Pentagon declassifies Styrofoam model of bin Laden compound, at last

A styrofoam-and-acrylic model of Osama bin Laden's compound that was used to plan the May 2011 raid that killed the al Qaeda leader has been declassified by the Pentagon.

CNN reports that the model of OBL's building and surrounding farmland in Abbotabad, Pakistan was built over a six-week period, and then was taken to the White House to brief President Obama on plans. After the raid, it sat on display in the lobby of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Until last week, the model was considered classified and only those working or visiting the building could see it.

Now it is declassified, and agency officials wanted to bring it over to the Pentagon for a brief time to show it off to Department of Defense "customers" to highlight what the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency can do for them, according to an agency information sheet.

The to-scale diorama helped the Navy Seals literally measure the steps it would take to get to bin Laden.

More photos and background here: The very model of a successful bin Laden raid

(CNN.com, via Kristie LuStout).

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  1. -WHAT IS THIS… A CENTER FOR ANTS?? 

    HOW CAN WE CAPTURE THE LEADER OF AL-QAEDA IF WE CANT EVEN FIT INSIDE THE BUILDING! IT NEEDS TO BE AT LEAST … 3 TIMES BIGGER

    -It’s just a model…

    -No, He’s right.

    1.  Seriously? There’s an action figure of George “I just don’t think that much about him” Bush capturing Osama?

      1. Many details of the actual operation are still classified. Maybe W. was the one who fucked up that stealth helicopter.

  2. Nobody is answering the question a true geek would ask: WHAT IS THE SCALE OF THIS THING? 1:18?

  3. The government has some really good model builders.   Those skylights, sun shades on the windows, and the concertina wire are all really nice touches.

    1. I just like the mental image of a bunch of stone-faced, besuited G-men perusing the dollhouse section at a local arts & crafts store.

  4. Why not build the compound as an XBox 360 game level to help the Seals prepare?  Probably more immersive, photorealistic and life-like.

  5. Too bad no one figured that the courtyard was not a proper place to land a helicopter or at least not if you want to take off again.  It was a major flaw in the plan but they got the bastard anyway.   Good work by the Navy Seals and those supporting them!

  6. Every time I see this place I’m amazed at what a shitbag it is. The world’s richest terrorist was living in a no-tell motel?

  7. If the compound was just made of styrofoam, why didn’t they just mount a giant paint stripper on a helicopter and melt the whole thing?  WTF, Navy SEALS?

    Edit: Oh wait, yeah. The extension cord. Duh.

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