London: The mystery behind how the United States managed to track down its long wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden in the Abbottabad compound, has finally been revealed, in a book, "The Finish: The Killing Of Osama Bin Laden," by Mark Bowden.
The trail to Abbottabad represented a triumph of 'dot connecting', which began with a name, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, which was a pseudonym, and was first mentioned to authorities in Mauritania by an al-Qaida operative, Mohamedou Ould Salahi.
The name, which meant "the Father of Ahmed from Kuwait", was just one name among thousands that were daily being entered into what would become the Terrorism Information Awareness database. However, the same pseudonym surfaced in more and more interrogations, The Guardian reports.
In 2007, the CIA learned that the Kuwaiti's real name was Ibrahim Saeed Ahmed, and came from a large Pakistani family that had moved to Kuwait. In June 2010, because of some change in his cell phone or its service package, the US was able to pinpoint Ahmed's phone's location when it was in use, and started monitoring him.
Ahmed and his family lived in a large compound in Abbottabad with his brother Abrar. The CIA over a period of time learnt that none of the family members left the house, and strict security measures had been taken around the high walls of the compound.
The CIA noticed that only one member of the hidden family in the Abbottabad compound could be seen regularly. He was a tall man in traditional Pashtun dress and prayer cap who took daily walks inside the compound walls, and was known as "the Pacer".
The agency determined that the hidden family: three wives, a young man and 10 or more children, several of them teenagers or young adults, corresponded with the US theory of Bin Laden, who was always known to have kept most of his family with him.
Despite it being a pure gamble, with Barack Obama himself admitting that there was 50-50 percent chance on whether the tall guy was Bin Laden, a team US Navy SEALs raided the Abbottabad compound on May 1, 2011, killing the Al Qaeda leader and the US finally took its revenge from the man who conducted the 9/11 attacks a decade ago. (ANI)