Osama bin Laden’s hideout for the past five to six years has turned out to be a million-dollar compound inside Pakistan, in the military garrison town of Abbottabad, where the death of the al Quaeda leader took place in the early hours of Monday morning local time. Bin Laden was reportedly living in Afghanistan before a 2001 U.S.-led invasion helped topple its Taliban regime.
In an interview by BBC today, a 12-year-old boy Zarar Ahmed said he used to visit the compound and had encounters with the al Qaeda chief’s family.
“I used to go to their house. He had two wives, one spoke Arabic, and the other one spoke Urdu,” said Zarar Ahmed. “They had three children, a girl and two boys. They gave me two rabbits. They had installed a camera at the outer gate so they could see people before they entered the house.”
The compound, located about an hour from the capital Islamabad and less than a mile from a military academy, was believed to have been built in 2005 with the full intent of hiding Osama bin Laden. The mansion was set on a hilltop and surrounded by 16-foot-high concrete walls fit with barbed wire and had no phones or internet.
Bin Laden, 54, was believed to have lived with up to 17 or 18 members of his family, according to Daily Mail.
A wife, a daughter and eight to nine other children who did not belong to Bin Laden were reported to have survived the attack, were tied up and taken by the troops.