Al Jazeera has obtained and published the official Abbottabad Commission dossier, outlining their findings regarding the life of Osama bin Laden (OBL) and the life of the others who lived in the compound with him. Here are five fast facts you need to know about OBL’s life in the compound, based on the report.
1. Osama bin Laden Wore A Cowboy Hat
Daily life for the world’s most infamous terrorist involved a significant amount of secrecy and disguise. In the case of Osama bin Laden, part of his camouflage involved a cowboy hat. To avoid detection from above, OBL donned the hat to foil unwanted observation. How wearing a cowboy hat in a region of the world where social conventions have men wearing keffiyeh is deceiving is beyond our understanding.
2. Osama bin Laden Had Very Few Possessions
According to the testimony of OBL’s wives, the world’s most wanted man was not one for material goods. He apparently also had a very small amount of clothes. “Before coming to Abbotoabad, he had just three pairs of shalwar kameez for summer, and three pairs for winter. In addition he had a black jacket and two sweaters,” according to the report.
3. Bin Laden NEVER Left the Compound
From the time OBL moved into the Abbottabad compound in 2005, he did not leave once. While some people who lived on the compound left to visit the bazaar or to bring the children to doctors or dentists, OBL was isolated to the top floor of the building, sometimes coming downstairs to speak with his older sons or bodyguards. It took six years and a U.S. Special Forces assault for OBL to leave his self-imposed prison.
4. No One Was Allowed to Enter The Main House Except for bin Laden’s Body Guards
It’s clear the OBL was probably a lonely guy. No one, not even his family, was allowed to enter the main house where OBL was living. The only exception to this rule was for his two body guards, Ibrahim and Abrar Pashtun. The brothers rarely left the side of OBL. The only times they would leave the compound were to accompany their wives to the bazaar.
5. Osama bin Laden Was Sick But Never Saw a Doctor
It was reported for years that OBL was sick, with some reporting that he required a dialysis machine during his time in Afghanistan. Well, according to Maryam, the wife of OBL’s bodyguard, Ibrahim Pashtun, OBL sometimes complained of pain the heart and kidneys, but he never visited a doctor.
Interestingly enough, whenever OBL felt unwell, he treated himself with traditional Arab medicine (Tibbi-i-Nabawi). Also, whenever he felt sluggish he would take some chocolate with an apple. Even a master of terror can have a sweet tooth.