NGA Outlines Role in Osama bin Laden Takedown

by

WASHINGTON — The U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) played a key role in the planning of the May 2 raid in Pakistan that killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, the agency’s top official announced May 2.

NGA employees, who specialize in mapping and imagery intelligence, had been working behind the scenes for more than a decade to locate the United States’ most wanted criminal, NGA Director Letitia Long said in a statement provided to Space News. Working alongside the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, NGA provided imagery, geospatial and targeting analysis, and modeling support to plan the mission, she said.

“I am extremely proud of the work that NGA men and women have done that led directly to this outcome,” Long said. “Their [geospatial intelligence] was critical to helping the intelligence community pinpoint bin Laden’s compound.”

U.S. President Barack Obama announced the success of the raid shortly after its conclusion. A team of 79 Navy Seals flew in helicopters from Afghanistan to bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where they killed five people including bin Laden. No Americans were killed in the operation.