Osama’s Pad Didn’t Follow His ‘Hiding Places’ Rules

For one, it appears to have had few escape routes
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2011 3:47 PM CDT
Pakistani media personnel and local residents gather outside the hideout of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following his death by US Special Forces in a ground operation in Abbottabad on May 3, 2011.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad abode appears to have broken the basic rules of hiding laid out in an al-Qaeda training manual. The Smoking Gun looked over the “Military Studies in the Jihad Against Tyrants” text that was seized from another terrorist’s home in England, and found a section entitled “Apartments—Hiding Places.” The manual tells recruits to seek “newly developed areas where people do not know one another,” and to avoid homes near police stations and government buildings like the plague.

Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound was built several years ago, so it may pass muster as a new development, but it definitely flunks on point two—it’s right next to a Pakistani military academy. It advises finding “secret locations” to hide sensitive papers, but bin Laden’s own computers and documents appear to have been right out in the open. Finally, it advises preparing “ways of vacating the apartment in case of a surprise attack,” something bin Laden evidently didn’t have, or at least, didn't use.

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