The recent raid of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s compound in Syria by members of the United States Special Operations Command was highlighted by the military, which stated that they had taken “information and material from the compound that will be exploited moving forward.”

With terrorist organizations operating out of cells and using coded communications, any information on target-sites obtained through Sensitive Site Exploitation (SSE) is of paramount importance for follow-on operations.

According to the Army Manual FM 3-90.15: “Site exploitation is systematically searching for and collecting information, material, and persons from a designated location and analyzing them to answer information requirements, facilitate subsequent operations, or support criminal prosecution.”

SSE was highlighted also during the Osama bin Laden raid several years ago as Special Operations troops reported that the compound was a “treasure trove” of information. In the film made about the raid, “Zero Dark Thirty,” the troops are seen gathering as much of the information as they could in the short time window that was allocated to them.