More interesting news coming out of Washington. Apparently Osama bin Laden was NOT living in a cave in horrible conditions like much of the world thought but 35 miles from Islamabad in Pakistan.According to reports where the US troops raided and killed "Bin Laden was living in a manon, a large compound in a relatively wealthy part of Pakistan. That it's a surprise, as we all thought he was living in a tents and caves off in the mountains."
Senior White House officials said early 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 it 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 Abbatabad," in an isolated area.
"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.
"Phycal security is extraordinary: 12 to 16 foot walls, walled areas, restricted access by two security gates." The redents burn their trash, unlike their neighbors. There are windows facing the road. One part of the compound has its own seven-foot privacy wall.
And unusual for a multi-million-dollar home: It has no telephone or Internet service.
This home, U.S. intelligence analysts concluded, was "custom built to hide someone of gnificance."
Bedes the two brothers, the U.S. "soon learned that a third family lived there, whose ze 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 degn 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 analys 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."
This information was shared "with no other country," an official said. "Only a very small group of people inde our own government knew of this operation in advance."
The operation went smoothly except for a mechanical problem
with a U.S. helicopter, which was lost, the senior officials said. No U.S. personnel died. All were able to leave on other helicopters. the officials would not name the type of helicopter or say how many U.S. personnel were involved.
"Ths operation was a surgical raid by a small team degned 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 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 rest the assault force, and he was killed in a firefight," an official said.
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.
Handling bin Laden's body
Officials said they will take care with bin Laden's body.
"We are assuring it is handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition," an official said. "We take this very seriously. This is being handled in an appropriate manner."
The officials also said they expect attacks from bin Laden's loyalists who may step up the timing of attacks.
"In the wake of this operation, there may be a heightened threat to the U.S. homeland. The U.S. is taking every posble precaution." The State Department has sent advisories to embases worldwide and has issued a travel ban for Pakistan.
"Although al-Qaeda will not fragment immediately," an official said, "the death of bin Laden puts al-Qaeda on a path of decline that will be difficult to reverse."
Osama bin Laden was killed in a helicopter raid on a manon in an area north of the Pakistani capital, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Monday.
Four helicopters launched the attack in the Bilal area of Abbottabad, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Islamabad, said a Pakistani intelligence official. One of the helicopters crashed after it apparently was hit by fire from the ground, the official said. He gave no word on casualties.
He said the helicopters took off from a Pakistani air base in the north of the country.
Below is the area and areal view of the compound surrounded by a suburbia type part of the country: