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'Complacent' Osama bin Laden did not have escape plan: Report

Friday, 13 May 2011 - 7:14pm IST | Place: Washington | Agency: PTI
US officials say several key indicators bolster their initial impression that Osama bin Laden had a support network in Pakistan that resulted in his staying in one location for the past several years, feeling comfortable he would not get caught.

With a "support network" in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden had become "complacent" and kept staying at one location for the past several years without any ready escape plan, a media report said today.
    
Nearly two weeks after the world's most wanted terrorist was killed in Abbottabad, "US officials say several key indicators bolster their initial impression that Osama bin Laden had a support network in Pakistan that resulted in his staying in one location for the past several years, feeling comfortable he would not get caught," CNN reported.
    
The unidentified officials, familiar with the latest assessment of the May 2 raid, pointed out that there is no apparent sign that Laden had a ready escape plan, according to the report.
    
The al-Qaeda chief did not appear to have the means or make an attempt to destroy the reams and gigabytes of documents before Navy SEALs assaulted his compound, CNN quoted sources as saying.
   
"It looks like he became complacent," one of the officials was quoted as saying. "There is a lot more material than we expected to find here."
    
Laden had just three men with him when the US Special Forces landed in his Abbottabad compound.
    
"What does all that mean?" the official asked. "How could he be so comfortable living in that location for that period of time with so little security?"
    
CNN said the Obama Administration has still not concluded, based on the information gained so far, that Laden was supported by the Pakistani government but the al-Qaeda had enough support network inside that country.
    
"It could take months to fully assess the intelligence that has been gathered and the effectiveness of Laden's command and control of his operatives in the field, according to another US official.
    
"If you are the CEO of al-Qaeda, sometimes you focus on strategy, sometimes you focus on management or personnel. Over time, he was involved in all aspects," the official told CNN, noting this is why the administration considers the compound to be Laden's "command and control centre."
    
Officials, however, refuted reports that the Abbottabad residence was a retirement home for Laden, who was actively involved in planning of terrorist operations mainly aimed at the US.
    
"He had a clear and continuing interest in attacking the US," the official was quoted as saying.




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