Pocket litter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Pocket litter is material, including notes scribbled on scraps of paper, that accumulates in an individual's pockets. It can include identity cards, transportation tickets, personal photographs, computer files and similar material.[1]

Counter-terrorism analysts report that the analysis of pocket litter can be an important tool for confirming or refuting suspects' accounts of themselves.[2][3][4][5]

The term was used as early as 1973, by Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt.[6]

The Combatting Terrorism Center celebrated the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden by releasing documents seized from Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad home.[7] The Associated Press reported that SEAL Team 6 had been specially trained to search for documents and pocket litter "that might produce leads to other terrorists."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Risen, James. "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration", 2006
  2. ^ Adam Liptak (2007-08-26). "Spying Program May Be Tested by Terror Case". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-24. After a bloody raid by American military forces on an enemy camp in Rawah, Iraq, on June 11, 2003, a Defense Department report took inventory. Eighty suspected terrorists killed. An enormous weapons cache recovered. And, in what the report called “pocket litter,” a notebook with the name and phone number of the imam of a mosque halfway around the world, here in the state capital. 
  3. ^ Erik Lacitis (2005-11-14). "Career found in translation". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2009-01-24. But with the sheer volume of documents coming through the pipeline — from pamphlets to newspaper editorials to "pocket litter" — the need for translators is never-ending... 'Pocket litter' is any piece of paper with writing that has been taken from someone brought in for questioning. 
  4. ^ Steven Berbeco (2003-04-14). "Right job, wrong place". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  5. ^ David Benjamin (2004-09-12). "Cheney's No Terrorism Expert". Los Angeles Times. p. M2. Retrieved 2009-01-24. From the time Al Qaeda emerged in the 1990s, the central approach for attacking it has been to identify terrorists through signals and human intelligence as well as information from other intelligence services around the world. Security forces of the country in which the terrorists were located would then move in and capture or, if necessary, kill them. Information from these busts, whether “pocket litter” or computer files, would be used to find more operatives and dismantle cells. 
  6. ^ Everette Howard Hunt, Greg Aunapu, William F. (FRW) Buckley (1974). "American Spy". Google Books. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  7. ^ "Bin Laden troubled by crumbling Muslim trust: Al-Qaeda leader's final letters from Pakistan compound are released by U.S." CBC News. 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2012-05-03. The report said the Special Forces troops in the bin Laden raid were trained to search the home afterward for thumb drives, printed documents and what it described as "pocket litter" that might produce leads to other terrorists. "The end of the raid in Abbottabad was the beginning of a massive analytical effort," it said.