Islamabad, May 6: The Abbottabad compound, used by Osama bin Laden as a safe house till US commandos shot him dead, will be demolished soon by Pakistani security agencies so that it does not become a “sacred building for jihadis.” The compound, located about 800 yards from the Pakistan Military Academy, has been sealed by the army to gather any information that was left after a US special forces team raided it on Monday and killed the world's most wanted terrorist.
“Like we have done in the past, we will also raze to the ground this building so that it should not become a sacred building for the jihadis,” an unnamed source from a security agency was quoted as saying by The News daily today. The security agencies had demolished Jamia Hafsa, a seminary affiliated to the radical Lal Masjid in Islamabad, after a military operation in 2007 to avoid “any bitter situation”, the source said.
Authorities had not yet decided whether the media will be allowed to enter the compound, the report said. There was nothing left in the compound for security agencies and a decision to demolish it will be taken soon, it said.
The walls of the compound are higher than normal for the area though almost every house in the Bilal Town neighbourhood of Abbottabad has barbed wire.
The compound was built in such a location that it could not be seen easily unless one got really close to it. The compound had three portions—a big open area for farming, a built-up structure and a lawn on the north side that was smaller than the farming area. There was no other building measuring seven ‘kanals' in the area.
Local police station chief Nazir Khan said he had not seen the bodies of the persons killed in the US raid. “Everything is in the control of the army and we are deployed on the external security. Even I am not allowed to enter the premises of the compound,” he said. The land for the compound was bought by Arshad Khan, one of two al-Qaeda couriers killed along with bin Laden. The gas and electricity connections to the house were in his name. Arshad and his brother Tariq Khan used code names and acquired fake national identity cards from Charsadda district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, media reports said. They were tribesmen and belonged to the Wazir tribe of South Waziristan bordering Afghanistan, security officials said.
The brothers reportedly told their neighbours in Bilal Town that they had fled Waziristan due to enmity with other tribesmen and insecurity.
“They were reserved and never interacted with neighbours. Sometimes when I asked them about their job and source of wealth, they would say they had a business in the United Arab Emirates,” Kashim Alam, a resident of Bilal Town, told the media.
They emerged from the compound in a van or a jeep to go to the local market.
Noor Mohammad, the contractor who built the compound in 2005, said Arshad Khan paid him Rs 750,000 for the project.