US hunts operatives found in bin Laden files: Report
US officials are trying to determine if the names are real or aliases.
Washington: US authorities are conducting an international hunt for potential al Qaeda operatives named in files recovered at Osama bin Laden`s compound, a US television network reported.
Officials are trying to determine if the names are real or aliases, and whether bin Laden`s plots have moved from planning to implementation stages, ABC News reported, citing anonymous government sources.
US officials have contacted Britain and Canada for help in identifying operatives named in bin Laden`s computer files and handwritten journal, the network reported.
Names have been added to terrorist watch lists and travel records are being checked to see if they have entered the United States.
The report said a special CIA team, called the Media Exploitation Task Force, is working "24-7”.
A covert US Navy SEAL team killed bin Laden on May 02 at his Pakistan compound, and seized more than 100 flash drives and DVDs as well computers, hard drives, handwritten notes, recording devices and mobile phones.
US national security advisor Tom Donilon has compared the cache of information seized from bin Laden`s compound to "a small college library”.
A US official said on May 12 that bin Laden pushed for dramatic attacks on American cities and asserted his authority in correspondence with al Qaeda deputies.
Notebooks and files showed the al Qaeda chief displayed "a continuing emphasis on spectacular attacks" on US and Western targets, the official had said.
Bin Laden wrote that he wanted strikes on major US cities, including Los Angeles, and to hit trains as well as airplanes, said the official.
The al Qaeda mastermind was focused on "transportation and infrastructure" and wanted the timing of a strike to coincide with key dates such as America`s July 4th Independence Day celebrations or the upcoming 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the official said.
ABC`s sources said the files showed that al Qaeda had plots against US trains, airplanes, airports, buildings and operations like the one in Mumbai, in which a terrorist gang slaughtered tourists and locals in a hotel and other parts of the city.