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Compound gives up bin Laden

By Marcie Geffner ·
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Posted: 10 am ET

Follow the real estate.

That's a liberal misappropriation of the usual cliched instruction that investigators should "follow the money." But it's nonetheless an apt idea in light of the fact that at the end of a 10-year manhunt, it was Osama bin Laden's $1 million house that gave him away.

Authorities found out that bin Laden was living in "a large home" within a "secured compound in an affluent suburb" of Islamabad, Pakistan, called Abbottabad, a town about 35 miles north of the city, according to a transcript of a midnight White House press conference with unidentified senior officials.

The compound first attracted the attention of U.S. intelligence agencies because one of bin Laden's personal couriers and his brother were discovered to be operating in the local area. It then took some time to find out their specific place of residence.

"When we saw the compound where the brothers lived, we were shocked by what we saw -- an extraordinarily unique compound," an official said. "The compound sits on a large plot of land in an area that was relatively secluded when it was built. It is roughly eight times larger than the other homes in the area."

Built in 2005, the compound has 12- to 18-foot walls topped with barbed wire and internal walls that section off different portions to provide extra privacy. Access is restricted by two security gates. The main structure is a three-story building with few windows facing the outside world. A third-floor terrace has a seven-foot privacy wall. All that, but no wired telephone or Internet service.

"Intelligence analysts concluded that this compound was custom-built to hide someone of significance ... the location and the design (were) perfectly consistent with what our experts expected bin Laden’s hideout to look like," an official said.

That's an impressive piece of property, not all like the dank cave or spartan tent so often associated with a typical terrorist's residence.

An irreverent wit might wonder whether bin Laden paid cash or took out a mortgage.

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Purnell Meagre
June 20, 2011 at 10:21 am

About five years ago I emailed the CIA with the theory that they should look for a place with a lot of people where there would ordinarily be a lot of internet of cell phone traffic - Now I guess I've just got to wait til they get around to cutting me that 25 million dollar check.

June 20, 2011 at 8:29 am

I've been living in the woods for over 7 years now without ANY RENT or UTILITIES, so on a scale of 1 to 10, how stupid am I??????????

June 20, 2011 at 8:26 am

The dumbest thing that most people THINK I did was what I have been doing for a few decades.

I went walking across the U.S. 10 times taking the gospel of Christ to the poor and suffering as Christ did in Matthew 11:5 & Luke 4:18. Ain't that STUPID' to U?

When I reached a city after my journey, I started feeding the homeless when I only came to this city in 2004 with less than $5.00 in my pocket but parably speaking I had a basket of left over fish and bread that was about 2,000 years old. Ain't that 'STUPID' to U?

I fed OVER 50,000 meals to the homeless and got up before daylight and took coffee, food, coats, gloves, etc. to the homeless across the street from a CRAFTED TEMPLE. Don't U think God is 'STUPID' for saying in Acts 7:47-48 & 17:24 that He don't live in TEMPLES CRAFTED by hands of man?? I was told that God inspired His words totally 'OUT OF CONTEXT' and religions R smarter than God so they think. Ain't we 'STUPID' or 'WHAT'??


June 19, 2011 at 9:44 pm

think about it he is a wealth of information im sure if we had the chance to take him alive we did it just makes sense everyone thinks hes dead so know one is looking if hes people assume he is dead the might continue with any plans they had in the works and our boys at gitmo can get that info out. if i were part of that team going to get him keeping him alive would have been a top priority from an intelligence stand point it makes the most sense to keep him alive and debrief him as a dead man tells no tales.

June 15, 2011 at 2:32 pm

"Intelligence analysts concluded that this compound was custom-built to hide someone of significance ... the location and the design (were) perfectly consistent with what our experts expected bin Laden’s hideout to look like," an official said.

Interesting! Revisionist Intelligence? None of the pix I saw of the compound looked anything at all like a cave in Bora Bora.

It doesn't take much to coax the conspiracy theorists out of the shadows. UBL's wives think we killed him. The Pakistani gov thinks we killed him. The Taliban & Al Qaida think we killed him. But, if that's not good enough for you; DEVGRU thinks they killed him and I'd take their word over all the others, any day of the week. HOO-YA!!!!!!!!!!!!!