Washington, May 3: US special forces came away with hard drives, Dvds and a trove of documents from the Abbottabad safe house of Osama bin Laden which might tip American intelligence to al-Qaeda's operational plan and lead the manhunt to his presumed successor Ayman al Zawahiri.
The documents, US officials said could also provide details of al Qaeda's links to other terror groups like the Taliban, Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad.
While al Qaeda's links with Taliban and Haqqani network are "known and established", US officials said, the thrust of the search would be now to unravel the extent of Qaeda's ties with groups like LeT.
US officials and lawmakers have recently expressed concern over sprouting of LeT terror camps in Pakistan's restive tribal belt in the northwest and the expansion of the group's activities to Afghanistan and terror campaigns on the European mainland.
The CIA has established a task force to study the material recovered from the mansion in Abbottabad.
"Quite a bit of materials that were found at the sight and collected: Those materials are currently being exploited and analysed. A task force is being set up at CIA to conduct that task, given the volume of materials collected at the raid site," a senior intelligence official has said.
The Deputy National Security Advisor for Counter terrorism and Homeland Security, John Brennan, told reporters at a crowded White House that US Seals, who were on the compound, took advantage of their time there to make sure that they were able to acquire whatever material they thought was appropriate and needed.
"We are in the process right now of looking at whatever might have been picked up. But I'm not going to go into details about what might have been acquired," he said.
"We feel as though this is a very important time to continue to prosecute this effort against al-Qaida, take advantage of the success of yesterday and to continue to work to break the back of al-Qaida," Brennan said.
"We are trying to determine exactly the worth of whatever information we might have been able to pick up. And it's not necessarily quantity; frequently it's quality," he said in response to a question.
According to a senior intelligence official, it is a robust collection of materials that they need to sift through.
"We hope to find valuable intelligence that will lead us to other players in al-Qaida," he said. PTI