Museum visitors observe installations in a gallery space.
Photo by C&G Partners

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

Exhibition Hours

Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden is free with Museum admission and opens daily at 10:30 a.m.

Reserve your tickets today.
Museum visitors in coats and warm-weather clothes look down at a flat surface upon which there is a projection.
Photo by C&G Partners

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 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.

Three people stand staggered in a dark room, looking at large-format black-and-white photos.
Photo by Jin S. Lee

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 recording 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.

Related Events

A soldier looks out on a mountainous terrain from an armored vehicle.
Photo courtesy of the Department of Defense

Al-Qaeda Today

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.

 

Former CIA analyst Nada Bakos poses for a portrait in front of a white brick wall.

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 new 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.

This public program will be held in the 9/11 Memorial Museum on November 25, 2019.