Osama bin Laden levde ikke i isolasjon. Han mottok folk hjemme, delvis fordi hans offiserer ble drept, delvis for å samle inn penger. Bin Laden tok en stor risiko ved å la folk besøke seg. Men han var nødt.
But the truth about his extensive meetings with top guerrilla leaders at his compound have only now been revealed.
The official, who has asked not to be named for security reasons, said he met with Bin Laden two years ago at the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he was eventually killed by U.S Navy Seals on May 2.
The top Taliban man also said Bin Laden regularly took part in face-to-face meetings with fellow Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders at the base which was just miles away from the military academy dubbed Pakistan’s ‘Sandhurst’.
The commander, a member of the Peshawar shura that controls insurgent operations in eastern Afghanistan, said he became close to Bin Laden in the late 1990s when the al Qaeda leader was based in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan’s largest city.
The man said Bin Laden was his best friend and added that in the days before his death he was ‘well-briefed’ on what was was going on within the two networks.
The Sheik (as Bin Laden’s followers call him) was in good shape in mind and body but he was not the Sheik I had seen before the Americans attacked,’ he told the Daily Beast, ‘he looked tired and certainly was concerned about his safety and financial matters.’
He also said that Bin Laden had been forced to work harder within the Al Qaeda network because a number of his senior lieutenants had been killed.
‘So he said he had no choice but to be active and meet people despite the security risks.’
Bin Laden regularly received visits from other top Al Qaeda leaders because they were able to get access to Abbottabad without putting themselves in danger.
During their meeting the man said there were two unknown men present but neither said a word during the entire meeting.