Bin Laden’s Life in Abbottabad Revealed

    Pakistani security personnel measure a wall outside the hideout house of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following his death by US Special Forces in a ground operation in Abbottabad on May 3, 2011. The bullet-riddled Pakistani villa that hid Osama bin Laden from the world was put under police control, as media sought to glimpse the debris left by the US raid that killed him. Bin Laden's hideout had been kept under tight army control after the dramatic raid by US special forces late May 1 in the affluent suburbs of Abbottabad, a garrison city 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Islamabad. AFP PHOTO/ AAMIR QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

    Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty

    Osama bin Laden kept his identity so secret when living in his Abbottabad compound, according to a Pakistan government report obtained by Al Jazeera, that the families of bin Laden’s assistants didn’t realize who they were living with until years later, when one of them saw his picture on television. The report details some of the extreme measures bin Laden took to stay hidden, including installing multiple utility meters so utilities wouldn’t notice unusual activity, waiting for an earthquake to build an additional floor under the guise of repairs, and wearing a cowboy hat whenever he moved about the house. Still, the report finds that bin Laden was able to hide either because he was extremely lucky or because “there was a complete collapse of local governance.”

    Read it at Al Jazeera