Osama bin Laden was prepared to flee before he was killed

By Kase Wickman
Wednesday, May 4, 2011 9:50 EDT
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Al-Qaeda leader and elusive terrorist Osama bin Laden was prepared to flee his Abbottabad hideout on a second’s notice, new information shows. Bin Laden had 500 Euros cash (equal to about $740 U.S.) and two telephone numbers sewn into the clothes he was wearing when he was killed in the U.S. military raid on his compound this weekend.

CIA Director Leon Panetta told members of Congress this information in a briefing Tuesday, in response to a question of why there weren’t more security personnel guarding bin Laden, according to Politico. Bin Laden had reason to believe he’d be tipped off about any U.S. attempt to capture him with plenty of time to escape, they were told.

This could also explain why bin Laden was not armed when he was killed, as well as why the U.S. did not inform Pakistan — whose government is suspected to have moles for al-Qaeda — before they carried out the operation.

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) told Politico that the U.S.-Pakistan relationship is still important, but now the U.S. has more leverage, due to the fact that either Pakistan knew bin Laden was in the country and didn’t tell, or Pakistani intelligence was not strong enough to know that he was there. Either scenario is considered an embarrassing shortcoming for Pakistan.

“We have the leverage to get them to cooperate with us a lot more than they have in the past,” Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said.

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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