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Entries in Reward (13)

Wednesday
Apr102013

Reward Offered in Drive-By Shooting of Circus Elephant

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(TUPELO, Miss.) -- A total of over $20,000 is being offered as a reward in the drive-by shooting of a circus elephant.

Police Chief Tony Carleton said that a vehicle drove past Tupelo's Bancorp South Arena at about 2 a.m. and fired into the area. An elephant with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was hit in the shoulder while it was in an enclosure outside the arena. Police are currently investigating the incident.

According to USA Today, the reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible totals $21,250. That figure includes $10,000 from the circus, $5,000 each from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, $1,000 from Crime Stoppers of North Mississippi, and $250 from former 1st District U.S. Representative Travis Childers.

The elephant, named Carol, was one of several performing with the traveling circus. While a security guard at the arena was able to provide police with some information, the investigation has not yet garnered many leads, according to USA Today.

Because the elephant is an Asian elephant, an endangered species, the crime is considered a federal offense under the Endangered Species Act. USA Today reported that the circus flew in its own veterinarian to treat the the elephant, which will take several weeks. The elephant is expected to make a complete recovery. The circus will continue as scheduled.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb252013

Homeless Man Returns Diamond Ring and Wins Big

ABC News(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- A homeless man who returned a diamond engagement ring to a woman who mistakenly dropped it into his donation cup when she was giving him some spare change now stands to be handsomely rewarded for his selfless act.

A fund set up on GiveForward.com for Billy Ray Harris, the man who was panhandling on the streets of Kansas City, Mo., earlier this month when he received the valuable donation in error, had received more than $146,000 in donations as of Monday evening.

“It is good to know honesty still exists despite one’s circumstances, which Mr. Harris exemplifies!” wrote one poster, who donated $25. Another who gave $100 added: “People from all over the world salute.”

The donations — more than 6,000 of them in varying amounts — have come in from all over the United States, as well as from Germany, Sweden, Australia, Ireland and other countries. In addition to the congratulations and good wishes that they offered, some donors also urged that Harris receive help to manage the money that was earmarked for him.

Harris himself seemed to be bemused by the outpouring.

“What I actually feel like is, what has the world come to when a person returns something that don’t belong to them and all of this happens?” he said last week in an interview with KTNV-TV, an ABC News affiliate in Las Vegas.

When Harris saw the unintentional donation in his cup on Feb. 8, he kept it safe until its owner, Sarah Darling, returned to ask about it. Her wedding and engagement rings had reportedly been bothering her, so she removed them and put them into her purse, and that’s how they ended up in Harris’ cup.

News of Harris’ act — and Darling’s gratitude — have spread. KTNV-TV reported that complete strangers have sought Harris out to congratulate him and give him food.

The fund was started 10 days ago by Darling’s husband, Bill Krejci. It will close in 80 days, at which time the money will be given directly to Harris, according to a note on the fund’s web page.

In a note that Krejci posted on the website on Feb. 23, he wrote that he had met with Harris and they had chatted.

“We talked about a lot of things related to my family’s ring and the many donations. We talked about one day in the future the ring may one day be passed down to my daughter. We talked about how insanely positive all this has been. We talked about what he’s planning to do with the donations. The details would be better left for later but know that he has a very solid plan and a very solid way of making it happen,” Krejci wrote.

Another bit of good has apparently come out of Harris’ sudden fame. He and his sister have reconnected after having lost touch more than 20 years ago.  She lives in Texas and has reportedly offered him a place to stay with her, KTVN reported. Harris is considering the offer.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb152013

Legal Loophole Could Hold Up $1M Christopher Dorner Reward

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A legal loophole could prevent good Samaritans, instrumental in ending the manhunt for a fugitive ex-cop accused of killing four people, from claiming more than $1 million in reward money because Christopher Dorner died and was not captured.

Last weekend, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa pledged $1 million, sourced from private individuals, companies and unions, "for information that will lead to Mr. Dorner's capture."

The L.A. City Council followed up with its own promise of a $100,000 reward for information "leading to the identification, apprehension and conviction of Christopher Dorner."

But Dorner was never captured, apprehended or convicted.  Instead, he died following a standoff with police near Big Bear, Calif., when the cabin in which he was barricaded burned down with him inside.

The mayor's office has not yet determined if the reward could still be paid out given that Dorner died.

"At this time, no decision has been made on the reward," Villaraigosa's spokesman Peter Sanders told ABC News in an email.

So far, none of the privately sourced "funds have been deposited into the city's 'Special Reward Trust Fund,'" according to Frank T. Mateljan, a spokesman for the city attorney.

That still leaves an additional $100,000 that the city council could pay with municipal money, but there are legal questions there, as well.

"The reward is definitely still on the table," said Jessica Tarman, a spokeswoman for Councilman Daniel Zine.

The council ultimately decides how the reward will be distributed and who will get it.  If its members are feeling generous, they could interpret the language of the original offer to make sure a worthy recipient gets paid.

"Arguably, city law is broad enough to allow payment to persons who assisted in the 'identification, apprehension OR arrest and conviction' of a suspect," Metaljan said in an email.

If the city decides to honor the reward, there are still multiple steps before a claimant can be paid.

Anyone who thinks they are worthy must apply in writing.  That claim would then be reviewed by the Los Angeles Police Department's robbery and homicide division, and a recommendation would be made to the police commissioner.  The commissioner would tell the council to consider the claim, and the council would vote on it.

So far, no one has come forward to ask for the reward.  More than 1,000 leads were called in to a city hotline.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan272013

$75,000 Reward Offered in Philadelphia School Kidnapping

(PHILADELPHIA, Pa.) -- After a 5-year-old girl was kidnapped from a Philadelphia school and assaulted earlier this week, community leaders banded together to offer a $75,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible.

According to police, the child was taken from her school Monday morning by a woman wearing Muslim garb and calling herself either "Tiffany" or "Rashida."

The girl was then taken to a house in the area where she was blindfolded and assaulted. The child was discovered early the next morning, when a passerby named Nelson Mandela Myers discovered her crying on a playground wearing only a t-shirt.

"She said she was cold and that somebody was chasing her and she ran," Myers told ABC station WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.

The child was admitted and then released from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia after she was found.

In a joint press conference Friday, community leaders and law enforcement officials aimed to draw attention to the case by offering a $75,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

The largest single contribution came from the office of State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams, who raised $30,000 for the reward.

"I will work night and day from now until the time this person's condemned to hell," Williams said.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter's office donated $10,000 to the reward.

"It's gutless, it's heartless, it's inhumane. We will find you, we'll do whatever it takes," Nutter said of the perpetrators.

The U.S. Marshals and the FBI have already started to aid the Philadelphia police with their investigation.

Officials are looking for both the woman who took the child from school and a male suspect who was at the house where the child was taken. Officials say they believe the girl was taken only a few blocks from the school and officers joined by police cadets have been canvassing the area. However, no suspects have been named.

"That neighborhood should not, cannot return to normal, until someone and we know someone out there knows who perpetrated this crime," said Capt. John Darby, Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit.

Additionally the security lapses that allowed the girl to leave her school with a stranger will be investigated, according to the Philadelphia School Superintendent William Hite.

"We are going to deal with the individuals responsible for this breach," Hite told WPVI-TV. "There were procedural breakdowns in this school."

The substitute teacher who let the girl leave with the unidentified woman, and a non-teaching assistant who worked at the security desk have both been put on leave.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct242012

Neighbor Posts $30,000 Reward for Missing Pennsylvania Baby

Comstock/Thinkstock(KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa.) -- A neighbor in the town where a 10-month-old baby disappeared after her grandmother was murdered has put up a $30,000 reward for information on the crimes.

A woman who lives in King of Prussia, Pa., put up the money to help find Saanvi Venna, who was taken from her apartment in the town on Monday morning after her grandmother was killed, according to Upper Merion Township police.

Police declined to identify the woman except to say she is of Indian descent and has been living in King of Prussia for the past 12 years.

Police said they are working on a homicide investigation and search and rescue mission to recover the child.

An autopsy was performed on the girl's grandmother, 67-year-old Satyavathi Venna, who was babysitting while the baby's parents were out of the apartment. The results of the autopsy have not been made public.

Satyavathi had been visiting her son and his family in Pennsylvania from India. The grandmother was scheduled to return in January 2013, according to police.

Police said they believe the baby was taken between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Monday, and are looking for any suspects who may have had ill-will toward the Venna family.

Police searched a wooded area behind the apartment complex Wednesday, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Upper Merion Police department has not given any other details on the investigation or the woman who offered the $30,000 reward.

The police and FBI have issued an Amber Alert for the child, who is of Indian descent and has black hair and brown eyes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul092012

Feds Offer $1 Million Reward for Alleged 'Fast and Furious' Killers

John Moore/Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Justice Department officials Monday offered $1 million for the capture of the five Mexican "border bandits" who killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry with an ATF-sourced weapon in the mountains south of Tucson.

Agent Terry's death has been at the center of the Congressional investigation into a botched ATF gun-smuggling investigation dubbed "Fast and Furious." Two weapons linked to the shooting of Agent Terry made it into criminal hands as a result of that operation, which sought to track smuggled guns to drug cartel kingpins. A dispute between Congressional investigators and the Justice Department over "Fast and Furious" documents led to Attorney General Eric Holder being held in contempt of Congress last month.

But despite all the controversy, the details of how Agent Terry was killed have never been revealed until Monday.

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At a news conference in Tucson, Justice Department officials said that on December 14, 2010, Agent Terry and his Border Patrol team were trying to intercept five men who had crossed into the U.S. from Mexico and tripped electronic sensors planted in the southern Arizona desert. The federal agents confronted the men, opening fire with beanbags, not bullets.

It turned out the men were "border bandits," armed gangsters who rob drug smugglers. The bandits returned fire, and in the firefight, Agent Terry was killed. One of the bandits was shot in the foot, and taken into custody, but four other suspects escaped while agents were tending to Agent Terry.

On Monday an indictment charging five individuals involved in the death of Agent Terry was unsealed in Tucson, and a reward of up to $1 million from the FBI for information leading to the arrest of four fugitives was announced by Department of Justice officials.

According to the indictment, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza are charged with crimes including first degree murder, second degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, use and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, assault on a federal officer and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. A sixth defendant, Rito Osorio-Arellanes, is charged only with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery.

In addition to the murder of Agent Terry, the indictment also alleges that the five defendants assaulted Border Patrol agents William Castano, Gabriel Fragoza and Timothy Keller, who were with Agent Terry during the firefight.

"Brian Terry was truly an agent's agent," U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Laura E. Duffy said at the press conference Monday. Duffy promised Terry's family "the very best" her office had to offer. "We will not rest until these individuals are brought to justice."

"Agent Terry served his country honorably and made the ultimate sacrifice in trying to protect it from harm, and we will stop at nothing to bring those responsible for his murder to justice," said Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement. "This investigation has previously resulted in one defendant being charged with Agent Terry's murder and taken into custody, and today's announcement reflects the department's unrelenting commitment to finding and arresting the other individuals responsible for this horrific tragedy so that Agent Terry's family, friends and fellow law enforcement agents receive the justice they deserve."

"U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry made the ultimate sacrifice in December of 2010, while protecting our border," stated James L. Turgal Jr., FBI Special Agent in Charge, Phoenix Division. "Today's announcement is an important step forward in the pursuit of justice for Border Patrol Agent Terry and his family. It is our hope that the publicity surrounding this case will lead to information concerning the whereabouts of the remaining four fugitives."

Manuel Osorio-Arellanes has been in custody since his arrest the night of the shooting. Rito Osorio-Arellanes has been in custody since Dec. 12, 2010, when he was arrested by Border Patrol agents on immigration charges. The indictment is being unsealed Monday in order to seek the public's assistance in locating the four fugitive defendants.

This case is being prosecuted in federal court in Tucson by attorneys from the Southern District of California, Special Attorneys Todd W. Robinson, David D. Leshner, and Fred A. Sheppard. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona is recused, because of its involvement in the "Fast and Furious" operation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun112012

Mystery at Sea: Search Called Off; Yacht Explosion Report Likely a Hoax

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SANDY HOOK, N.J.) -- The Coast Guard called off the search Monday evening for a reported yacht explosion in the Atlantic Ocean about 17.5 miles east of Sandy Hook, N.J., saying the call is now being investigated as a hoax.

A caller had told the Coast Guard that there had been an explosion on a yacht called Blind Date, and nine of the 21 passengers had received severe burns. All the passengers had gotten off the boat and were in life boats, the caller said.

But after an extensive search, neither a flotilla of rescue boats nor a flight of helicopters could find any evidence of the vessel Blind Date or any wreckage from an explosion, according to the Coast Guard. No victims had been found, either.

"This case is now being investigated as a possible hoax call," the Coast Guard said in a statement released Monday evening.

Making a false distress call is a federal felony with a maximum penalty of five to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and reimbursement to the Coast Guard for the cost of performing the search.

"More than 200 first responders assembled mass casualty receptions areas in Newark, and Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook, N.J., preparing to receive the reported injured passengers," said Cmdr. Kenneth Pierro, of Coast Guard Sector New York.

Two Coast Guard boat crews and four Coast Guard helicopter crews searched approximately 638 square nautical miles in response to the call.

Response units from New York City Police Department, Fire Department of New York City, New Jersey State Police and Nassau County Police Department also conducted searches in the area.

"The explosion was reported to us by one of the people on board the vessel after it happened from a solar powered radio, because their electronics on board were destroyed during the explosion," Coast Guard Petty Officer Erik Swanson said.

Officials with several agencies involved in the search said told ABC News it is "highly unusual" to be unable to locate any debris or find any survivors when they receive such a clear position and respond as quickly as they did in this case.

ABC News reached the owners of the yachts Blind Date and Blind Date II, and both said their boats were not lost at sea. The owner of the Blind Date II, however, said there is another yacht called Blind Date that is moored in the Netherlands.

The Coast Guard offers a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of anyone responsible for making a false distress or hoax call to the U.S. Coast Guard. Anyone with information regarding false distress calls is encouraged to anonymously contact the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service at 646-872-5774 or 212-668-7048.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar162012

Feds Increase Reward in Michigan Lawyer Car Bomb Case

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The homemade bomb that blew up a Michigan lawyer’s Volvo and injured the man and his two young sons as they headed to football practice may have contained parts from remote-controlled cars, authorities said Thursday as they announced an increase in the reward offered for information.

In raising the reward from $10,000 to $20,000, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) issued a broad appeal for the public’s help in locating the suspect or suspects in the Sept. 20 attack on Erik Chappell.

The corporate litigation and family law attorney was taking his sons to football practice in Monroe., Mich., when his car exploded.  The vehicle erupted into a fireball and burned down to its metal frame.

The blast was so strong that it was heard a mile away.

“It was mayhem inside the car,” Chappell told ABC News.   “We were all dazed.  I noticed flames on my side and the passenger side.”

Chappell, who practices law mainly in Michigan and Ohio, sustained injuries to his right arm.  His sons, who were 10- and 13-years-old, were seriously wounded.

The three have since made a full recovery.  Chappell has said that he believes he knows who tried to kill him, but has declined to make that information public.

“It would have required some proximity in order to detonate it,” he said.  “They would have had to know that the boys were in the car.”

Police say the bomb was placed to inflict as much damage as possible.  The device contained shrapnel -- meant to increase its lethality, ATF Special Agent in Charge David McCain said in a statement.

“It is disgusting that the suspect was willing to kill innocent children to achieve his or her goal,” McCain stated.

The suspect would have knowledge of electronics, radio control circuitry, tools and metal-working.  The suspect also would have had a private work space to store, assemble and construct the device, McCain said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct142011

Anonymous Donors Offer $100K Reward For Missing Missouri Baby

Kansas City Police(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Wealthy anonymous benefactors Friday offered a $100,000 reward for the safe return of missing Missouri infant Lisa Irwin or the conviction of whoever took the little girl.

The reward was announced by private investigator Bill Stanton who said the anonymous donors have a relationship with the family and do not want to detract attention from the case with their identities.

The benefactors also brought Stanton into the case, he said. Stanton added that he would be joined by Dr. Marisa Randazzo, a psychologist who specializes in threat assessment and once worked for the U.S. Secret Service.

This week, the family posted a series of videos on YouTube made by Lisa's parents of the baby girl eating cereal, gurgling at her mother and playing with a toy. The family had said they want to keep Lisa's image in the media so that attention stays on the case.

On the eleventh day of the search for Lisa, investigators are searching the woods near the Irwin's Missouri home and acknowledge that running out of places to look is "inevitable."

Exhaustive and fruitless searches have taken police and FBI investigators to the woods multiple times as well as to nearby fields, a well at an abandoned house, drainage areas and a landfill.

"We haven't really thought about shutting down," Kansas City Police Capt. Steve Young told ABC News Friday. "I think that will come sometime, but we hope to solve this case before then."

On Friday, three relatives of the Irwin family emerged from the house where the family has been staying to hang "We [heart] U Lisa" signs on a tree and on the door. Lisa's parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, did not come outside.

"I am seeing a family's heart literally torn out of its chest," Stanton told Good Morning America Friday.

When asked by ABC News if he was suspicious of Bradley's involvement in her daughter's disappearance, he answered coyly.

"Let me try not to give a politician's answer," Stanton said. "Let me just say this, she doesn't want to be discounted. She wants to be looked at, vetted and then once everyone feels she's not a suspect, let's move on."

Stanton spent time with Bradley and Irwin Thursday at their home and has become somewhat of an unofficial spokesman for the family. He has said he will give information to investigators, but they do not give him information.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May192011

Who Gets the Osama Bin Laden Reward?

AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- No one will receive the $25 million reward for the capture of Osama bin Laden, say U.S. officials, because the raid that killed the al Qaeda leader in Pakistan on May 2 was the result of electronic intelligence, not human informants.

"We do not expect a reward to be paid," said a senior U.S. official familiar with the bin Laden hunt, meaning that the $25 million bounty offered by the U.S. under the Rewards for Justice program after the 9/11 terror attacks will probably remain uncollected.

The reason is simple, say officials involved in or knowledgeable about the hunt for the world's most wanted man: the CIA and the military never had an al Qaeda operative as an informer willing to give him up. Instead, what killed bin Laden was electronic surveillance, and an operational mistake by one of his closest associates. After a slow drip of intelligence year after year, a final flurry of data collection and analysis brought a team of SEALs to bin Laden's Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound on a moonless night.

In previous manhunts, such as the capture of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, or the killing of his two sons, U.S. intelligence and military commandos had the help of insiders and human sources. In each case, someone received millions of dollars in reward money for their efforts.

The long and sometimes circular path that led to bin Laden was paved by satellites, drones, phone surveillance and luck. U.S. officials have said the intelligence was a "mosaic" and "multi-streamed," meaning from every avenue in the government's arsenal, the strongest of which is still the technological wizardry of the CIA, National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense.

Bin Laden's survival for nearly 10 years was the result of the limits of American power and intelligence -- the ability to recruit sources inside al Qaeda or support networks in Pakistan, and his death was the result of the overwhelming superiority of American electronic, signals, and technological capabilities.

By the summer of 2009, the trail for bin Laden had gone cold. The CIA simply had no tangible evidence of any place he'd been since he'd slipped away from U.S. air attacks in his redoubt in Afghanistan's Tora Bora mountains. Marty Martin, a former top CIA official who led the hunt for bin Laden from 2002 to 2004, said that for years his colleagues were baffled as to where the fugitive had hidden.

"We could see from his videos what his circumstances were," Martin said of bin Laden's video messages that were released in the years after his Tora Bora escape. "In the immediate years afterward he looked battle fatigued and on the run. He didn't look healthy. We knew he was moving. But where? We simply didn't know. Then, he gained weight and looked healthy. I told my analysts, 'He's gone urban, moved somewhere stable and safe.'"

During all the years the trail went cold, the CIA had been unable to develop a human source inside al Qaeda or inside their support network. Several former intelligence officials involved in the hunt for bin Laden said developing a spy inside bin Laden's inner circle was never very likely because of the level of commitment his followers possessed. The man who turned in Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was an Afghan informer who provided low-level support to the al Qaeda chief of operations, not a fellow operative. Beyond that, the CIA tried to monitor those who facilitated communications and operations for al Qaeda, while learning as much as they could from detainees.

But in 2009, the CIA caught a break. The Pakistani intelligence service, known as the ISI, delivered a gift: a cellphone number they gathered when they recorded a call made from Pakistan to the Middle East. The number belonged to an al Qaeda courier that the CIA had long been searching for, Abu Ahmed al Kuwaiti.

After the 2009 phone call that the Pakistanis tapped, however, al Kuwaiti's number went dark. But the courier had exposed himself, and the CIA suspected that if they could find where al Kuwaiti lived, they might be about to find bin Laden.

The call had located al Kuwaiti in northwest Pakistan and gave the CIA a starting point for a renewed hunt. A year later, in the summer of 2010, despite fastidious operational security by al Kuwaiti -- he normally drove 90 minutes from the compound before inserting the battery in his cellphone, preventing signals intelligence pinpointing his starting point -- he made a twofold mistake. For the first time in almost a year, he used the cellphone simcard that U.S. intelligence had linked to him, and he made a call with that simcard close to bin Laden's compound.

The National Security Agency, the world's most powerful signals intelligence organization, had been waiting to pounce on any calls made from that simcard since 2009. The NSA picked up the call and located al Kuwaiti in Abbottabad, Pakistan. They were even able to pinpoint the neighborhood the call had probably come from. From there, the CIA and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) began searching aerial satellite photographs to deduce which house would likely be bin Laden's.

When they discovered a newer building with high perimeter walls, custom construction and a third floor terrace wall of seven feet -- the CIA knew they had their target. The search was almost over.

By August of 2010, CIA director Leon Panetta briefed President Obama and had a new stealth drone begin flights over the compound, undetected by Pakistani air defenses. The CIA was sure a high-value target lived in the compound, and given al Kuwaiti's relationship to bin Laden -- learned in bits and pieces from interrogations of captured detainees since 2002 -- was "60 to 80 percent" sure bin Laden was hiding in the compound, according to Panetta.

The CIA, the NGA and the Pentagon studied reams of signals intelligence, electronic emissions, infrared technology, almost all from drones and satellites, in order to learn the compound's construction and the number of people living inside. Intelligence analysts even studied the water tables underneath the Abbottabad valley to determine whether it was likely bin Laden had built an escape tunnel underneath the house.

"We were pretty sure it was too wet to build a tunnel," one US official familiar with the CIA's intelligence said.

Martin, the retired CIA official, said bin Laden also undoubtedly learned from his al Qaeda operatives' mistakes.

"He was not stupid. If you see your men killed by drones or captured, you learn from experience what kind of entourage to have and how to change your profile."

Bin Laden had taken away all signs of his importance that for years the CIA had searched for from the sky: armed guards, rings of protection, transportation convoys -- he left it all behind and hid behind an 18-foot wall for five years. When the Navy SEALs eventually stormed the compound, only a few rifles and handguns were seized. He had dropped virtually all his protection so that spy satellites, and drone surveillance would be unable to differentiate his compound from any other in the area. The SEALs also found, and killed, the courier whose single errant phone call, snapped up in a web of electronic surveillance, had led them to Abbottabad.

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