Bin Laden, the terror godfather next door: Local children playing in his garden, his own at a nearby school - the charade that let him evade capture for six years
UK Daily Mail May 4, 2011
Details of the comfortable family life Osama Bin Laden enjoyed under the noses of the Pakistani security services emerged last night.
Neighbours’ children were invited into the terror mastermind’s hideout to play with pet rabbits, while his children attended a nearby school.
Even the name of the million-dollar house was a huge clue – it was called ‘Waziristan Mansion’, after the tribal area of mountainous Pakistan where Bin Laden fled in the wake of the 9/11 outrage.
Until he was finally hunted down and killed by U.S. special forces on Sunday, the world’s most wanted man lived in the garrison city of Abbottabad with his various wives for an incredible six years.
Further embarrassment followed yesterday when the BBC interviewed a 12-year-old boy who said he used to visit the building where Bin Laden had died and had met the Al Qaeda leader's family.
'I used to go to their house. He had two wives, one spoke Arabic, and the other one spoke Urdu. They had three children, a girl and two boys. They gave me two rabbits. They had installed a camera at the outer gate so they could see people before they entered the house,' Zarar Ahmed said.
It also emerged today that other local children thought something may be amiss - and regularly made a profit from the presence of the terrorist mastermind.
'If a football went into bin Laden's compound the children would not be allowed to get it,' said local ice cream vendor Tanvir Ahmed.
'They were given money instead; 100-150 rupees ($2-$3) per ball.'
Another youngster, named Daniel Alvi, revealed that he regularly saw a man in a red Suzuki van drive into the compound with a live goat, while the milkman only delivered outside the security gate and never rang the doorbell.
According to locals, the vehicles would travel regularly to the tribal areas where Al Qaeda’s trainers and planners operate….
Two brothers from the compound visited the shops twice a week to buy provisions. Their regular purchases included large quantities of vegetables, fruit, rice, biscuits, jam, honey, ice cream and ice lollies for the children.
Shopkeeper Raja Shuja said yesterday: ‘The brothers were always polite and always asked questions about what was happening locally and whether there had been strange visitors to the area.’
A newspaper hawker described how he delivered newspapers to the compound every day and at the end of each month his bill was promptly paid, always by the same man….
The compound was also close to a local school and at least two other families lived with Bin Laden.
At any one time there were up to 20 children within the compound, some attending the local Iqra religious school.
Another local resident, Sher Mohammed Khan, said his sister went to the house to administer a polio vaccination as part of a government-backed drive.
When she remarked on all the expensive SUVs inside the compound, a man immediately asked her to leave, but not before taking the vaccine to apparently administer to the children inside.
Another doctor was also believed to have made frequent visits to give Bin Laden dialysis for his kidney condition….