Property had been targeted before


Associated Press

Posted on May 3, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 3 at 7:05 PM

ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan (AP) — The raid on the compound where Osama bin Laden was living wasn't the first time the property was targeted in a search for a top al-Qaida figure.

A senior Pakistani intelligence official says the Pakistanis staged a 2003 raid there in search of a man regarded as al-Qaida's third-ranking leader. The house was just being built at the time. The target of the search wasn't found. But U.S. officials have said he once lived there.

Bin Laden is believed to have lived there for up to six years, raising questions as to how he could have moved in without the knowledge of Pakistan's government.

Residents said they sensed something was odd about the walled three-story house.

Most neighbors didn't even know foreigners were living there. But they say two men would routinely emerge to run errands or occasionally attend a neighborhood gathering.

An area farmer says people would speculate that the residents of the home were smugglers or drug dealers.

%@AP Links

<<APPHOTO ABT102 (05/03/11)>>

: Local people and news media gather round the compound and house, seen on right, of Osama bin Laden as authorities eased the security and allowed people to approach the perimeter of the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday, May 3, 2011, after a U.S. military raid late Monday which ended with the death of the al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and others inside the compound. U.S. Navy SEALs swept through the massive compound Monday in pursuit of their target, bin Laden, and it is revealed Tuesday by White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan that the U.S. already was scouring through items seized in the raid, said to include hard drives, DVD's, a pile of documents and other items.

<<APPHOTO ANJ124 (05/03/11)>>

: Local residents stand on a rooftop as they look at the compound of a house, where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was caught and killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Local residents showed off small parts of what appeared to be a U.S. helicopter that Washington said malfunctioned and was disabled by the American commando strike team as they retreated, while Pakistan's leader on Tuesday denied suggestions that his country's security forces had sheltered Osama bin Laden.

<<CUT *267 (05/03/11)>> 00:14 "with a motive"

Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein says its hard to understand how Islamabad wouldn't know about the compound.((longer version of cut in wrap))

<<GRAPHICSBANK 1107032 (05/03/11)>> 1500x1125

Pakistan army troops outside the perimeter wall and gate of the compound where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was killed, Abbottabad, Pakistan, over map, partial graphic