The raid on Osama bin Laden's compound yielded a trove of intelligence the size of a small college library, a top White House official said Sunday.
In a series of coordinated news-show appearances National Security Adviser Tom Donilon said information seized during last week's killing of the Al Qaeda leader represents the largest cache ever obtained from a terrorist. He said it indicates that in addition to being the group's symbolic leader, bin Laden was involved in strategic operations, including Al Qaeda's propaganda effort.
To date, cells detected in the United States have lacked the level of sophistication, experience, and access to resources of terrorist cells overseas. Their efforts, when disrupted, largely have been in the nascent phase, and authorities often were able to take advantage of poor operational tradecraft. However, the growing use of the Internet to identify and connect with networks throughout the world offers opportunities to build relationships and gain expertise that previously were available only in overseas training camps. It is likely that such independent groups will use information on destructive tactics available on the Internet to boost their own capabilities.