Osama Bin Laden's Abbottabad compound (big photo gallery, warning: graphic images)



Pakistani policemen walk past a compound, surrounded in red fabric, identified as the location where Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was killed on May 1 by U.S. forces in Abbotabad. The location is some 35 miles north of Islamabad in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The world's most wanted terrorist was hiding not in a cave, but in these cozy digs less than two miles from a major Pakistani military academy, described by some as the equivalent of West Point. (REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood)


Above, a video frame grab from ABC News, shows the interior in the compound where Osama Bin Laden was killed on May 1. Below, a bedroom, possibly Bin Laden's own. More photos follow.











  1. I still don’t understand how this is categorized as a “Mansion,” other than for spin purposes. Yes, the place is large…but it looks like an absolute dump inside and outside. The term “Mansion” certainly conjures up a much nicer place than this.

    1. Yeah, really. Kind of puts a new spin on that whole “Living in opulence while Muslims died” thing. Reminds me of Waco.

    2. It is called a Mansion because it is much bigger than the surrounding houses in the area. It is being reported as being 6 times larger than the places near it.

    3. The French etymology of Mansion is as a place “to stay”, a station, usually owned by a presiding lord. What it doesn’t mean is McMansion, which is probably the image most conjured in their minds when they heard the news.

      1. Can I say in regards to Ceronomus’s comment, that this is NOT a French website. “McMansion” was a bit of a rude and insensitive comment—possibly directed towards Americans?

    4. I completely agree that this is more like a dump than a mansion. However, to the Pakistani people, this is huge and “living it up.” (Sadly)

    5. haha i was thinking the same thing…property value must be through the roof in Abottabad if that place is worth a million dollars, like they claim. wasnt much like that mansions Saddam was living in, which was basically constructed with marble

    1. Sure. Bomb Pakistan, one of the US allies. This will let all the allies of the US know how safe they are. Treaties already mean very little to Americans. Keep in mind that Pakistan has nuclear weapons and can retaliate. When Pakistan does that it will give the Indians the go ahead to bomb Pakistan. And away we go into a nuclear world war. Pakistan, like many Muslim countries does have terrorists. Those terrorists are focused on everyone who does not believe as they do and this includes all countries with Muslims. These terrorist kill other Muslims all over the world.

  2. … it looks like an absolute dump inside and outside.

    I’m sure the interior was much nicer before, you know, the raid by a team of SEALs. Less blood, at least.

    1. This.

      Can’t recall the source, but I’ve read that though the firefight was over in moments, the JSOC operation spent 40 minutes on the ground. During the balance of the time, the compound was “searched” by the 20 member team for any computers, communication equipment, ledgers, etc., so as to gather as much intelligence on al Qaeda’s methodology, plans, etc. as was possible. Of course the place was trashed…

  3. Terrifying. I would not have wanted to be there. Certainly a reminder that this act alone is not something to be celebrated.

    1. True, but i think the symbolic closure nevertheless has some value, especially if it helps to bring a close to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    2. Certainly a reminder that this act alone is not something to be celebrated.

      I celebrate the fact he died the way he wanted to and doing exactly what he loved: Creating hate, destruction and chaos in the shadows while avoiding the light of day. Don’t give humanity to this piece of crap.

      1. One unfortunately thing that this reminds me of: some terrorists believe that being killed in the act of fighting grants one instantaneous access to heaven. Strikes me that some of his allies are going to be very pleased that he died this way, rather than being captured and hanged.

        1. One unfortunately thing that this reminds me of: some terrorists believe that being killed in the act of fighting grants one instantaneous access to heaven.

          Nonsense. The groups who admired Bin Laden—and not just Al-Qaeda—have so many variants of what cna do what and what has value for who and who goes where because of this that my attitude is: Who cares. His corpse was dumped in the ocean.

          Had he been captured alive and put on trial it would have easily been a very long and drawn out process that would have created more strife and conflict and would have given supporters a physical location to rally against. And that is to say I am not against trials, but in this case he clearly admitted guilt, overwhelming evidence pointed to him and there was not even a glimmer of doubt—reasonable or otherwise—to stand in the way of Bin Laden being responsible for his actions.

          He’s dead. He said he would have liked to die this way. He did die this way. And now he’s at the bottom of the ocean.

          The only way to deal with someone like this is to wipe out their physical existence. Hitler had the courtesy to kill himself, but the concerns about his corpse being a rallying point were so strong—and valid—his remains were dug up and spread out over the the river Elbe.

    3. Thank you for saying EXACTLY what I felt when I first heard the news last night. The only thing I feel right now is shock and sad that so many people had to die or experience sadness as a result of war.

  4. Folks, it’s all relative. This was a “mansion” by Pakistani standards. It was valued (supposedly) at a million dollars and existed in an affluent neighborhood where many retired Pakistani military officers lived.

    Mansion in Pakistan != Mansion in Savannah

    1. Mansion in Pakistan != Mansion in Savannah

      Great, now I’m picturing Bin Laden flouncing about with a fan in some sort of antebellum hoop skirt.

    1. Would it be irony if it turns out he’d somehow sprung for the NFL season package on cable?

  5. Based on these photos at least, it’s hard to know whether or not this domicile is out of place in comparison to other homes in the area. It seems to be furnished in a way that doesn’t make sense, based on the size and complexity of the compound, but maybe that was purposeful (to keep curious neighbors at bay, or so he could be seen to be living the martyr’s life).

  6. Um, why is this marked as containing “graphic images”? There’s nothing graphic here, unless you’re referring to a bit of blood.

    I demand a dude-gets-head-removed-with-blunt-wooden-stick chaser! Need to get my fill of gore for the day.

    1. Everyone’s definition varies, and some people find blood and depiction of a murder scene even without bodies to be upsetting.

      1. FYI, an image with blood in it shows up on the main index page.

        I always figured the “read the rest” link was the dividing line between safe-for-everybody and everything else.

      2. Fun fact: images are inherently graphic. I suppose they could be tactile, but not on a computer monitor.

  7. That’s a lot of screen grabs of the same blood stain. Yuk.

    Oh well, we were warned.

    Don’t give the terrorists too much credit for their possible house-cleaning skills prior to the raid. I have a hard time imagining the SEALS took the time to partially remove that one awning and plant those weeds on the second floor balcony.

    1. “I have a hard time imagining the SEALS took the time to partially remove that one awning and plant those weeds on the second floor balcony.”

      Maybe one of the team members was an avid gardener, you never know!

  8. Well,

    I think we just wasted a gabagabarillion dollars hunting down the equivalent of cult leader hiding out in a tiny white-power encampment in the woods of arkansas (no offense, Arkansas, but I had to pick somewhere and I really like Kentucky and Tennessee so my options were limited).

    Speaking of which, how much money do we spend ferreting out those idiots?

  9. I can’t help thinking this will lead to an expansion and not a contraction of the war on terror.

  10. Ding dong, the witch is dead. So…let’s celebrate by actually resolving the Gitmo issue.

  11. looks a lot more like a counter-strike map than I thought it would when I heard ‘mansion’

    unfortunately none of the game modes in counter-strike would work for re-creating the scene

  12. Seals spent 40 minutes at the compound, my guess is the firefight lasted no longer than 5 min. The place looks like its been turned over twice for intelligence…

    This makes me wonder if killing Osama will really have the intended affect on al-Qaeda. The scary version is if they don’t retaliate at all. This would indicate new leadership, if they retaliate and make mistakes they look incompetent and brash. If they wait, they will appear calculated.

    It was a good plan to dispose of the body in the ocean, but there is still a physical place on land where he was killed. No matter what the US does, his followers will see him as a martyr for their cause.

    It’s not over by a stretch. Honestly, his terror campaign was effective considering how much affect this organization has had on the activities of our government and the hearts of our people (not to mention the resources we spent trying to find and kill this guy).

    I think it sends the opposite message, that terrorism is in fact a viable way to fight a super power.

    1. “It was a good plan to dispose of the body in the ocean, but there is still a physical place on land where he was killed. No matter what the US does, his followers will see him as a martyr for their cause.”

      Raze it to the ground. Build a supermarket mall on it. If followers want to worship their martyr there, consumerism will win !

  13. According to Wikipedia, the exact location of the compound is here, in north-east Abbottabad.

    Judging from the photos linked from Google Maps, some of the neighboring houses are actually quite a bit nicer.

  14. I think it sends the opposite message, that terrorism is in fact a viable way to fight a super power.

    Can you please explain a more viable way to fight people like this?

    The war in Iraq was ridiculous. The war in Afghanistan was too little too late. That all caused a mess. But do you deny finding folks like this and killing them is a good thing? THIS is the guy that Bush should have gone after to begin with. If that was the case the “war on terror” would have made sense. As it stands the invasion of Iraq was/is a disaster. And that is the main problem with the “war on terror”; I accept the rest.

    1. A better way to fight someone like this ? Maybe John Pershing had it right when he did it his way in the Philippines.

      I also agree that the mansion looks like a pile of trailers.

  15. Okay as someone who lives in Pakistan, let me just clarify that every house here is surrounded by big boundary walls, so there isn’t anything unusual about these. It certainly doesn’t look secure enough to be a place where the most wanted man in the world would hide. It just looks like any other normal (albiet huge) house here.

  16. @Jack – Agreed. However, Islamist extremism isn’t started by people like Osama, it’s only inspired by them. If you look at the root of the problem it begins with radical Madrassas where children learn at a young age to think in a way that makes them more susceptible to extremist views.

    A single Tomahawk Cruise Missile costs around half a million dollars. That single missile could pay for literally 500 schools where children could be educated to think for themselves. If we fought terror with systemic change it would be harder for guys like Osama to find recruits.

    I agree, he needed to be killed. I was just trying to emphasize that fighting him on his terms is exactly what he wanted and a tremendous waste of resources.

    I do applaud Obama for making the decision to kill him and also for mocking of D. Trump recently.

    1. A single Tomahawk Cruise Missile costs around half a million dollars. That single missile could pay for literally 500 schools where children could be educated to think for themselves. If we fought terror with systemic change it would be harder for guys like Osama to find recruits.

      I am in complete agreement. I hate military waste as well, but your argument makes more sense in the case of helping the poor and disadvantaged in the U.S. Every time anyone builds non-loon schools or even nice non-loon amenities, these loons either blow it up or pervert it’s use. For example, soccer fields used for executions.

      So if you feel you can simply devise a way to “airlift” this magical money to someone in mid east to just be used for good causes without outside support to allow these good causes to thrive, then please call up Hillary Clinton then let’s get on it!

      For example, this piece of crap was hiding in Pakistan in a very comfortable area and very close to the capital of the country. How exactly has our financial aide to Pakistan benefitted anyone there other than the corrupt government?

    2. Half a million dollars for 500 schools? That’d mean a single school would cost $1000. I think your math is a bit off.

      On the whole I agree with your notion that investing in education is a lot more productive than investing in weapons, though.

  17. I’m confused, I have seen two locations for this compound in the media, one is 2024 meters north of the other, which is it?

    1. Well, you can see what looks like the minaret of the Ilyaasi Mosque in the background of the first photo, which is much closer to the north location.

  18. I’m not quibbling with the “million-dollar mansion” aspect of things, but except for the funky-looking trees and the fact that the armed men are probably carrying submachine guns rather than hunting rifles, that exterior shot could easily have been a construction site in any town in the Appalachians.

    1. I was wondering that myself… they broke it out after the bloodbath, to weigh something.

  19. Creepy. He’s got the exact same Laura Ashley bedding that my mom has. Different shams, though, and he butched it up by not opting for the bed skirt. Whew!

  20. Just a question: don’t DNA tests take a minimum of DAYS to complete? Or has real science caught up with CSI: New York?

    1. Depends on how deep a test one is running. Obviously, a full sequencing of someone’s entire genome takes a significant amount of time, but a quick gel electrophoresis to determine the key marker locations that indicate family heritage can be performed in a matter of hours, especially if the lab concentrates on rushing it. The reason that crime labs take a matter of days or weeks (in real life) is more down to bureaucracy and the fact that they have a queue of samples to process.

  21. Umm… where is the bulky dialysis equipment? Wasn’t OBM supposed to be in pretty much acute renal failure since 9/11? There is usually bags of disposable plumbing, big comfy chairs, medical waste and the like lying around wherever there is dialysis happening. Maybe he popped out to the local clinic every other day for dialysis?

    1. “There’s also what looks like CPAP (sleep apnea) tubing in the background”.

      Nah mate, there is a hoover (vacuum cleaner) in a box in an earlier pic, what your seeing is it’s hose.

      Not very clear pic’s but there seems to be a lack of bullet holes in the walls.


  22. It is a barbarian act to kill an enemy like this when you have enough time to prepare an intervention. A living Bin Laden could answer all the important open questions.

    The U.S. commando feels messy like Munich 72. Not very professional.

    1. And to follow up on Teller’s question: what do you think he would have told you?

    2. Actually shooting him dead on the spot is probably the least barbaric thing I would expect the US to do.

      Considering that the US routinely tortures its own citizens who haven’t been convicted of anything (Manning), and in many cases brutally tortures non-Americans for years and years, some of whom are most likely innocent (Guantanamo), I can’t imagine what they’d do to the guy. Some very creative minds would surely come up with something — the CIA have been honing their skills.

  23. I advise everybody to sell all your Paki real estate now.
    Valued around a million US-bucks this “mansion” indicates there is one hell of a bubble.

  24. “Osama Bin Laden got nothin’ on me,
    Gonna put him in a box in th’ bottom of th’ sea.
    With a monkey and a dog,
    and a pig and a snake,
    and a Fish and a Jew,
    and an ass fulla CAKE.”


  25. “Put GOD before COUNTRY… mass hegemony.
    Worship your money inna church called a bank.
    Pagan Idolatry.”

  26. Xeni, to call this a murder scene strikes me as being a bit, well — over the top. If you’re to the level of pacifism where you feel that executing a military operation that ended up killing the dude who was responsible for 9-11 is the same as murder, fine, you’re entitled to your opinion I guess.

    I, for one, thank the brave Navy SEALs who executed this mission, and I think it’s utterly ridiculous and pathetic to refer to them as murderers.

  27. That “incredibly thin piece of foam on a coffee table” bed in pic #9 looks hella comfy. I don’t think we even gave that a shot back in my college flop-house days…

  28. I would like to know what dexter would say to the way the blood is spreaded?

    Does it really look like this when a head explodes???

  29. Fortress! Mansion! c´mon!

    All this crap comes from the guys who brought you: Saddam´s WMD, Beware of Vaccines, Noah´s Ark was real, et al.

  30. I’m sure the ‘infamous terrorist Bin Laden’ is nothing more than a mythological propaganda puppet created by the US to justify wars in the middle east, but if someone WAS assasinated, doesn’t the fact that all this blood is in a BED suggest that the killing took place whilst he and his family were asleep? Safely qualifying ‘point blank range’ as achievable?

    I have to side with Castro on this one – the assasination of an unarmed human being while surrounded by his own relatives is something abhorrent.

    Anyone who looks deeper into the details of 9/11 than the media are prepared to reveal will see there are too many suspicious inconsistencies involved to be coincidental – if something seems dodgy it usually is!

  31. And also, if you re-arrange the letters of ‘Osama Bin Laden’ you get ‘lob da man in sea’ – obviously the deciding factor for the justification of his disposal…

  32. Has anyone yet commented on the quality of the interior photos? They’re terrible, even a cellphone camera has better resolution than that. Surely there is a reason for this. Perhaps seeing a gore splattered bedroom in crisp HD would have brought the horror of the event too close to home.

    1. Either they’re stills from a video recording or they’re fakes which were deliberately made to look bad for chaotic effect.

  33. That is quite a rug! I absolutely love the window treatments; they frame the beautiful, lush greenery of the surrounding hills wonderfully!

  34. The term ‘mansion’ was coined by the locals…the house has been known as the Waziristan Mansion (The Waziristan Haveli) for quite a long time, more probably due to the interior sq ft than any luxuries. The blue prints, which show the home before it was evidently enlarged, indicate sq ft of approx. 2700 sq ft….not a mansion, but big by Abbotabad standards….?

Comments are closed.