New York, April 30: American newsmagazine TIME has published for the first time the hand-written memo written by CIA director Leon Panetta authorizing the attack on the Abbottabad compound, where Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was hiding with his wives and children.
The magazine also mentions at great lengths how Laden used hair dye for his greying hair and used Avena syrup, an aphrodisiac to sustain his sex prowess.
Laden used Just for Men hair dye, and Avena syrup, a natural aphrodisiac made from a variety of wild oats, one of several medications found inside the compound, the magazine reported.
The 54-year-old Laden was living with three women, one of whom was 26 years his junior.
A clue to Bin Laden's mindset is provided by one of his sayings, perhaps the only joke the Al Qaeda boss is known to have made.
'I don't understand why people take only one wife,' he is reported to have said by TIME magazine.
'If you take four wives, you live like a groom.'
Laden lived on the third floor of the house in the Pakistani garrison town with his youngest wife, 29-year-old Amal, whom he married in 2000 and who was mother to five of his children.
Living on other floors of his house were his two senior wives, 62-year-old Khairiah and Siham, 54, both of whom held PhDs and had been married to Bin Laden for decades.
The three wives and other members of Bin Laden's family were deported from Pakistan on Thursday night and taken to Saudi Arabia, Osama's homeland.
While Bin Laden lived in the compound, he dreamed of launching new terror attacks in the U.S., and suggested the 10th anniversary of September 11 as a potential date.
He sought to get his jihadist message out to television stations such as Al Jazeera, and apparently said: 'We should also look for an American channel that can be close to being unbiased, such as CBS.'
The handwritten memo from the desk of Leon Panetta, then director of the CIA and now Secretary of Defense records President Obama's decision to send troops to assassinate the architect of the September 11 attacks on the U.S.
The note, headed 'Memo for the Record', was written on the morning of April 29 last year, two days before the operation in Abbottabad.
In it Panetta writes that he has received a telephone call from National Security Adviser Tom Donilon stating that 'the President made a decision with regard to AC1 [Abbottabad Compound 1].
'The decision is to proceed with the assault.'
The mission to assassinate Bin Laden had been coming together for over eight months, ever since Panetta told Obama that the CIA had tracked down the terrorist's loyal driver to Abbottabad, a military town not far from Pakistan's capital Islamabad.
But just a day before this memo was written, two of the President's closest advisers told him they thought it was too soon to strike.
Obama took a vote of his inner circle, and both Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates advised him to delay the attack.
But on the 29th he instructed Mr Donilon to inform key officials that the mission would be going ahead, as Mr Panetta's memo shows.
The note continues: 'The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven's hands.
'The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration.'
Admiral William McRaven was head of the Joint Special Operations Command, which is responsible for the elite Navy SEAL Team Six which descended on Abbottabad.
Perhaps the biggest risk for the attack on the compound was that Bin Laden would turn out not to be there after all, according to TIME's analysis of the mission.
Surveillance drones had shown a tall figure walking around the compound, who was known to U.S. officials as 'The Pacer'.
This was thought to be Bin Laden himself, but even the bullish Mr Panetta estimated the chance of the identification being correct as no more than 80 per cent.
Other were less certain - Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, thought there was only a 40 per cent chance that the Pacer was Bin Laden.
Panetta's memo deals with the possibility of a mistaken identity, saying: 'The direction is to go in and get Bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out.'
This possibility - and the need to avoid civilian casualties in the compound and neighbouring areas of Abbottabad - was the reason Obama chose to send in troops rather than attacking the house with bombs.
In the end, of course, the operation was a success, as the SEALs were able to find and kill Bin Laden without sustaining any casualties themselves.
The first anniversary of the mission - dubbed 'Operation Neptune Spear' - comes on Tuesday May 1, and has raised fears of a 'lone wolf' terrorist attack on the U.S.
It has coincided with the eviction of Bin Laden's remaining relatives from Pakistan, where they are believed to have been living for several years.