Huffpost UK

Osama Bin Laden: 10 Things We Found Out

Posted: Updated:
The famous photo of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton watching the raid in real-time
The famous photo of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton watching the raid in real-time

The death of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden brought to an end one of the longest, most high-profile manhunts of all-time.

One year ago today, the infamous terrorist was killed in an American special forces operation in Pakistan. While some hazy details about the raid that killed Bin Laden remain unclear, such as how long he was hiding in the town of Abbottabad and who knew he was there, we learned plenty about the former most wanted man in the world.

Bin Laden had money and emergency phones numbers sewn into his clothes

As a man on the run for a whole decade, the Al Qaeda leader would have been prepared for a quick escape. When his compound was attacked by American special forces, he was found to have around 500 Euros and two phone numbers stitched into his clothing.

Then CIA Director Leon Panetta believed that the leader had contingency plans in case he was found, believing that his network would be able to give him notice should an attempt to kill him arise.

While the plan was to kill Bin Laden, the SEAL unit were prepared to capture the terrorist

In an interview with Brian Williams of NBC News, Panetta said that the plan for the SEAL operation was to kill Bin Laden but that secondary plans were made would he have surrendered. "As part of their rules of engagement, if he suddenly put up his hands and offered to be captured then they would have the opportunity to capture him but that opportunity never developed."

Bin Laden's compound kept kids' cricket balls

If you are trying to inconspicuously hide out in the middle of hostile territory, it is understandable that you wouldn't really openly socialise with the town's children as a friendly neighbour. However, that the residents of the compound chose not to return footballs and cricket balls mistakenly knocked over the walls seems cruel.

Above: Children play near the compound, which has now been demolished

Bin Laden's compound kept vending machines filled with Coke and Pepsi

Again, it would have been unwise for the world's most wanted man to wander down to the local shop to pick up a can of Coke but it was drastic to keep fully-stocked vending machines within his house.

His three wives were accused of being terrorists too

Tied to one of the most important and wealthiest families in Saudi Arabia, Osama Bin Laden kept powerful company. His three wives, one Yemeni and two Saudis, were accused of being involved in terrorist acts, but were later cleared and allowed to stay in Saudi Arabia.

Abbottabad, where Osama hid, was home to a premier Pakistan military academy

The pride of the Pakistani army have graduated from the Abbottabad military academy. It seems odd, then, that the city known as a military garrison was chosen by Bin Laden as his hideout. Hiding in plain sight, perhaps?

Above: Inside the compound, where Osama hid from the world

The compound burned their waste rather than leave it out for collection

Another safety measure, presumably the compound didn't want any incriminating evidence of who was stowed away in the building to end up in the wrong hands. Still, you would have thought the smell of burning rubbish would have alarmed someone?

Despite the military, Abbottabad looks like a nice hideout spot

The Huffington Post's Richard Eskow wrote last year about Abbottabad and found a number of details about the town that gave away why Bin Laden may have chosen to stay there. It has its own airport, parks and golf course, although it's unclear if Bin Laden ever wandered around town.

High-strength marijuana plants were found near the complex

Osama Bin Laden was known to have need dialysis treatments, which the drug may have helped with. Alternatively, the Daily Mail wrote that Pakistan makes $4bn through illegal drugs trade and trafficking.

Consultant Sohaib Athar accidentally live-tweeted the operation

Programmer and consultant Sohaib Athar began by reporting what sounded like helicopters over his home near Abbottabad, which soon transpired to be the incoming SEAL Team Six. "Helicopter hovering over Abbottbad at 1am," he first wrote, before going to accidentally tell the story from the ground. You can read through all of Sohaib's tweets in the slideshow below.

Close
Sohaib Ahtar Live-Tweets Osama Raid
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide