"We have a visual on Geronimo," CIA director Leon Panetta told President Obama and his advisors, according to The New York Times.
He was using the the code name assigned to Osama bin Laden while narrating the May 2 U.S.-led operation that killed the al Qaeda leader.
The code name Geronimo had apparently been chosen for bin Laden because, like the Native American chief, he had managed to evade capture for years and was apparently able to vanish into thin air.
In Geronimo's case his ability to stay on the run gave rise to legends that he was able to walk without leaving any tracks, and that he could survive being shot.
American intelligence organizations have assigned code names for high-profile individuals for years, not only for fugitives, but also for foreign heads of state, journalists and politicians.
Check out the slideshow below to see code names the CIA has given other historical figures.
Geronimo was the code name for Osama bin Laden, the former al Qaeda leader who was killed in a U.S. operation in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011.
Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, best known for lying about working on Iraq's biological weapons program, was given the code name "Curveball" by the CIA.
"AMTHUG" was the code name the CIA gave Fidel Castro, the Cuban political leader, during the Cold War.
The CIA assigned the code name "GPFLOOR" to Lee Harvey Oswald, the man believed to have assassinated President John F. Kennedy.
The CIA gave Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the Argentine doctor turned revolutionary, the code name "AMQUACK."