ABBOTTABAD: Osama bin Laden was carrying a wad of cash and two telephone numbers at the time he was killed, suggesting he was ready to flee his Pakistan compound if alerted to a raid, Fox News reported on Wednesday.
CIA Director Leon Panetta provided these new details during a briefing with congressional lawmakers. A senior US official with knowledge of the briefing confirmed that bin Laden had 500 euros and numbers sewn into his clothes. The rudimentary getaway plan suggested bin Laden thought, in the event of military forces closing in, he might be tipped off in time to escape.
Several other details from the raid support the narrative that bin Laden felt a certain sense of security in his walled compound in northern Pakistan — there were no guards on site, and he was unarmed when the CIA-led Navy SEALs team dropped in Sunday to capture or kill him.
Osama hideout landowner arrested
Authorities arrested the owner of the piece of land in Abbottabad upon which the Osama bin Laden hideout compound was constructed.
The contractor who was identified as Gul Madah, belongs to Batagram.
According to Express 24/7 correspondent Sohail Chaudhry, authorities took him into custody from an area in the Abbottabad suburbs called Jharian. Sources said Madah purchased the land in 2004. He was then shifted to an unknown location for interrogation.
Authorities believe Madah can help arrest other important al Qaeda leaders.
Material recovered from OBL’s compound
The US authorities said on Wednesday that the documents recovered from Bin Laden’s compound will be useful in eliminating the al Qaeda network.
According to authorities, US forces found 10 hard drives, five computers and more than 100 devices during a search of Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad.
The documents found in Osama’s compound are expected to reach the CIA headquarters soon.
According to media reports, the US forces completed this operation in two phases.
The reports also suggest that Bin Laden’s son Ibrahim was killed during this operation while two of his daughters and several employees were arrested and shifted to undisclosed locations.
Around 15 to 18 people were present in the compound at the time of the operation including two employees, Arshad and Tariq, who used to do all the shopping for the Bin Laden family.
Police seal off area around Bin Laden home
Police also stepped up security in the neighbourhood where Bin Laden was killed by US commandos, sealing off the area after crowds had flocked to his one-time villa home.
Police early Wednesday closed the Bilal suburb of the relatively well-off garrison town of Abbottabad to media and public, where the al Qaeda chief had been living in secrecy in a compound surrounded by towering outer walls.
“More than 300 armed policemen have been deployed at the entry points, as well as in the town and close to the house, for security reasons,” a local police official said on condition of anonymity, without giving further details.
Just over a dozen army troops were also seen moving into the area and standing guard in front of the house.
Local residents returning to their houses were being body-searched and their ID cards checked, with some labourers prevented from going to work in the area, an AFP reporter said.