Sunday, May 15, 2011

Finding Bin Laden - The Science

There was an interesting side story to the OBL strike - a couple of scientists had applied scientific method usually used (ironically enough) to find endangered species and came up with an interesting model for where he might be hiding. This tallies with a book written by two of OBL's family members (a wife and son) that reportedly talked about his preference for populated areas "kept safe houses in Kabul because he believed the Americans would never bomb a big city for fear of killing innocent civilians." (Washington Post story linked above).

This is an interesting insight into the intelligence process.
After the fact, the bits of intelligence look obvious. But finding and linking these two bits of information would not have been so straight forward. Analysis of the book for example, would have to give serious weight to the proposition that his family members were sowing disinformation to protect him. Consideration would have to be given to the credibility of the sources and indeed may have triggered further investigation, all of which take valuable time.

Still these tids bits are interesting for those thinking about what makes for good intel.

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