To keep it under wraps before the May 2 raid on the Al Qaeda leader's hideout in Abbottabad, near the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, some referred to it in code as a 'trip to Atlantic City', according to a detailed reconstruction by the US daily.
In his windowless conference room at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, director Leon Panetta had a 16-square-foot model of bin Laden's hideout that was accurate down to the trees surrounding the Abbottabad house, the report revealed. The model was made with the help of satellite spy photos.
In February, a mix of CIA and military officials met around the model to discuss intelligence that suggested a 'high-value' terrorist was there. Analysts said there was 'a strong probability' it was bin Laden, the Journal said.
Working hard to keep the mission secret, officials spoke to one another about the plan in code, with one calling it 'the trip to Atlantic City,' it said. The close cooperation between the Pentagon and CIA revealed by the Journal report marks a shift from an era in which the troops and spies were at odds, analysts said.
It suggests that, moving forward, troops and spies will do more to work together to combat terrorism, they said.