How US agents will exploit left overs from Bin Laden raid
Forty minutes of violence in Abbottabad brought the secret war between US counter-terrorist forces and militant Islam briefly and explosively into view.
But now the conflict returns to the shadows. The direction of travel, as the players exited the public stage tells us quite a bit about the next moves in this campaign.
In the first place there is the question of "sensitive site exploitation", as the experts call it. What exactly, or who was removed from the compound? Along with the door kickers or assault team of US Navy Seals, there would have been military and CIA people tasked with picking up anything of interest they could find as the gun fire ebbed.
Papers, mobile phones, computers, memory devices, and even the "pocket litter" of those found inside the house will all have been swept up.
When the Americans swooped on the rubble of the bombed house where they had run Abu Musab al Zarqawi to ground in June 2006, the sensitive site exploitation triggered dozens of additional raids.
In recent years, the CIA has become practised at entering the ruins of houses hit by its drones in order to sweep them for information. It has used its own Pakistani surveillance team as well as Americans to perform these searches, often working with very little time.
Might Monday's haul lead the Americans to Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's deputy? It is highly likely that the two men were in some sort of contact, although they would have been extremely careful about it.
People in Inter-Services Intelligence - the ISI or Pakistani military intelligence - have told a BBC colleague that the Americans took one living person away from the compound on their helicopters.
They speculated that this might be a surviving Bin Laden son. If true, this capture could itself prove of major importance.
Of course, as the US seeks to capitalise on the intelligence finds from its raid, the question of Pakistani co-operation and access will loom all the more important.
Those who know the secret world suggest that while politicians may not chose to make too much of an issue of possible ISI knowledge of who was resident in Abbottabad, the spooks are likely to use the suspicion of possible complicity or incompetence by the Pakistani agency as a way of keeping the pressure up on them to help.
In truth, the Pakistanis have had to live with the fact that the CIA has gained considerable power to operate independently in their country.
After the arrest earlier this year of CIA contractor Raymond Davis in Lahore, after he allegedly shot dead two men, the Pakistani authorities had tried to limit the agency's freedom of action.
However, as the Bin Laden raid showed, the CIA retained considerable autonomy. Its personnel, contractors, and Afghan auxiliaries operating in Pakistan and the Afghan border region may amount to thousands.
It operates the Reaper drones used to hit militants in the Tribal Areas from Pakistani air bases, and its air wing moves its people around the region independently of the US military or any government.
The most likely explanation for how the American helicopter assault force reportedly refuelled at a Pakistani air base on way to its target is simple that movements of US aircraft in the night across Pakistan have become so commonplace that procedures are in places to prevent this causing incidents.
So as the CIA and ISI survey the scene, their mutual suspicion has, if anything been reinforced. The Americans have the advantage for the time being, but few in Pakistan will have relished what happened in Abbottabad, and the friction caused may prove to be the biggest obstacle to exploiting the leads gained in the raid.