Friday 22 November 2019

Bin Laden spent final weeks indoors after 'security lapse'

Rob Crilly Islamabad

Osama Bin Laden retreated behind closed doors, refusing to set foot even in the courtyard of his hideaway in the final weeks before he died because of a security lapse, according to the official Pakistani inquiry on the al-Qa'ida leader.

An independent commission has spent the past year and a half questioning military officers, Bin Laden's wives and residents of Abbottabad. A senior government official confirmed that no one else in the town knew the world's most wanted man had taken up residence there.

It clears Pakistan's government and military establishment of involvement.

The investigation describes how the daughter of one of his couriers saw the al-Qa'ida leader as she climbed the stairs in his private area for a Koran lesson.

According to the Pakistani source, she was oblivious to his identity until she saw his picture on television days later.

This prompted a hurried security conference inside the compound, which ended with Bin Laden giving up his exercise routine in the courtyard.

The children were kept well away from him, to prevent his identity leaking out.

Bin Laden was killed by a team of US Navy Seals in May last year. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

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