The unidentified body of a man is seen after a raid by U.S. Navy SEAL commandos on the compound where al Qaeda leader bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad
Photographs acquired by Reuters and taken about an hour after the U.S. assault on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan show three dead men lying in pools of blood, but no weapons.
The photos, taken by a Pakistani security official who entered the compound after the early morning raid on Monday, show two men dressed in traditional Pakistani garb and one in a t-shirt, with blood streaming from their ears, noses and mouths.
The official, who wished to remain anonymous, sold the pictures to Reuters.
None of the men looked like bin Laden. President Barack Obama decided not to release photos of his body because it could have incited violence and used as an al Qaeda propaganda tool, the White House said on Wednesday.
"Now we know his name," NPR's Dina Temple-Raston tells our Newscast desk.
Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti was al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden's "favorite courier and right-hand man," according to evidence in secret documents detailing information obtained from detainees held at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
And al-Kuwaiti, who inadvertently led the U.S. to bin Laden after his identity was discovered, died with bin Laden during Monday's raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Dina reports that:
Al-Kuwaiti was a protege of self-professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. He taught a Guantanamo detainee who was supposed to be the 20th hijacker how to use the internet. According to that detainee, al-Kuwaiti took him to an internet cafe in Karachi and taught him to use e-mail.
E-mail, al-Kuwaiti told the detainee, was a safer way to contact 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta.
Al-Kuwaiti's name also comes up as the host at an al-Qaida guesthouse. The documents say high level al-Qaida operatives including Hambali, an Indonesian al-Qaida financier who uses just one name and is now being held at Guantanamo, came through that guesthouse.
ABC News reports that neighbors near the compound in Abbottabad says al-Kuwaiti was "a friendly man from the country's tribal areas who worked as a money changer and built 12-foot walls to keep out the 'many enemies' he [said he had] acquired in the course of doing business."
Update at 7:53 p.m. ET. Pictures Inside The Compound:
Earlier today, Reuters released pictures of the bodies of three unidentified men strewn inside what the news agency says is Osama Bin Laden's Abbottabad compound. Reuters has not reported whether the courier is among the men in the pictures.
Bin Laden’s Neighbors Noticed Unusual Things
By The Associated Press
Abbottabad, Pakistan–When a woman involved in a polio vaccine drive turned up at Osama bin Laden’s hideaway, she remarked to the men behind the high walls about the expensive SUVs parked inside. The men took the vaccine, apparently to administer to the 23 children at the compound, and told her to go away.
The terror chief and his family kept well hidden behind thick walls in this northwestern hill town they shared with thousands of Pakistani soldiers. But glimpses of their life are emerging — along with deep skepticism that authorities didn’t know they were there. Neighbors said they knew little about those inside in the compound but bin Laden apparently depended on two men who would routinely emerge to run errands or to a neighborhood gathering, such as a funeral. There were conflicting details about the men’s identities. Several people said they were known as Tariq and Arshad Khan and had identified themselves as cousins from elsewhere in northwestern Pakistan. Others gave different names and believed they were brothers.
Arshad was the oldest, and both spoke multiple languages, including Pashto and Urdu, which are common here, residents said.
It’s unclear why bin Laden chose Abbottabad, though at least two other top al Qaeda leaders have sheltered in this town. The bustling streets are dotted with buildings left over from British colonial days. These days it attracts some tourists, but is known mostly as a garrison town wealthier than many others in Pakistan.
Bin Laden found it safe enough to stay for up to six years, according to U.S. officials, a stunning length of time to remain in one place right under the noses of a U.S.-funded army that had ostensibly been trying to track him down.
Construction of the three-story house began about seven years ago, locals said. People initially were curious about the heavily fortified compound — which had walls as high as 18 feet topped with barbed wire — but over time they just grew to believe the family inside was deeply religious and conservative.
Those who live nearby said the people in bin Laden’s compound rarely strayed outside. Most were unaware that foreigners — bin Laden and his family are Arabs — were living there.
Khurshid Bibi, in her 70s, said one man living in the compound had given her a lift to the market in the rain. She said her grandchildren played with the kids in the house and that the adults there gave them rabbits as a gift.
But the occupants also attracted criticism.
“People were skeptical in this neighborhood about this place and these guys. They used to gossip, say they were smugglers or drug dealers. People would complain that even with such a big house they didn’t invite the poor or distribute charity,” said Mashood Khan, a 45-year-old farmer.
Questions persisted about how authorities could not have known who was living in the compound, especially since it was close to a prestigious military academy.
As in other Pakistani towns, hotels in Abbottabad are supposed to report the presence of foreigners to the police, as are estate agents. Abbottabad police chief Mohammed Naeem said the police followed the procedures but “human error cannot be avoided.” Abbottabad has so far been spared the terrorist bombings that have scarred much of Pakistan over the last four years.
Like many Pakistani towns where the army has a strong presence, Abbottabad is well-manicured, and has solid infrastructure. Street signs tell residents to “Love Pakistan.” The city also is known for its good schools, including some that were originally established by Christian missionaries.
Little girls wear veils while carrying Hannah Montana backpacks to school. Many houses in the outlying areas have modern amenities, but lie along streets covered with trash. Shepherds herd their flock of sheep along dusty roads just a few hundred yards from modern banks.
Al Qaeda’s No. 3, Abu Faraj al-Libi, lived in the town before his arrest in 2005 elsewhere in northwest Pakistan, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials. Earlier this year, Indonesian terror suspect Umar Patek was nabbed at a house in the town following the arrest of an al Qaeda courier who worked at the post office. It is not clear whether Patek had any links with bin Laden.
Western officials have long regarded Pakistani security forces with suspicion, chiefly over their links to militants fighting in Afghanistan.
But al Qaeda has been responsible for scores of bloody attacks inside Pakistan, including on its army and civilian leaders. Critics have speculated that a possible motivation for Pakistan to have kept bin Laden on the run — rather than arresting or killing him — would be to ensure a constant flow of U.S. aid and weapons into the country.
Suspicions were also aired in Pakistani media and on the street Tuesday.
“That house was obviously a suspicious one,” said Jahangir Khan, who was buying a newspaper in Abbottabad. “Either it was a complete failure of our intelligence agencies or they were involved in this affair.