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NOVA Explores the Role of Technology in Espionage

An excerpt of Tuesday's NOVA program sheds light on the role of technology in espionage, focusing on the National Security Agency's surveillance of Osama bin Laden.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

     Tomorrow night here on PBS, "Nova" will focus on the National Security Agency's pre-9/11 surveillance of Osama bin Laden. Here's an excerpt.

  • NARRATOR:

    In November 1996, a known al-Qaida contact buys an Inmarsat satellite phone from a store in a New York suburb. That phone is for Osama bin Laden.

    Once he starts dialing from Afghanistan, NSA's listening posts quickly tap into his conversations. Analysts at the CIA, like Michael Scheuer, head of Alex Station, the CIA's newly formed bin Laden tracking unit, are also eager to get the information.

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