The Last Days of Osama bin Laden

Aamir Qureshi / AFP / Getty Images

Pakistani media personnel and local residents gather outside the hideout of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following his death by US Special Forces in a ground operation in Abbottabad on May 3, 2011.

Early on the morning of May 2, 2011, the residents of Osama bin Laden's heavily fortified compound were startled awake by the sound of explosions. Bin Laden's daughter Maryam, 20, rushed upstairs to his top-floor bedroom to ask what was going on. "Go downstairs and go back to bed," he told her. Then bin Laden told his wife Amal, "Don't turn on the light."

It was a needless warning. Someone — it is still not clear exactly who — had taken the sensible precaution of turning off the electricity feeding the neighborhood,...

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