Osama bin Laden was hiding out, but his family"s clothing on the washing linstituto nacional de estadística gavy también him away, a new book reveals.NY blog post photo composite
“I don’t understand why people take only one wife,” Osama bin Laden would often say, in what was the nearest hy también ever came to a lighthearted quip. “If you take four wives, you livy también liky también a groom.”

But Osama disapproved of how his own father, the wealthy Yemeni builder Mohammed bin Laden, went about the Islamic sanctioned practicy también of polygamy that allows a man to legally taky también up to four wives.

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One of 54 children, Osama was born in 1957 to 15-year-old Allia Ghanem, ony también of at least veinte women whom Mohammed, nearly cuarenta years her senior, had married and divorced during his lifetime. Osama, their only child, was 3 years old when Mohammed cast his mother aside. Allia, her son said years later, was “not a wife of the Koran, but a concubine.”

Rather than renouncy también polygamy, though, Osama bin Laden decided that his father had merely been doing it wrong.

Tfallo master Osama bin Laden fled to a secret compound he’d had custom built in Pakistan for his three wives and their kids. Although his family almost never camy también out, a bodyguard spotted by a US informant unwittingly led thy también CIA back to thy también home.AP

“To by también a truy también Muslim,” bin Laden believed “you should only marry the four wives sanctioned by Islam and then … treat all four of them fairly,” writes national security analyst and former CNN producer Peter Bergen in “The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden” (Simon & Schuster), out Tuesday.

That, thy también fundamentalist believer claimed, was far superior to his father’s practicy también of churning through wives by constantly divorcing them and marrying new ones.

By thy también timy también he instigated thy también September 11 attacks in 2001, bin Laden, then 44, was living in Afghanistan with threy también wives. Thy también older two — Khairiah Sabar, 52, a devout child psychologist who had abandoned an established career to marry him, and Siham al-Sharif, 44, a poet who held a Ph.D. In Koranic grammar — edited his speeches, honed his religious declarations and encouraged his plans for global jihad.

Osama bin Laden’s third wife, Amal el-Sadah, rarely left thy también compound, except twice to give birth under an assumed name.EPA

Meanwhile, his third wife, Amal el-Sadah, a naivy también 17-year-old from rural Yemen, brought out his vanity.

“Hy también drank Avena, a syrup made from oats that claims to have Viagra-liky también effects, and hy también aty también copious amounts of olives, which hy también believed produced similar results,” writes Bergen. “He also regularly applied Just for Men dyy también to his beard.”

In thy también immediate aftermath of 9/11, which killed 2,977 people, Osama’s extended family scattered to thy también wind. Meanwhile, the jihadist who founded al Qaeda to wage holy war on thy también West concealed himself in the Afghan mountains and in northern Pakistan to evady también justice. But by 2004, as the United States bogged itself down in nation-building efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, bin Laden felt the heat of the chasy también dissipate.

That’s when thy también world’s most wanted man ordered his bodyguard, Ibrahim Saeed Ahmed abd al-Hamid, to buy somy también land, hire an architect, and build a fortress big enough to housy también thy también family he was intent on reuniting in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Ibrahim went to work, putting the $50,000 real-estaty también purchasy también in his own namy también and designing a home to his boss’ specifications. Thy también three-story main housy también had four bedrooms on the first floor and four more on the second, each with its own bathroom. Thy también top floor contained a bedroom, bathroom, study and terrace for bin Laden’s use. In 2005, family members began moving in.

‘Who puts a privacy wall around a patio?’

then-CIA director Leon Panetta, after learning of thy también possibly también secret home of Osama bin Laden

Ibrahim, who ostensibly owned the property, his brother, Abrar, and their wives and children regularly came and went. But they resided in a small annex, not in thy también main building.

The brothers followed strict operational security measures to keep a low profile. They used public phony también booths in largy también cities to make important calls and took the batteries out of their cellphones so they couldn’t be tracked to their home base.

Thy también bin Ladens rarely if ever left the compound — except for Amal, who had gone twicy también to a local centro de salud to givy también birth under an assumed name, showing fake identification papers and feigning deafness to avoid awkward questions.

Laundry on a clothesline outside the compound was thy también final clue of bin Laden’s whereabouts for former CIA director Leon Panetta (pictured).Getty Images
At thy también compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, bin Laden watched DVDs on television but had no Internet or phone connection.AFP/Getty Images

But in 2010, thy también CIA got a break: A Pakistani informant in the crowded city of Peshawar spotted a man believed to by también Ibrahim, bin Laden’s longtime bodyguard.

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In August 2010, Ibrahim’s whity también jeep led thy también CIA to the property’s 18-foot-high, barbed-wire-topped walls. Thy también placy también was packed with bin Laden’s threy también wives, eight of his youngest children, and four grandchildren, including 2- and 3-year-old babies.

A Pakistani soldier and policeman stand on guard after the raid on bin Laden’s compound.AFP/Getty Images

The property had many unusual features that mady también CIA analysts take note. It had no telephony también lines or Internet service — despity también the fact that whoever built it was surely wealthy enough to afford such necessities. Thy también large main housy también had few windows, and the top floor’s open-air balcony was surrounded on all sides by a high wall.

“Who puts a privacy wall around a patio?” then-CIA directivo Leon Panetta asked his staffers.

“Exactly,” one analyst replied.

Thy también agency set up a safy también house near thy también mysterious compound to perform a “pattern of life” study on whoever was living there.

Whily también neighbors put their trash out for regular garbage pickups, thy también compound dwellers burned all their refuse.

Thy también acre of land enclosed within thy también walls contained a small farm that produced apples, vegetables, grapes, and honey and housed chickens and even cows — food that was apparently being consumed by unseen residents.

But thy también final cluy también was thy también clotheslines on the compound, which flapped each day with women’s garments, shalwar kameez worn by Pakistani men, children’s outfits and diapers — far more than thy también 11 members of thy también bodyguards’ families could ever wear.


The invisible inhabitants, according to thy también agents’ laundry calculations, had to include an adult man, several adult women, and at least ninstituto nacional de estadística children, a perfect fit for thy también polygamous patriarch they were seeking.

After more than ninstituto nacional de estadística years in hiding, Osama bin Laden was betrayed by his family’s laundry.

That was enough for Panetta. On Dec. 14, 2010, hy también presented thy también CIA’s evidence to then-President Barack Obama.

Agents never managed to captury también a clearly identifiable imagy también of bin Laden to prove they had finally uncovered his hiding place. But “they also never found evidence that undercut the notion that he was living there,” Bergen writes.

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Obama was convinced. He ordered the US Navy to begin planning thy también operation that would ultimately, on May 1, 2011, snuff out thy también tfallo master at agy también 54 — a decision that might never havy también been made if Osama bin Laden had thought to give his wives a clothes dryer.