* Compound was found by tracking bin Laden's courier
* Million-dollar home had no telephone or Internet
* U.S. officials say detainees provided key information
(Edits 2nd para to make clear raid was on Monday, Pakistan
By Patricia Zengerle and Alister Bull
WASHINGTON, May 2 (Reuters) - U.S. forces finally found al
Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden not in a mountain cave on
Afghanistan's border, but with his youngest wife in a
million-dollar compound in a summer resort just over an hour's
drive from Pakistan's capital, U.S. officials said.
A small U.S. team conducted a night-time helicopter raid on
the compound early on Monday. After 40 minutes of fighting, bin
Laden and an adult son, one unidentified woman and two men were
dead, the officials said.
U.S. forces were led to the fortress-like three-story
building after more than four years tracking one of bin Laden's
most trusted couriers, whom U.S. officials said was identified
by men captured after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
"Detainees also identified this man as one of the few al
Qaeda couriers trusted by bin Laden. They indicated he might be
living with or protected by bin Laden," a senior administration
official said in a briefing for reporters.
Bin Laden was finally found -- more than 9-1/2 years after
the 2001 attacks on the United States -- after authorities
discovered in August 2010 that the courier lived with his
brother and their families in an unusual and extremely
high-security building, officials said.
They said the courier and his brother were among those
killed in the raid.
"When we saw the compound where the brothers lived, we were
shocked by what we saw: an extraordinarily unique compound," a
senior administration official said.
"The bottom line of our collection and our analysis was that
we had high confidence that the compound harbored a high-value
terrorist target. The experts who worked this issue for years
assessed that there was a strong probability that the terrorist
who was hiding there was Osama bin Laden," another
administration official said.
The home is in Abbottabad, a town about 35 miles (60 km)
north of Islamabad, that is relatively affluent and home to many
retired members of Pakistan's military.
It was a far cry from the popular notion of bin Laden hiding
in some mountain cave on the rugged and inaccessible
Afghan-Pakistan border -- an image often evoked by officials up
to and including former President George W. Bush.
The building, about eight times the size of other nearby
houses, sat on a large plot of land that was relatively secluded
when it was built in 2005. When it was constructed, it was on
the outskirts of Abbottabad's center, at the end of a dirt road,
but some other homes have been built nearby in the six years
since it went up, officials said.
WALLS TOPPED WITH BARBED WIRE
Intense security measures included 12- to 18-foot (3.6
meters to 5.5 meters) outer walls topped with barbed wire and
internal walls that sectioned off different parts of the
compound, officials said. Two security gates restricted access,
and residents burned their trash, rather than leaving it for
collection as did their neighbors, officials said.
Few windows of the three-story home faced the outside of the
compound, and a terrace had a seven-foot (2.1 meter) privacy
wall, officials said.
"It is also noteworthy that the property is valued at
approximately $1 million but has no telephone or Internet
service connected to it," an administration official said. "The
brothers had no explainable source of wealth."
U.S. analysts realized that a third family lived there in
addition to the two brothers, and the age and makeup of the
third family matched those of the relatives -- including his
youngest wife -- they believed would be living with bin Laden.
"Everything we saw, the extremely elaborate operational
security, the brothers' background and their behavior and the
location of the compound itself was perfectly consistent with
what our experts expected bin Laden's hide-out to look like,"
another Obama administration official said.
Abbottabad is a popular summer resort, located in a valley
surrounded by green hills near Pakistani Kashmir. Islamist
militants, particularly those fighting in Indian-controlled
Kashmir, used to have training camps near the town.
(Editing by Mary Milliken, Will Dunham and Mark Trevelyan)
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