Courier Led to bin Laden; Bush Cheers Kill

Monday, 02 May 2011 10:19 AM

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The effort of U.S. forces to find and bring Osama bin Laden to justice for murdering thousands of innocent Americans was years in the making and often marked by dead ends and frustration. However, the tide turned in August when bin Laden’s trusted courier was located in a secure and large compound just 35 miles from the Pakistani capital, The New York Times reported.

Osama bin Laden, dead, al-QaidaIntelligence operatives surmised that such a compound was not designed for a courier, no matter how trusted, and spent weeks monitoring the site in Abbottabad before determining that the al-Qaida leader was the main resident. The trigger was pulled Sunday and he was shot in the head while he tried to resist the assault, the Times reported.

American military and intelligence forces chased bin Laden for nearly a decade after losing him at Tora Bora, in the mountains of Afghanistan. The courier first became known from detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, four years ago, according to the Times.

The years of sleuthing led to the million-dollar mansion in Abbottabad, set on a hilltop and surrounded by 12-foot-high concrete walls topped with barbed wire. The compound was built to hide bin Laden in 2005, the Times reported.

President Barack Obama began a series of meetings in March to plan for the operation, the Times reported. The meetings continued even as the White House worked to deal with a possible government shutdown over the budget. The final meeting took place Friday morning, when the president signed off on the operation before traveling to Alabama to view the devastating tornado damage, according to the Times.

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