Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden
Told by those who were involved in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, this special exhibition sheds light on the intelligence and military activities that led to the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan nearly 10 years after 9/11.
On view through May 2021
Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden is free with Museum admission and opens daily at 10:30 a.m.
About the Exhibition
Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden leads visitors through the global hunt for Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda. The story begins with the efforts before 2001 to monitor bin Laden’s whereabouts and to determine his plans and culminates in the U.S. Navy SEAL raid on his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Visitors will hear from intelligence officers, law enforcement, and military members involved in the 10-year manhunt and will learn how intelligence collection and analysis evolved over the years to combat the changing landscape of terrorism. Eventually, by following a trail through the al-Qaeda network, the intelligence community pinpoints the location of a high-walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where a tall figure was known to be walking the grounds.
This exhibition gives visitors unprecedented access to the agencies and individuals who were involved in the hunt and conducted the culminating raid, known as Operation Neptune Spear. More than 60 artifacts, some newly declassified, are featured in the exhibition along with several immersive multimedia experiences. Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden tells a critical and powerful story of how the United States intelligence, military, and federal law enforcement came together after 9/11 with a single-minded focus to bring one man to justice.
Presentation of Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden has been made possible with the support of presenting sponsors Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., and Palantir Technologies, as well as Lockheed Martin Corporation.
Objects on View
Now, nearly a decade after his death, those involved in tracking down Osama bin Laden have joined the Museum to share their experiences. In the exhibition, you will encounter artifacts that have never been shared with the public and hear firsthand accounts from intelligence officers, government officials, law enforcement agents, military leaders, and special operations forces.
Reflecting on 9/11: An Ongoing Threat
Worldwide, people are living with the daily threat of terrorism. Terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State continue to plan attacks globally, with locations ranging from New York City and Paris, France, to Mogadishu, Somalia, and Surabaya, Indonesia. Additionally, lone actors, often motivated by online propaganda, enact their own plots.
In conjunction with the special exhibition Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden, the Museum invites visitors to share their reflections on 9/11 and other terror attacks in one of our on-site recording booths. Visitor recordings will be added to the 9/11 Memorial Museum’s digital archive and may be featured in the Reflecting on 9/11 gallery in the future.
A Woman’s Place: U.S. Counterterrorism Since 9/11
Senior Research Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, Joana Cook, discusses her new book, A Woman's Place: U.S. Counterterrorism Since 9/11, which explores the significant role of women in key U.S. national security agencies.
Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden
Robert Cardillo, then-principle deputy director for National Intelligence, and Nicholas Rasmussen, then a senior staff person on the White House National Security Council, offer an inside-look at the inter-agency collaboration behind the successful raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
The Abbottabad Papers
Nelly Lahoud, a senior fellow in New America’s International Security program, who has read all the documents seized during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, discusses her forthcoming book about what these materials reveal.
Eight years after the killing of Osama bin Laden, the State Department recently declared al-Qaeda to be as great a threat to the U.S. as it has ever been. To complement Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden, al-Qaeda experts Peter Bergen, Bruce Hoffman, Mary E. Galligan, and Mark Stout discuss the future of the terrorist group and the wider jihadist movement.
The Targeter: How to Hunt Terrorists
In the aftermath of 9/11, Nada Bakos tracked some of the United States' most-wanted terrorists for the Central Intelligence Agency. First as an analyst and then as a targeting officer, Bakos found herself on the frontline of America’s war against Islamist terrorist extremists and was ultimately charged with finding terrorist mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. In her book The Targeter: My Life in the CIA, Hunting Terrorists and Challenging the White House, Bakos tells her story and gives an engrossing account of the intelligence work that helps to keep our country safe.