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For rent: Bin Laden's hideout available for just €180 a month

For rent: Three-bedroom villa with sun terrace and spacious basement once used by the world's most wanted man.

The house reputedly used by Osama bin Laden in 2003 is now available to rent for €180 per month.

Painstaking research by intelligence officers has identified the house where Osama bin Laden first hid after fleeing into Pakistan eight years ago.

The two-storey villa in the bustling town of Haripur, just over 20 miles north of Islamabad, is a missing link in the story of how Bin Laden, his three wives, children and grandchildren eventually arrived in the town of Abbottabad, where they were discovered last year.

Umar Hayat, a neighbour, said he was shocked. He remembered two brothers living in the house, members of the Pashtun tribe from the north-west of the country.

"I am astonished. This is new to me," he said. "But when I think about it I remember there were Pathans living there at one time, and they kept their gate shut which was unusual."

Bin Laden, the world's most wanted man, was killed by US Navy Seals in Abbottabad on May 2 last year. He was traced when his courier made a call to a telephone that was under surveillance, leading the CIA to the house where he had hidden "in plain sight" for six years.

Research by Brigadier Shaukat Qadir, who interviewed Pakistani intelligence officers and an al-Qa'ida leader, suggests that the courier and his brother were the two Pashtun men who rented the house in Haripur as they waited for their bespoke home in nearby Abbottabad to be built.

"It's not very secluded but at this time he must have thought no one was looking for him in this sort of area. Anyway it was only temporary and after seven or eight months they moved on," he said.

They paid about €120 a month for the house, according to its owner, Qasi Anis Ur-Rehman. He said Save the Children rented it after the Pashtun brothers left. The house stands empty today and is back on the market for about €180 a month.

Movements

Inside its high walls, an overgrown lawn is edged by rose bushes with bright pink blooms.

A stout wooden door opens into a spacious family room. Beyond it a kitchen has been stripped of appliances. Cobwebs hang from ceiling fans in a downstairs bedroom and a dining room.

Three airy bedrooms and a split-level terrace, half surrounded by a wall to protect the privacy of residents, fill the second floor.

Brigadier Qadir said he had been taken to the house by security officials investigating Bin Laden's movements through Pakistan. He has pieced together the family's travels from the testimony of Amal Ahmed Abdel-Fatah al-Sada, Bin Laden's youngest wife.

She told interrogators they frequently moved through the tribal regions before arriving in Shangla, a town about 80 miles north-west of Islamabad, in 2004. Later that year they apparently arrived at the house in Haripur before moving to Abbottabad in 2005. Six years later the world's biggest manhunt ended when US Navy Seals swooped, killing Bin Laden, one of his sons, the courier and the courier's brother. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent