mannes.

"We're going to get a much better sense of where to point our capabilities and I think that's going to take a toll with some pretty devastating effect on al Qaeda."

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