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After a five-year delay, CIA 'live-tweets' bin Laden raid

The CIA joined Twitter in February 2014 [Bloomberg]

Date of publication: 2 May, 2016

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Social media users have ridiculed a CIA 'live-tweet', to mark the fifth anniversary of the killing of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden by US special forces.

The CIA has marked the fifth anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death by live-tweeting - with a five-year delay - the raid by US special forces on the al-Qaeda founder's compound in Pakistan.

Using the hashtag #UBLRaid, the CIA blasted out updates of the May 2011 strike as if it was unfolding in real time - a highly unusual move for the secretive spy agency.

Tweets included the now famous picture of President Barack Obama and other high-ranking US officials watching matters unfold from the White House's Situation Room.

The CIA's move kicked off a Twitter storm, provoking mixed reactions.

Others reacted more positively.

CIA focus on al-Baghdadi

With 1.33 million Twitter followers, the Central Intelligence Agency has sent 1,662 tweets since it joined the social media service in February 2014.

"We are the Nation's first line of defence. We accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go," reads the Twitter bio.

Previous CIA tweets in recent days have featured a video about the Chernobyl nuclear accident in Ukraine and a counterfeit Nazi stamp.

Amid the tweetstorm, CIA chief John Brennan said Sunday that taking out the head of the Islamic State group would have a "great impact".

He also warned that al-Qaeda remained a threat, and that IS was not just an organisation but a phenomenon.

"We have destroyed a large part of al-Qaeda. It's not completely eliminated. So we have to stay focused on what it can do," Brennan told NBC's Meet the Press talk show.

"Now, with the new phenomenon of (IS), this is going to challenge us for years to come," he added.

Asked if removing IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from action was as important as the Bin Laden get, Brennan, who does not often do interviews, was direct.

"If we got Baghdadi, I think it would have a great impact on the organisation. And it will be felt by them," he said.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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