Navy SEALs Who Captured, Killed Osama Bin Laden Return to United States

Data seized in bin Laden raid arrived at FBI lab before the SEALs' return.

ByABC News
May 4, 2011, 8:25 AM

May 4, 2011 — -- The elite Navy SEAL fighters responsible for capturing and killing Osama bin Laden returned to the United States today. Before their return, a trove of information seized by the SEALS arrived at a FBI laboratory.

The SEALs, members of elite Team Six, arrived at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, D.C., sources told ABC News.

The arrival of the military members comes amid news that President Obama will not release photos of Bin Laden's corpse. Obama administration officials believe the photos could pose a national security risk and endanger Americans living in the United States and abroad.

Watch "KILL SHOT: THE STORY BEHIND BIN LADEN'S DEATH," a special "20/20" Friday at 10 p.m. ET.

A trove of information seized in the 40-minute raid that left Bin Laden dead arrived at an FBI laboratory in Quantico, Va., between Monday night and Tuesday, sources told ABC News. At least five computers, 10 hard drives and more than 100 digital media items, including disks, DVDs and thumb drives, traveled more than 7,000 miles to the FBI facility.

In addition to the digital media and paper documents, the Navy SEALs also took guns and a number of other items from the Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound. Those guns have been checked for fingerprints, which will be run through a huge intelligence database that culls fingerprints from terrorist safe houses and the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.

DNA evidence was taken from some of the killed and wounded who were guarding Bin Laden.

"We want to know who has been there and where else they may have been," one official said.

Duplicates of this data will be given to a special interagency task force at the CIA's counterterrorism center.

Of all the equipment that the SEALS took into and out of Bin Laden's sprawling compound in Abbottabad, the one thing they didn't have was a tape measure to help in identifying the terrorist. One SEAL was forced to lie down next to the corpse of Bin Laden to approximate his height, sources told ABC News.

Bin Laden appeared to be ready to run at any time with money and phone numbers stitched into his clothes when the SEALs found him on an upper floor of his compound.

Bin Laden's clothing had 500 euros and two phone numbers sewn into it, sources told ABC News. Analysts are tracing those phone numbers and going through each computer seized, running keyword searches using words like "explosives" or "weddings." Weddings is a word often used by al Qaeda to signify a bombing.

"There's a lot we have to go through, some encryption, some coding. It's in another language. It's in Arabic, so there's a lot to go through before we really find out what we have, but remember small pieces of information can be critically important," said Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

At a briefing on Capitol Hill, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said that some of the information seized has already been reviewed by her agency.

As the material is examined, analysts will look to see if more individuals should be added to the terrorist and no-fly watchlists.

"The material that was seized will be reviewed by an interagency team -- CIA, Justice, other intelligence agencies and other law enforcement agencies are all contributing people and machines. ... As we glean information from that material we will make appropriate determinations about who would be added to the watchlist and no-fly list," said Attorney General Eric Holder at Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing today.