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Satellite images appear to reveal CIA's secret bin Laden training ground

Bing.com/maps

A Bing Maps view of the Harvey Point Defense Testing Facility.

In the best-selling book “No Easy Day,” a retired Navy SEAL who was on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden revealed that training for the assault on the al-Qaida leader’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, took place in North Carolina.

Taking that information, the creators of the whistleblowing site Cryptome.org, apparently scoured satellite imagery of CIA facilities in North Carolina.

After putting in the coordinates in Google Maps for the Harvey Point Defense Testing facility, purportedly a CIA training ground, only a clearing in a field was seen.

On Bing Maps, however, Cryptome spotters, spied what looks like an uncompleted mockup of the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad.

Digitalglobe / Reuters file

This DigitalGlobe satellie image, taken June 15, 2005 and obtained on May 3, 2011, shows the compound that Osama bin Laden was killed in on Monday in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

PhotoBlog: Pentagon unveils scale model of bin Laden compound

Cryptome published its findings on its website on Tuesday.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said revelations in the book, written under the pseudonym Mark Owen, could put future operations in jeopardy and suggested that the writer should be punished for writing the best-seller.

Although the Pentagon has said it had dismantled the facility, Cryptome found the imagery on a dated satellite pictures. Satellite imagery is not updated that often, sometimes not for years. 

Farooq Naeem / AFP - Getty Images

U.S. forces found and killed the al-Qaida leader in the affluent Pakistani town of Abbottabad, where he had been living in a large compound.

Cryptome is a website that uses publicly available material to reveal what would otherwise be secret.

The site is run by John Young, a New-York based architect and political activist who was spilling confidential information even before WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange released secret government documents, according to a book review and profile of Young published on the website of Forbes magazine.

NBC News senior investigative producer Robert Windrem contributed to this report.

"No Easy Day," written by a former Navy SEAL who helped take down Osama bin Laden, claims the al-Qaida leader did not defend himself during the raid. The book will become available on Sept. 4, earlier than the anticipated Sept. 11 release date. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski reports.

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