Osama was carrying cash, numbers for get-away: Media reports

Published: May 4, 2011
Osama bin Laden's killing amounts to a "big failure" for Washington, Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Osama bin Laden's killing amounts to a "big failure" for Washington, Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Osama bin Laden's killing amounts to a "big failure" for Washington, Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said. PHOTO: AFP/FILE A Pakistani shepherd herds his goats past the hideout of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US Special Forces in a ground operation early May 2, in Abbottabad on May 4, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

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.

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Reader Comments (44)

  • Dajjal
    May 4, 2011 - 2:27PM

    Instead of blocking off the site, they should do something that will generate revenue and open it up for tourist / public at a small charge. This Building should serve as a Metaphor for Pakistan’s commitment to fighting Terrorism.Recommend

  • AZ
    May 4, 2011 - 2:29PM

    Isn’t it a cry over spilt milk?Recommend

  • Pragmatist
    May 4, 2011 - 2:42PM

    Enough of this drama ! Pakistan is fooling nobody with this charade of arresting innocent people. The place was a ISI safehouse. Now that they have been caught, they’ll do anything to wriggle out of the situation. Recommend

  • ashok sai
    May 4, 2011 - 2:45PM

    Poor fellow the landowner, he might be receiving raw treatment from Pak officials with the suspicion the he might have tipped about OBL hiding to CIA authorities.Recommend

  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    May 4, 2011 - 2:54PM

    Now arresting the landowner and the contractor! Give me a break. What will they get out of this??? What information are they going to get out. ZERO!! When the most wanted person was living here why wasn’t he arrested or killed. What are you trying to prove now???Recommend

  • Rafat Jamal
    May 4, 2011 - 3:35PM

    Strange are the ways of Pakistani intelligence. They do things in odd ways but do get to the roots of things. They are like our Pink Panther.Recommend

  • KM
    May 4, 2011 - 3:44PM

    @ashok sai: You mean RAW treatment???Recommend

  • Rehan kayani
    May 4, 2011 - 4:26PM

    This can be a CIA safe house the way they are working in PAKISTAN or allowed to work any thing is possible.Recommend

  • shaan
    May 4, 2011 - 5:01PM

    make that house a national museum, that will help pakistan in tourism.
    haha,… had enough??Recommend

  • Matt
    May 4, 2011 - 5:27PM

    @Dajjal “This Building should serve as a Metaphor for Pakistan’s commitment to fighting Terrorism.”

    You are joking right?

    Your duplicitous, two-faced military and political leadership has been harbouring these disgusting jihadists for years. Saying Pakistan is committed to fighting terrorism is like saying America is committed to fighting obesity. America is an obese state, just like Pakistan is a terrorist state.Recommend

  • John
    May 4, 2011 - 5:40PM

    @ashok sai: How can he be recieving a RAW treatment from Pak officials? LOL Recommend

  • Dajjal
    May 4, 2011 - 6:02PM

    @ Matt.

    Yes, that was a joke… Doesn’t this whole episode demonstrate Pakistan’s commitment to fighting terrorism? Recommend

  • Nurmomad
    May 4, 2011 - 6:32PM

    @ Matt – The clean shaved, neo-liberal, terrorists of USA are in no way better than the bearded terrorists who defame the name of Islam. Recommend

  • Anoop
    May 4, 2011 - 6:35PM

    What is the use now? Pakistan should just let the CIA collect evidence. Knowing Pakistani capabilities they will probably screw up the evidence(intentionally, of course) and vital evidence might be lost.Recommend

  • Matt
    May 4, 2011 - 7:54PM


    Indeed it does. I imagine that the entire event was discovered after a member of the Pakistani army at the PMA came round to the compound to deliver his newspaper, orange juice and breakfast cereal.


    Certainly Western foreign policy has a lot to answer for, but the culture of blaming America and apologising for jihadists is pathetic. A little more critical introspection would be in order at this time by all Pakistani’s engaged in the debate.Recommend

  • Babloo
    May 4, 2011 - 8:06PM

    US messed up by not taking possession of the building after the raid. All ISI-Incriminating evidense will now be destroyed.Recommend

  • Fareedi
    May 4, 2011 - 8:20PM

    The COAS and chief of ISI must take responsibility and Resign.Recommend

  • Jahanzaib Haque
    May 4, 2011 - 8:21PM

    Dear Hedgefunder and others: Please read our comment moderation policy available here:

    Please note: we delete comments which are –

    Posted with explicit intent to provoke other commenters, writers or staff

    Best regards (Web Editor)Recommend

  • let there be piece
    May 4, 2011 - 8:57PM

    “Metaphor for Pakistan’s commitment to fighting Terrorism.”


  • John
    May 4, 2011 - 9:00PM

    @Jahanzaib Haque:
    “we delete comments which are –Posted with explicit intent to provoke other commenters, writers or staff”

    All writings, speech, and art essentially provoke others. That is the very intent of those creations. If not, they are thrown in garbage.

    ET is employing censorship with this policy, and one can see this after Abbottabad.

    One ET writer wrote “Terrorism is an instrument of War policy” and condoned such actions in opinion column. Does ET want to be a portal for such writings, alone. Why did ET publish such writings? Because it wants to give venue for all opinions. How then readers comments are any different.

    Readers comments are not that bad. Leave them alone, unless they contain filthy language.
    (hope this gets posted)Recommend

  • joy
    May 4, 2011 - 9:04PM

    Enough is enough……..will the real Pakistanis stand up please and reclaim ur landRecommend

  • ghazala
    May 4, 2011 - 9:10PM

    im sorry mr jahanzeb haq , comments of indians are provacative but printed happily in ur paper while our responses are censored for being provocative !! get a proper newspaper policy and a life !! shame on express tribune !!Recommend

  • Cenk Uygur MsnBC
    May 4, 2011 - 9:10PM

    O Come ON Express tribune FOX NEWs Report Of CuuOOORRSSEE they’ll say that the most Biased and Uncredible News channel in the Planet and your Outing them Purrleessss….!!!! and they are thanking GWBushRecommend

  • Khurdra
    May 4, 2011 - 9:26PM

    @Jahanzaib Haque:
    Dear Sir
    You may also keep a strict eye on comments by other anti Pakistan commentators/Indians ( I will not take names…) as they have made it a HYDE PARK to spread hate and despair here..whereas Indian newspapers have so much strict censorship…one can not see any comments printed in Indian newspapers by anyone saying anything against India……double standards by Democratic India…….!!!!!Recommend

  • Omair Shakil
    May 4, 2011 - 9:43PM

    Express Tribune just cost itself quite a few followers by referencing Fox News as a source.

    I mean…seriously?Recommend

  • Mirza
    May 4, 2011 - 10:01PM

    OBL was sure that he would get advance info for any action against him. He could easily be transferred to “a neighbor’s home” or inside garrison in a few minutes. There may even be tunnel under this custom fortress.

    Isn’t is the best thing that we never let Pakistani powers to know the timings and details of the operation? As we say here, the end justifies the means. Cheer up civilized world. Recommend

  • Adnan
    May 4, 2011 - 10:09PM

    @Jahanzaib Haque:
    Ghazala is right, Jahanzeb. I have been amazed at the trash that Indians write in these columns but what is even more astonishing is that the Express Tribune gives them column space. I myself have experienced instances where I have tried to reply to derogatory comments and they have not been published. What is the point of this policy? I can understand and welcome a serious, rational debate but our Indian friends seem incapable of this. They seem to think these columns are for the abuse of Pakistan, its people and its institutions. Why allow it? All it does is lower the tone. Let them write their derogatory comments in their own newspapers which nobody reads because they are so biased in their reporting of Pakistan! I would invite anyone who agrees with me to write to the Editor of the Express Tribune at editorial@tribune.com.pk so that this mis-guided policy is reviewed.Recommend

  • haha
    May 4, 2011 - 10:36PM

    fox reports??? i am not even reading this!! Recommend

  • Fahad Raza
    May 4, 2011 - 11:08PM

    Absolutely….. I think its about time…….to tell the world that Americans were played fool from the word go …. and it took them whole 9 years and 5 months to guess where OBL was so……bad on CIA and good on ISI to keep him undercover for this long…. in the end well its our head of state that pulled the cover. So OBL is gone Its time to just ignore critic and look forward to american exit in about 2 month anti clockwise….Recommend

  • Fahad Raza
    May 4, 2011 - 11:13PM

    @editor Express tribune Iagree with ghazala
    I think its about time you start censoring Indians and let the ET for Pakistanis only. if any felling of patriotism is paying in your paper, nobody is denying self criticism, but i don’t think any Indian blog space would allow even your comment until its pro Indian. Be Pakistani Blog Pakistani Recommend

  • Jahanzaib Haque
    May 4, 2011 - 11:28PM

    We try to give all our commenters as much freedom as possible, as long as debate stays within the limits of our comment moderation policy:
    There are numerous comments that are deleted, but our community is strong and vibrant, so a majority are approved. We are open to criticism, critical thinking and skepticism. Please remember that comments do not necessarily reflect policies of the paper, and the choice to read them is entirely up to you! Thank you all for your feedback. Best regards (Web Editor)Recommend

  • Hamza
    May 5, 2011 - 12:50AM

    There is a lot of lies here. Somebody in the military told me when Afghanistan was invaded. OBL was captured back then and taken into helicopters along with American and Pakistani forces. Everyone knows whos behind terrorisim. its just matter of belling the cat. OBL didnt know who he (OBL) was working for. Ask yourself why did he (OBL) trust his life to two pakistanis. Maybe they (the pakistanis) had done something very great for him (OBL). company.Recommend

  • May 5, 2011 - 1:03AM

    At least one number might lead directly to GHQRecommend

  • james
    May 5, 2011 - 1:07AM

    @fahad, “bad on CIA and good on ISI to keep him undercover for this long…. in the end well its our head of state that pulled the cover” …With this vain jingoism and blatant lie that pakistan army pulled the cover of osama ,you are fooling yourself and your ilk. CIA clearly said they have parallel informants who are pakistanis and not ISI who tipped the courier to the compound by spotting the vehicle last year..CIA kept this secret so guarded that even they used stealth helicopters and radar jamming device to do this covert operations.. Accept the truth .that is the first step to learn ..May be those helicopter pieces left out will give ideas of the material used for stealth aircrafts and pakistan can defend next time in a better way.Recommend

  • May 5, 2011 - 1:43AM

    Hey Guys if you think this drama is true you will believe any thing in this day an age you need proof facts and the rest where is it ? bottom of the sea HA HA HA “I dont believe it”Recommend

  • Malik
    May 5, 2011 - 2:47AM

    “suggesting he was ready to flee his Pakistan compound if alerted to a raid”

    Wow, who could have thought of that! Recommend

  • May 5, 2011 - 4:13AM

    An engineer by education needs “telephone numbers” to be sown on to his clothes! Yes, I will buy that.Recommend

  • Singh
    May 5, 2011 - 4:26AM

    It is time for civil society to take charge of their country as any democatic country. All institution must be under civil control. If this time civil goventment miss a chance to take a control on army & intelligence wing then they can forget having abslute democratic country until next big goof up happen by both army and Intelligence wing. I am writing this as no one want a home in getto. One always want a good & prosperous neighbour so he can have comfort of security.
    For my Indian friend, spewing a venom or taunting will not take you anywhere rather you have more trouble for you. Just like India, not every one in Pakistan is terrorist, they are just like you & me striving for better life. Just like us majority is struggling with life everyday to provide food,shelter & better education for their children.
    In my opinion Pakistan Govt is run by Army & intelligence only, civilian are only scapegoat for their misadventure whether it is Kargil or OBL.Recommend

  • Tariq
    May 5, 2011 - 7:33AM

    What an army, either they are incompetent or support terrorists, in either case what a shame that while people have no electric power all the money is spent on the Army for what a bunch of incompent or terrorist supporters.Recommend

  • Uzi Khan
    May 5, 2011 - 8:21AM

    @ matt.. Pakistan is not a terroist state, yes, the entire episode is quite disturbing and needs a lot of explanation. Even if some were collaborators of this episode, this does not represent even 1% of Pakistan. West decides always who stays and rules this country, what about Parvez Musharraf, if OBL was moving about for past 5 years atleast, then who more is responsible then Mr. PM for an explanation, but he is considered an expert on the fight against terrorism, he travels to all the prestigious universities of US to deliver speeches but he is being protected by the West. He is a wanted at home, his arrest warrents have been issued but UK wouldn’t hand him over….Why? The people of Pakistan are really more worried where thier next meal will come from. They are not using the US aid, they work hard to earn thier living and they are not terroists, they ar ethe one who have lost thier loved ones, thier sole bread earners of the family in this blind fight against terror. You just had one 9/11, we have it 24/7.365.Recommend

  • Uzi Khan
    May 5, 2011 - 10:35AM

    @Jahanzaib Haque:
    I posted my views on the issue that is being discussed here, most probably it didn’t match with your opinion and it was not published here. ET shoud have the courage to let expression flow, rather then curtailing it. I fail to understand your policies as it seems quite hypocratic. In my quest to understand I visited the ET’s comment policy, but couldn’t get an answer. Could you please explain What is this dual policy your paper is following? and who are you trying to protect?


  • Pragmatist
    May 5, 2011 - 11:39AM

    The real “drama” was enacted by your military and the ISI with the so-called “military operations” for which they billed billions of dollars. No such operation EVER took place. No wonder the Pakistani military refused to allow any independent confirmation of their “kills” and “casualties”. LOL !! But the game’s up. From now you’ll have to work hard for every dollar.Recommend

  • May 6, 2011 - 7:15PM

    I just think its really very sad but funny too that there is actually only one truth in this whole thing, and yet look at all the differing versions claiming to know the real story, silly boys. Osama is dead thank god.Recommend

  • Ayesha
    May 6, 2011 - 9:38PM

    Its a complete drama and nothing else.Osama died in 2001.Recommend

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