Former Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden did not lead a bad life taking into account that he was the worlds most wanted fugitive, according to a new book by bin Laden expert Peter Bergen.
For the worlds most wanted fugitive. It was not a bad life, The Washington Post quoted Bergen, as saying.
The book, Manhunt. The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden From 9/11 to Abbottabad, is scheduled for publication on May 1, which marks the first anniversary of bin Ladens death.
But excerpts of the book have already been published online by the Time magazine.
The book pointed out that Bin Ladens large house, housing separate living quarters, including kitchens and baths for two wives, was sparsely furnished and surrounded by high walls.
He lived on the third floor with his youngest wife, Amal, 29, who had given birth to the last of their two children in Pakistani hospitals.
The house had no air conditioning and only a few rudimentary gas heaters, despite the temperature extremes of the area.
"Beds for the various family members were made from simple planks of plywood. It was as if the compounds inhabitants were living at a makeshift but long-term campsite, Bergen wrote in his book.
Bin Laden had become an almost mythical figure for those who were hunting him, Bergen has claimed.
Bergen presents a persuasive case that the opportunity to capture or kill bin Laden before his escape from his Tora Bora hide-out in the Afghan mountains was lost when U.S. military leaders and the Bush administration failed to approve requests from military and CIA operatives on the ground for reinforcements.