Contrary to the perception that Osama bin Laden lived in seclusion for nearly five years in Pakistan’s Abbottabad, he travelled to the Waziristan region to attend a dinner about a year before he was killed.
The 54-year-old al Qaeda chief was the surprise guest at a dinner hosted by two men late one night in the summer of 2010, BBC reported on Wednesday.
Half a dozen men of a tribal family had been alerted weeks earlier about the arrival of a guest whose identity they didn’t know. At about 11 pm, a dozen SUVs arrived. One of them drove up to the veranda and from its back “emerged a tall and frail-looking man” wearing flowing robes and a turban.
“The waiting men couldn’t believe their eyes. Standing before them was none other than Osama bin Laden, the most wanted man in the world,” the report said. BBC reporter M Ilyas Khan said he learnt of the visit after one of his former hosts told close friends about it.
Bin Laden spent three hours with the tribesmen, during which time, his hosts were not allowed to leave the compound or let anyone in. Armed men took positions at the gate, along the walls and on the roof.
Bin Laden and his men left as they had come, with the SUVs leaving the compound and heading out in different directions. This gave the hosts little chance to determine which way bin Laden’s vehicle went.
Pakistani security forces were on high alert on Wednesday to thwart any possible attacks by militants to mark the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s killing. Various embassies issued warnings, advising its citizens to avoid public places.