Osama bin Laden, who was killed by U.S. special forces in a raid in Pakistan, lived in a secluded mansion-like compound with several family members in the town of Abbottabad, north of Islamabad.
Long thought to be living in a cave in the mountains of Afghanistan, bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader responsible for the September 11 attacks, was actually living a life of relative luxury.
"We were shocked by what we saw — an extraordinarily unique compound. It is roughly eight times larger than the other homes in the area,” a senior White House official told reporters in a background briefing, according to the BBC.
“It has 12-18 foot walls topped with barbed wire. Internal walls sectioned off different portions of the compound to provide extra privacy. Access to the compound is restricted by two security gates, and the residents of the compound burn their trash, unlike their neighbors, who put the trash out for collection."
According to the official, the main structure is a three-story building with few windows facing the outside of the compound, and a 7-foot privacy wall that hides a third-floor terrace.
The property, which Reuters described as "an upscale summer resort," is said to be valued at $1 million but has no telephone or internet service.
Two brothers who were reportedly bin Laden's couriers, and their families, were also living at the compound, as was a third family said to be the immediate family of bin Laden.
“Our best assessment, based on a large body of reporting from multiple sources, was that bin Laden was living there with several family members, including his youngest wife,” the official said.
CNN senior correspondent Nic Robertson said that the death of bin Laden proves that he had been "hiding in plain sight."
A raw video from The Washington Post via Al Jazeera English, originally taken from Pakistani TV, shows the suspected compound where bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces.