It was hardly the spartan cave in the mountains that many had envisioned as Bin Laden’s hiding place. Rather, it was a mansion on the outskirts of the town’s center, set on an imposing hilltop and ringed by 12-foot-high concrete walls topped with barbed wire.
The property was valued at $1 million, but it had neither a telephone nor an Internet connection. Its residents were so concerned about security that they burned their trash rather putting it on the street for collection the way their neighbors did.
The Associated Press captured this scene outside the property:
Pakistani military forces are guarding the property tightly, but the Christian Science Monitor describes:
The compound comprises several buildings that seem a bit drab and ramshackle. Corrugated iron roofing tops a badly made shed in the main courtyard. The courtyard soil looks ploughed though it’s not clear if that happened after the US military operation.
A white, three-story building in the middle of the sprawling compound marks yet another contrast to the mostly well kept and colorfully painted houses in the neighborhood.
The Department of Defense, via the Huffington Post, released the following graphic of the compound, and aerial photos pre- and post-construction in 2005.