US intelligence officers are trawling through a cache of IT equipment and computer data seized in the raid that killed Al-Q'aeda leader Osama Bin Laden at his Pakistan hideout, American officials have reported.
White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan told reporters that US Navy SEALs took "whatever material we thought was appropriate and what was needed."
"We are trying to determine exactly the worth of whatever information we might have been able to pick up," he said, adding: "This is a very important time to continue to prosecute this effort against al Qaeda."
Brennan decline to provide details of what was seized, but another counter-terrorism official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the seizures consisted of computer equipment and storage media including CDs and DVDs.
US forces struck in the early hours of the morning local time, watched by President Barack Obama on a live video link via a camera mounted on the helmet of one of the troops. Bin laden was reportedly killed by shots to the head and chest. The President announced his death in a special television address at 21:30 EST, Sunday 1st May.
The al-Q'aeda head had been hiding out at what has been described as a 'fortified' compound just streets away from Pakistan's military academy in Abbottabad, 40 miles from the country's capital, Islamabad. Protected somewhat conspicuously by 18ft walls topped with barbed wire, the man at the top of the FBI's 'Ten Most Wanted' list is said to have been living without telephone or internet access - and, seemingly, without having raised the suspicions of the army down the road.
Intelligence officials indicate a special task force is being set up to comb through the seized data for signs of future attacks.