“The Americans” — and Osama bin Laden — “love Pepsi-Cola, we love death”

“The Americans love Pepsi-Cola, we love death.” — Afghan jihadist Maulana Inyadullah

Life inside bin Laden’s comfortable and well-protected compound: “Bin Laden Aides Are Said to Have Bought Pepsi, Coke in Bulk,” by Anwar Shakir for Bloomberg, May 4 (thanks to Twostellas):

May 4 (Bloomberg) — The two polite Pakistanis who helped Osama bin Laden hide in the shadow of their country”s army bought bulk food orders, chose major brands and equally favored Pepsi and Coke, neighbors and a local shopkeeper said.

Rashid and Akbar Khan owned the fortified residence where U.S. commandos killed bin Laden in an early morning raid May 2, and did the daily shopping in the Pashtu-language accents of Waziristan, a region on the Afghan border, said grocer Anjum Qaisar, 27, who works 150 meters from the compound. Bin Laden’s men “never came by foot, they always drove a Pajero or a little Suzuki van, and they bought enough food for 10 people,” Qaisar said in an interview yesterday.

“I was curious about why they bought so much food, but I did not want to be rude by asking” such a personal question, Qaisar said. The Khans told neighbors they had fled a violent tribal feud in Waziristan to seek a calmer life in Abbottabad, an army headquarters town 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the capital, Islamabad.

A day after the gun battle that revealed bin Laden’s presence, his former neighbors expressed astonishment that the al-Qaeda leader had hidden among them, just a mile from the gate of the Pakistan Military Academy, the country”s equivalent of West Point in the U.S. Eight days before U.S. helicopters swooped in, Pakistan’s army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visited the academy, telling its cadets the “Pakistan army is fully aware of internal and external threats to the country,” an army statement said last week.

Support Network

The U.S. will investigate whether bin Laden’s support network included Pakistani officials, White House counter- terrorism adviser John Brennan said on NBC”s Today show. Abbottabad’s district government chief, Zahir ul-Islam, said in an interview that local officials would not comment on that issue or on the fate of several women and children from the house that local residents said were taken to a hospital and then detained by authorities.

As Qaisar and other neighbors traded stories of bin Laden’s household and the U.S. raid, Pakistani troops controlled access into Bilal Town, their neighborhood of new, walled villas interspersed with farm plots where bin Laden’s 1.5-acre compound was the biggest. Qaisar was one of few merchants who braved the checkpoints to open for business yesterday.

Bin Laden’s protectors “always bought the best brands — Nestle milk, the good-quality soaps and shampoos,” Qaisar said. “They always paid cash, never asked for credit.” They purchased meat from a butcher nearby who stayed closed yesterday, he said….

Intel from bin Laden compound shows al-Qaeda plotted against U.S. rail system
They got Osama's computer files
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  1. says

    From http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2011/0503/Osama-bin-Laden-s-compound-4-oddities/High-walls

    Now why would the census takers leave this house alone?

    [Osama bin Laden’s compound: 4 oddities

    1. High Walls
    …. up to 15 feet high in certain spots – some brick, some concrete, and most charred after a day of fires inside the compound – they were topped with three tiers of barbed wire to keep out prying eyes. Most other gates in the area lack barbed wire, setting this compound apart from the rest of the neighborhood.

    2. Unusual size of the courtyard

    Reports indicate only a handful of people actually lived inside the compound, so it’s unclear what all that space in the courtyard was needed for. Some observers speculate that it could have been to more easily facilitate bulk delivery of supplies. An areal view shows that the compound is quite a few times the size of other local compounds.

    3. The actual House
    4. Missing census markers

    Mysteriously, census takers apparently avoided Osama bin Laden’s compound. Painted on the entrance gate to most homes in the neighborhood – but not at Osama bin Laden’s compound – was a note in Urdu saying that census enumerators had visited over the past two months. Houses that participate in the census have to give details about everyone who lives there. ]

  2. says

    The wide courtyards seem consistent with the setup he created at his home in Tora Bora. Access points near the house where food and water could be delivered without having any men see his wives.

    The Pepsi surprises me though. His son Omar (from the biographical Growing Up Bin Laden) wrote that he and his siblings were never allowed “western” or decadent things like fancy soaps or especially “fizzy soft drinks”. They had to steal money from their mother to run out to buy soda in secret. I guess old Osama must have mellowed in his old age and started to love life too much instead of death.

    I think his “love of life” is what got him killed. Should have stayed in the cave, I guess. I’ll bet Omar is disappointed in his dad. He used to chide the boy about wanting to plug in the fridge or turn on the air-conditioner in their Sudanese home.

    Osama went soft. When the Seals arrived he probably couldn’t grip his AK with all that KFC grease on his fingers.

  3. says

    … we love death.


    Hmmm. The promise of a pile 72 peach fuzz 11 yr old virgin girls in a heaven with permanent hard-ons fortified by flowing rivers of wine, fresh fruit and thrones.

    *** 33:21 ***

    Speakng of fruits, let us not overlook the promise of boys like hidden pearls, approaching with questioning eyes.

  4. says

    AJack wrote:

    Now why would the census takers leave this house alone?

    Only slightly off-topic”I worked as an enumerator (census taker) for the US Census in 2000. Two of the buildings I was covering at one point turned out to belong to Your Black Muslim Bakery, which was located across the street (and was in another district, so I didn’t cover the Bakery itself). I was the second census taker sent out to try to cover these properties, since the first one had come up completely empty.

    I was not able to get *any* information from the Bakery itself”I was met with a stony silence there”and all the neighbors would tell me was that it was Bakery property. Several neighbors nervously closed the door when I asked about the buildings.

    I knew the Bakery could be secretive and hated white people and non-Muslims, but in 2000 I had no idea that Your Black Muslim Bakery was a criminal organization that would eventually prove guilty of numerous murders, including that of investigative Journalist Chauncey Bailey in 2007. It would come out that one of the first murders, which was committed shortly after the outfit moved to Oakland from Southern California in the late 1960s or early 1970s, took place right in one of the buildings I was trying to cover.

    I finally had to pass the case on to my supervisor. These were the only buildings”out of hundreds I covered”where I was unable to complete my assignment. I have no idea whether my supervisor fared any better than I did.