Bin Laden’s neighbours noticed unusual things
Abbottabad: When a woman involved in a polio vaccine drive turned up at Osama bin Laden’s hideaway, she remarked to the men behind the high walls about the expensive SUVs parked inside. The men took the vaccine, apparently to administer to the 23 children at the compound, and told her to go away.
The terror chief and his family kept well hidden behind thick walls in this northwestern hill town they shared with thousands of Pakistani soldiers. But glimpses of their life are emerging - along with deep skepticism that authorities didn't know they were there.
This undated artist rendering handout provided by the CIA shows the Abbottabad compound in Pakistan where American forces in Pakistan killed Osama bin Laden. AP
Although the house is large, it was unclear how three dozen people could have lived there with any degree of comfort.
Neighbors said they knew little about those inside in the compound but bin Laden apparently depended on two men who would routinely emerge to run errands or to a neighborhood gathering, such as a funeral. There were conflicting details about the men's identities. Several people said they were known as Tariq and Arshad Khan and had identified themselves as cousins from elsewhere in northwestern Pakistan. Others gave different names and believed they were brothers.
Arshad was the oldest, and both spoke multiple languages, including Pashto and Urdu, which are common here, residents said.
As Navy SEALs swept through the compound early Monday, they handcuffed those they encountered with plastic zip ties and pressed on in pursuit of bin Laden. After killing the terror leader, his son and two others, they doubled back to move nine women and 23 children away from the compound, according to US officials.