New Delhi: No mountain hideout, no dark cave - eventually Osama bin Laden, the world's most wanted terrorist, was tracked down to the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad.
US officials say they began to look closer at this house in Abbottabad after interrogating Bin Laden's associates and in particular a courier who contacted him.
Several clues made the compound, built in 2005, particularly suspicious, including, high 12-18 foot walls around it. Despite its high value, no internet connection or even a phone line had been applied for raising more suspicion. Further, the occupants always burnt and destroyed all their garbage.
Even human intelligence revealed one family matching Osama's specification lived there.
As suspicions were confirmed in late April, US President Obama himself held no less than five meetings of his national security setup and finally signed the death warrant for Osama on Friday, April 29.
United States intelligence did not share information on the operation with the Pakistani officials.
No Pakistani officials were involved in the planning or operation to kill the al Qaeda chief inside Pakistan, leading to some protests over why Pakistan's government wasn't taken into confidence.
"America coming to our territory and taking action is a violation of our sovereignty," said former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf.
Eventually US choppers took off from a base across the Afghan border, reaching Osama's compound at 1.30 am local time.
One chopper developed a mechanical failure and was detonated by US forces before they landed.
The massive explosion then led to a firefight with Osama and his security guards, killing him and his son, while his wives and other children were taken into custody.
It was only once his body had been flown out of Pakistan.
Regarding the US government informing other countries of the operation - the first call was from President Obama to President Zardari.
Caught off guard with little warning, Islamabad is restraining comments. But questions over how the dreaded terrorist was able to live in luxury right under the nose of the Pakistani military are growing, and many feel the killing Osama won't be the end but the beginning of Pakistan's troubles.
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