The CIA maintained a “safe house” in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad “for a small team of spies who conducted extensive surveillance over a period of months on the compound” where Osama Bin Laden was killed by U.S. special operations forces earlier this week, The Washington Post reported here Thursday.
The newspaper added, citing officials, that “the secret CIA facility was used as a base of operations for one of the most delicate human intelligence gathering mission in recent CIA history, one that relied on Pakistani informants and other sources to help assemble a “pattern of life” portrait of the occupants and daily activities at the fortified compound where bin Laden was found.”
It indicated that “the effort was so extensive and costly that the CIA went to Congress in December to secure authority to reallocate tens of millions of dollars within assorted agency budgets to fund it.”
Separately, The Washington Post reported that several schools were evacuated across Washington D.C. after about 20 schools received letters containing a suspicious white powder.
It indicated that the envelopes, “which were mailed from Dallas, had typewritten labels with the addresses of each school and a letter containing the words “AL AQEDA-FBI,” according to an alert the Washington Regional Threat and Analysis Center sent to D.C. agencies,” and which were identical to ones schools in D.C. received in October 2010.
Meanwhile, Press Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Matt Chandler said in a statement that the Department issued an intelligence message May 5 “about potential Al-Qaeda contemplation in February 2010 of plots against the U.S. rail sector.”
He added “for the same reason, the Transportation Security Administration will issue a bulletin to rail sector stakeholders.”
“We have no information of any imminent terrorist threat to the U.S. rail sector, but wanted to make our partners (are) aware of the alleged plotting; it is unclear if any further planning has been conducted since February of last year,” he stressed.
“We want to stress that this alleged Al Qaeda plotting is based on initial reporting, which is often misleading or inaccurate and subject to change,” he noted.
He stressed “we remain at a heightened state of vigilance, but do not intend to issue an NTAS alert at this time.”