More Details on bin Laden's Compound


Foreign Policy offers a number of details on the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan where Osama bin Laden met his end:

The compound was 8 times larger than the other homes around it. It was built in 2005 in an area that was secluded at that time. There were extraordinary security measures at the compound, including 12 to 18 foot walls topped with barbed wire.

There were other suspicious indicators at the compound. Internal sections were walled off from the rest of the compound. There were two security gates. The residents burned their trash. The main building had few windows.

The compound, despite being worth over $1 million, had no telephone or internet service. There's no way the courier and his brother could have afforded it, the official said.

"Intelligence officials concluded that this compound was custom built to hide someone of significance," the official said, adding that the size and makeup of one of the families living there matched the suspected makeup of bin Laden's entourage.

NEXT: Reaction to Bin Laden's Death

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  1. It was either hiding bin Laden or Paul Reiser’s humor. (Too soon?)

    1. Osama has already signed to be a new spokesman for a new fresh fish food brand

      1. Bin Laying In The Sea

        1. Only 2? Bitch, even Bin gets a 72!

          1. fish are promiscous whores. you couldn’t find 2 virgins in the mix.

            1. I really don’t want to know how you would know that 🙁

          2. [to bin Laden]: No, I’m pretty pretty sure I said 72 STURGEON. Sorry if you didn’t hear me right.

            1. Ya but they weren’t virgins!

              1. but the good news is they smelled like my wives

      2. “Osama sleeps with the fishes”

        1. “Osama sleeps with the 72 fishes”

          1. By now he’s got crabs.

    2. (Too soon?)


      1. don’t be such a pussy

      2. Too soon? When was Paul Reiser ever funny?

        1. Aliens.

        2. Thank you. I never got why anyone thought Mad About You was the slightest bit funny

  2. Note that this article and the New York Times article says that the leads originated more than four years ago from detainees (and the NYT says definitely that they were detainees at Guantanamo Bay.)

    Of course, the idea that the US government was torturing all of them and even that you can’t get useful information by interrogating people harshly and through torture was never correct. There are other reasons to oppose it.

    1. Hell of a tip to follow up on 4 years later. I imagine it was hard to distinguish the comment of “Osama lives at 222 Douchebag st” from various stuttering comments about how he killed president kennedy and shot JR. He also admitted to raping several goats and cursing his mother when he was 13.

      1. They were following up on the tip the entire time. It took a while to scan through all intelligence to match a codename to a real name, and then a long amount of time to scan through intelligence for mentions of a name to narrow down where someone is living. A lot of that is needle in a haystack work.

        As the article and others mention, the courier in question was a top assistant of KSM and al Libi, two of the handful of guys that we waterboarded, and appeared to be their top go-between with Osama Bin Laden.

        Given the organizational structure of terrorist cells, it’s not unreasonable to suppose that we learned that piece of intelligence from those two, possibly through waterboarding.

        1. Not unreasonable to assume and also not unreasonable to assume that we got nothing or a whole bunch of dead ends from either of those two. You don’t know and you’re just assuming that the tactics worked. You also don’t know how much time we wasted chase waterboarded information that led nowhere. So we’re back where we started. Me at saying waterboarding is a psychologically useless process of getting information you don’t already know out of people and you at saying “nu uh, it could have happened”

      2. Al Quada had very good information compartmentalization. The detainees only knew the carrier’s code name. They didn’t know who he was or where he lived. It took for years to match the code name to a real person. Then it turned out the real person and his brother had this huge compound but no known source of income.

        1. not very efficient of them. if somebody told me if I psychologically wreck someone, I may get some possible information that after years of investigative work may possibly pay off in piecing together a puzzle of where osama lived, I don’t think I could live with myself.

          1. Well, many of them are in the armed forces, and are okay with killing people in exchange for possibly transient or nonexistent military goals, so I’m don’t see how psychologically wrecking KSM or al-Libbi is worse than that.

          2. If that person I wrecked was some scumbag jhihadist, I would sleep like a baby.

            1. your world is very dichotomous.

  3. OK, so now that he is dead, can The US start dealing with its own problems for a change?


    1. Ahahahahahahaha!!!!!

      1. Seriously, man, didn’t you hear? We killed the Boogeyman! Let’s celebrate with HIGH SPEED RAIL for EVERYONE!

    2. No, in fact this is already being used by justify higher airport security, etc. in the short term, because of the possibility of revenge attacks.

  4. In retrospect, the monthly supply of oxygen bottles and colostamy bags makes the whole thing seem so obvious, assuming hugh hefner hadn’t moved.

  5. at least he got to see the royal wedding.

    1. LOL. How do you think they caught him? RSVP is a bitch

  6. Featuring the mansion on MTV’s Cribs was probably a bad idea too.

  7. “I’m shocked! SHOCKED, I tell you, to discover that guy living two streets down from me all this time. I looked everywhere for him.”

    1. He seemed like such a nice, quiet Sheikh. Loaned me his golden AK several times.

  8. Progressives 1
    Teabaggers 0

    1. Are you kidding me?

    2. Did the daily Kos find the guy? Is the tea party actively working for Bin Ladin and I just miss it?

      1. For future reference John, here is the Handy-Dandy SFC B Guide to “Osama is Dead” Partisan Comments.

        If a person from the Team Blue camp is gloating the proper response is “9-11 wouldn’t have happened if Clinton had taken Sudan’s offer to turn OBL over.”

        1. but THAT wouldn’t have been possible if Reagan hadn’t invented Bin Laden.

          check and mate.

          1. which wouldn’t have needed to happen if Truman hadn’t halted the advance of Patton through Russia. I believe that’s match.

            1. b-b-but.. but.. Charlemagne!

              1. Ceasar!

                I’ll take this all the way back to protein A vs. protein B bitch.

                1. pfft. I’ll take this all the way to the Big Bang.

                  EPIC DEBATE.

                  1. #End

                2. And nobody fucking mentioned Alexander, the last conqueror of Afghanistan?

                  1. you mean the last person to take out the trash….badumpush!!

            2. schizos confuse imagination & reality

            3. Well that war wouldn’t have happened if you-know-who hadn’t risen to power in Germany.

              1. too late Bingo, too late

                1. Man, what the hell I was hoping we could at least work back to Helen of Troy, or, even better, God.

                  1. Sorry, Professor Falken. Our game of Global Thermonuclear Debate went too fast, parts were skipped for the sake of efficiency.

                    The only winning move is NOT TO PLAY.

              2. Bismark?

          2. Reagan didn’t invent Bin Laden. We didn’t ‘create’ Bin Laden.

          3. Excuse me! I started the policy of funding the Mujahadeeen.

            1. I thought Tom Hanks did that.

  9. The official press briefing is here, and you can see how they mention “detainees in the post 9/11 period” giving information, and the painstaking assembly of information from multiple sources over many years to narrow this guy down.

    1. I’m sure it was painstaking. After all, even if it was a tip from a chinese takeout boy in Islamabad, they couldn’t admit that. Otherwise they’d just be admitting to screwing up for the better part of a decade. No, better it be a painstaking process led by “top men”.

      1. Just like even if Obama were born in Kenya, he wouldn’t admit it, and they’d just fake a birth certificate, right?

        Personally, I feel that it’s fairly unlikely that the Obama White House in an official press release would give so much credit to Bush-era detainee interrogations if they were making up a story.

        If it were really a tip from a takeout boy, why not make up a story that gives a lot more credit to decisions 2009 and later, saying that the investigation started then?

        1. The fundamental debate wass whether torture should be allowable in “ticking bomb” scenarios.

          Lots of people, myself included, said that the rational for torture was bullshit, because the real value is in long-term interogation to string together seemingly unrelated datapoints to discover what you really want to know.

  10. There was also the guy in Pakistan who unknowingly live tweeted the operation.

    1. I just like that his idea of going there for peace and quiet completely back fired and he knows it. 13,000 followers and counting + 1000’s of emails.
      He lost the game.

    2. This is, by far, the best thing to come out of this. The guy is like a Pakistani version of Eeyore, he’s hilarious.

    3. Golden! xD

    4. “There goes the neighborhood” hahahahahaa

  11. But did he have Boris Valejo and Rowena Morill paintings like Hussein did?

    1. I admit that was the first thing I thought about when I realized they had helmet cams. The second thought? Is tackier than Donald Trump?

  12. I informed a friend of OBL’s death and he said, “What, did they find him dead?” I said, “With a democrat in the White House you would think so, wouldn’t you? But no, Obama got him.” And this friend is a dem himself. No faith.

    1. I assumed that they’d finished the forensic analysis of the bomb out remains of an accidental wedding bombing and were like “Wooooooo, I told you meant to do this.”

  13. Christopher Hitchens:

    There are several pleasant little towns like Abbottabad in Pakistan, strung out along the roads that lead toward the mountains from Rawalpindi (the garrison town of Pakistani’s military brass and, until 2003, a safe-house for Khalid Sheik Muhammed). Muzaffarabad, Abbottabad ? cool in summer and winter, with majestic views and discreet amenities. The colonial British?like Maj. James Abbott, who gave his name to this one?called them “hill stations,” designed for the rest and recreation of commissioned officers. The charming idea, like the location itself, survives among the Pakistani officer corps. If you tell me that you are staying in a rather nice walled compound in Abbottabad, I can tell you in return that you are the honored guest of a military establishment that annually consumes several billion dollars of American aid. It’s the sheer blatancy of it that catches the breath

  14. psychotics confuse their imagnation w reality

  15. I’m disappointed only because I had long ago predicted that he was, in fact, hiding in the U.S. Specifically, in the Cinderella Castle at Disney World, but that’s just a detail.

    1. I figured he would be in the It’s A Small World exhibit.

    2. Didn’t they have him at a throw the pie at Osama booth? I remember someone saying how much that guy looked like the real thing.

  16. Have the Pakistanis stormed and looted the US embassy yet?

  17. Great job. Too bad it’s a hollow victory, if a victory at all. The war against OBL will now be the war against those who want revenge. The war will continue, our rights will still suffer. The TSA will still do virtual strip searches, and crotch grabs (except TX, maybe).

    1. we have always been at war with Oceana

    2. I would not want to be the vagina of a former Miss Universe that has to do any air travel now that we’ll be on super duper heightened alert.

  18. I kind of like the fact that he walled himself into the compound, and was trapped once the SEAL team was inside the walls with him. Something . . . poetic, there.

    I’m a little mystified by this:

    The compound, despite being worth over $1 million, had no telephone or internet service. There’s no way the courier and his brother could have afforded it, the official said.

    Bad writing, I know, but it seems to be saying that the nominal owner couldn’t afford internet service in his million dollar compound. Whut?

    There is, of course, no way on God’s Allah’s green earth the Pakis didn’t know he was there. I guess we needed to raid to get proof he was dead, but as soon as the team was out, I would popped the compound with a big old JDAM.

    1. What do you mean the US has helicopters and fast-ropers?

    2. I don’t think they meant “afforded” in the financial sense. I think they couldn’t afford the RISK of being bugged.

    3. The compound, despite being worth over $1 million, had no telephone or internet service. There’s no way the courier and his brother could have afforded it, the official said.

      Sloppy writing, sloppy editing, & sloppy thinking.

      The first point is that this million dollar estate had no wired connectivity, and they burned all their trash. So this was clearly about security.

      The second point is that the “apparent” owners could not have afforded the walled compound. So they were fronting for someone that wanted to hide their presence.

      The conclusion is that some high-profile target was their.

      1. And I fucked up the final “there”.

      2. burning garbage is not unusual. Neither are extreme security measures but the lack of communications on the estate would be unexpected

        1. read the fucking article

          All the neighbors set out their trash for pick up. The compound in question was different.

          1. I’m aware of that but it is common on a big estate to have staff take care of maintenance.

            Garbage pick-up is not similar to the US, and it is likely scavenged for profit.

    4. They’re not saying that they couldn’t afford it, they’re saying that they obviously could afford it but chose not to get it, and that was suspicious.

      Perhaps all those stories overestimating our wiretapping capabilities convinced them to not have outside connectivity?

      1. Couldn’t afford in the sense of afraid of wiretapping. Agree on the poor wording.

      2. Actually, I’m with kinnath. The pronoun refers to the subject of the previous sentence, not the objects. But that is not readily apparent.

        1. Correct “it” in the second sentence == “compound” in the first.

      3. Yet, they mentioned computers were seized. Unless the press were mistaken

    5. Yeah that is poorly worded. I think it means that the courier and his brother could not have afforded the compound. The lack of telephone and internet is probably for security purposes rather than for lack of funds. I think the point is that the lack of phone and internet, together with the other security measures (barbed wire, etc.), was an indicator that a high-value terrorist might live at the compound.

    6. Bad writing, I know, but it seems to be saying that the nominal owner couldn’t afford internet service in his million dollar compound. Whut?

      I think it implies that a house that couldn’t be afforded by the occupant and has no internet service is harboring terrorists.

      My mom doesn’t have internet service. And her cat that lives inside cannot afford the house. Therefore, my mom’s cat is a terrorist!

      1. All cats are.

    7. The compound, despite being worth over $1 million, had no telephone or internet service.

      Who the fuck uses land lines anymore?

      This isn’t bad writing, it’s stupidity masking as “intel”.

      1. For internet access? Lots of poeple.

      2. Given that is was an “affluent” neighborhood, I’m sure a lot people there would prefer the more reliable land-line.

  19. Wait a minnit.

    Bin Laden is dead AGAIN??

    Didn’t we kill him before and then we got a bunch of fake tapes several months later, like “Bin Laden’s Greatest Hits” or something?” And then we heard NOTHING for years.

    Color me skeptical that we killed him in the last day or two. How many future presidents are going to take credit for killing bin Laden?


  20. The compound, despite being worth over $1 million, had no telephone or internet service. There’s no way the courier and his brother could have afforded it, the official said.

    Is this valuation coming from the NAR or from county tax records?

  21. So how did we know the compound didn’t have wired connectivity? Did Verizon and ATT give out their billing records?

    1. Confidentiality is one of the most important features of our preferred accounts.

    2. They asked Osama what his phone number was, he was all, “I don’t have a phone.”

  22. So much for the idea that he was living in a cave somewhere all these years. At least we have elite intelligence services that only take six years to figure out that a secluded mansion with 18 foot walls and no internet or TV service is hiding someone.

    1. Right, the faster approach would have been to simply bomb every secluded mansion with 18′ walls and no internet or TV service [sic]. Because, you know, they’re “hiding someone”.

  23. I heard one of the guys killed in Osama’s compound was Nicole Brown’s killer.

    1. O.J. was a terrorist, too? How far he has fallen.

      1. The only way you could hit OJ with a bomb is to drop it on a golf course.

  24. Best reaction I’ve seen so far on the net:

    Hide and Seek World Champion: (9/11/01-5/01/11)

    And it was on foreignpolicy.com??

  25. Anyone notice that the google maps picture of the compound on CNN’s page is markedly different from the google maps picture on Huffington Post?

    1. Yes. Even odder, bin Laden named it “Compound W.”

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