Bin Laden Was In A Huge House
And the way to get him was by locating his "courier."
This is a near fatal blow to the Al Qaeda. I don't expect it to recover. Although they will try to make a few strikes. And their attempts might last a few more years. Democracies can be resilient. But not autocratic organizations. When you take out the leader, the organization ends up in disarray.
The political revolutions across the Arab world stole the Al Qaeda's thunder. That release of tension made Bin Laden more vulnerable.
I would like to read up on the details of the operation.
I suspect Pakistan's ISI might have had something to do with finding Bin Laden a safe house. If not the entire organization, then at least elements of it.
Bin Laden killed Benazir Bhutto. I am glad he is dead.
This guy insisted on keeping his beard and his appearance. He outlived his usefulness to the elements of the ISI that protected him. Dawood remains protected.
CNN: Abbottabad -- The military town where bin Laden hid in plain sight
Pakistan's Army Staff, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani ...... Kayani was speaking at the "passing out parade" at the prestigious Kakul military academy in Abbottabad, the West Point of Pakistan. At that very moment, the man who had dragged Pakistan into the "War on Terror" a decade earlier was, it transpires, just a mile or two away, living in apparent comfort behind the high walls of a very private compound. Osama bin Laden, who had declared war on Pakistan, had apparently been living for months in a city that had made its name as a military garrison....... some 60 miles by winding mountainous roads north of Pakistan's capital. ..... a popular retirement place for officers in the Pakistani army ...... 4,120 feet above sea level. ...... Abbottabad sits on the Karakoram Highway, an engineering marvel that links Pakistan with China through the Himalayas ....... In January this year, Pakistani security forces stormed a modest house in the city and seized Umar Patek, an Indonesian linked to al Qaeda who had a $1 million bounty on his head under the FBI's Rewards for Justice program. He had allegedly helped build the bombs used in the 2002 bombings in Bali that killed 200 people. ....... just over 100 miles from the border with Kunar province in Afghanistan ...... even closer to the restive tribal territories. ...... To the east of Abbottabad is Pakistani Kashmir, its forested hills hosting training camps for several groups committed to "liberating" Indian Kashmir. So it is a city close to the front lines of several of South Asia's insurgencies and terror campaigns.
MSNBC: How the US tracked couriers to elaborate bin Laden compound
First intelligence of a courier, then an extraordinary house with high walls — and no telephone or Internet. ...... It started with an unnamed courier. .... Senior White House officials said Monday that the trail that led to Osama bin Laden began before 9/11, before the terror attacks that brought bin Laden to prominence. The trail warmed up last fall, when U.S. intelligence discovered an elaborate compound in Pakistan. ..... "From the time that we first recognized bin Laden as a threat, the U.S. gathered information on people in bin Laden's circle, including his personal couriers," a senior official in the Obama administration said in a background briefing from the White House. ...... After the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, "detainees gave us information on couriers. One courier in particular had our constant attention. Detainees gave us his nom de guerre, his pseudonym, and also identified this man as one of the few couriers trusted by bin Laden." ....... In 2007, the U.S. learned the man's name.
In 2009, "we identified areas in Pakistan where the courier and his brother operated. They were very careful, reinforcing belief we were on the right track." ...... In August 2010, "we found their home in Abbottabad," not in a cave, not right along the Afghanistan border, but in an affluent suburb less than 40 miles from the capital....... "When we saw the compound, we were shocked by what we saw: an extraordinarily unique compound." ..... The plot of land was roughly eight times larger than the other homes in the area. It was built in 2005 on the outskirts of town, but now some other homes are nearby. ...... "Physical security is extraordinary: 12 to 18 foot walls, walled areas, restricted access by two security gates." The residents burn their trash, unlike their neighbors. There are no windows facing the road. One part of the compound has its own seven-foot privacy wall...... And unusual for a compound valued at more than $1 million: It had no telephone or Internet service. ...... This home, U.S. intelligence analysts concluded, was "custom built to hide someone of significance." ..... Besides the two brothers, the U.S. "soon learned that a third family lived there, whose size and makeup of family we believed to match those we believed would be with bin Laden. Our best information was that bin Laden was there with his youngest wife." ........ There was no proof, but everything seemed to fit: the security, the background of the couriers, the design of the compound. ..... "Our analysts looked at this from every angle. No other candidate fit the bill as well as bin Laden did," an official said. ....... "The bottom line of our collection and analysis was that we had high confidence that the compound held a high-value terrorist target. There was a strong probability that it was bin Laden." ...... That conclusion was reached in mid-February, officials said. Beginning in mid-March, the president led five National Security Council meetings on the plans for an operation. ....... On Friday, the president gave the order.....
This information was shared "with no other country," an official said. "Only a very small group of people inside our own government knew of this operation in advance." ......... A senior U.S. security official told Reuters that it was a "kill operation," removing the option for the team to simply capture bin Laden ...... The operation Sunday went smoothly except for a helicopter landing that was not part of the original plan. The choppers were only intended to hover over the scene, but due to a technical malfunction, one of them landed or fell — "not a crash," the official said — so the military dispatched a third "emergency" helicopter to the scene. ..... "This operation was a surgical raid by a small team designed to minimize collateral damage. Our team was on the compound for under 40 minutes and did not encounter any local authorities."
Bin Laden himself participated in the ensuing firefight, the officials suggested. ..... "Bin laden was killed in a firefight as our operators came onto the compound," an official said.
Did he fire, a reporter asked. ....... "He did resist the assault force, and he was killed in a firefight," an official said. NBC News reported that he was shot in the left eye. ...... Citing officials speaking at a White House briefing, Bloomberg News reported U.S. intelligence officers determined there was a "strong probability" the al-Qaida leader was living there, but that the special ops team carrying out the mission was not certain if it even would encounter bin Laden in the compound until forces came face-to-face with him. ..... Four adult males were killed: bin Laden, his son, and the two couriers. ..... "One woman killed when used as a shield," and other women were injured, the officials said. The women's names were not given; it's not clear whether bin Laden's wife was among them....... The team blew up the disabled chopper upon their departure with bin Laden's remains, which resulted in a "massive explosion," the official told NBC....... Pakistan officials were unaware of the operation and scrambled fighter jets after getting reports of the explosion. But the U.S. helicopters were able to leave without further incident, the official said. ........ No U.S. personnel died. The officials would not name the type of helicopter or say how many U.S. personnel participated......... A U.S. official told NBC News that Obama was able to monitor the situation in real time from the Situation Room inside the White House. ......... Applause broke out in the room around 3:55 a.m. ET, when the team on the ground reported that the attack had killed bin Laden. Obama called his predecessors, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, to inform them of the news, senior administration officials told NBC. ........ An official told Reuters that CIA Director Leon Panetta and other intelligence officials also monitored the situation in real time from a conference room at the agency's Langley, Va. headquarters........ The official who spoke to NBC News described two moments in particular as "heartstopping": the moment the choppers arrived on the scene, and when they left the country....... "Although al-Qaida will not fragment immediately," an official said, "the death of bin Laden puts al-Qaida on a path of decline that will be difficult to reverse."
At White House and Pentagon, emotions run high
There were cheers outside the White House, and tears outside the Pentagon. ..... As news spread through Washington that Osama bin Laden had been killed, many people gravitated to the two locales, as if the enormous emotions inside them were too great to experience in the privacy of their own living rooms. ...... In the dormitories of George Washington University, where students were cramming for finals, a student screamed: “Bin Laden is dead!” ...... Seconds later, dozens of students, many in shorts and flip-flops, became the first wave of the celebration outside the White House. A much larger crowd congregated at ground zero in New York ...... Around midnight, the crowd outside the White House had mushroomed to at least a few thousand people. By 5 a.m., the group had dispersed.