Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bin Laden’s $1 Million ‘Fortress’ Lacks Luxuries of Wealth

As U.S. officials tell it, Osama bin Laden was living in a $1 million mansion when he was killed this week, undermining his image as an ascetic warrior holed up in a cave near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
“Here is bin Laden, who has been calling for these attacks, living in this million-dollar-plus compound; living in an area that is far removed from the front; hiding behind women who were put in front of him as a shield,” said John Brennan, the top White House counterterrorism adviser, in a May 2 news conference. “I think it really just speaks to just how false his narrative has been over the years.”
Yet the large compound in Abbottabad, outside of Islamabad, has none of the luxuries that a million-dollar-plus price tag brings to mind. A view of the three-story structure from outside shows unpainted walls streaked with black mold that commonly grows on bare concrete in Pakistani summers. Video of the interior featured rooms with basic, inexpensive furniture. More luxurious homes in Abbottabad are listed for less than $500,000.

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