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Osama complained of kidney pain, but never visited doctor: Report

Osama bin Laden lived undetected in Pakistan for nearly a decade due to failures and gross negligence by the authorities, according to a new report detailing how he was once stopped for speeding and wore a cowboy hat. The leaked report from a Pakistani government-appointed commission reveals fascinating details about his life on the run and the US Navy SEALs raid that killed him on May 2, 2011.

The raid near a military academy in the town of Abbottabad was one of the most humiliating episodes in Pakistan’s history, exposing the country to allegations of collusion with al-Qaida. The government appointed a judicial commission to investigate how bin Laden hid for so long and how the US raid unfolded to fend off fears that a military investigation would not be independent. The panel interviewed more than 200 people, including government ministers, intelligence chiefs and members of bin Laden’s family before they were deported to Saudi Arabia. But its findings were kept secret until the Al-Jazeera news network published a leaked copy of the report on Monday.

The commission said it had found nothing to support allegations of complicity but neither could it rule out the possibility of ‘plausibly deniable’ support’ from current or former officials. The 336-page report coined the expression ‘governance implosion syndrome’ to explain the extent of the failures.
As per the report, Bin Laden occasionally complained of pain in the heart and kidneys, but never visited a doctor. If he felt ill, he treated himself with traditional Arab medicine and ‘whenever he felt sluggish he would take some chocolate with an apple.’ He was nicknamed Miskeen Kaka, or ‘poor uncle’ by other children in the house after they were told the reason he never went to the market was because he was too poor to buy anything.

All the bin Laden women observed strict purdah, which started for his daughters at the age of three, and extended to not watching men on television. He oversaw the religious education and play of his children and grandchildren ‘which included cultivating vegetable plots with simple prises for best performances’.

But for nearly six years, abnormalities at his villa, such as no television or telephone lines, no rubbish collection and 18-foot (5.5 metre) walls, failed to attract attention from Pakistani officialdom. ‘How the entire neighbourhood and intelligence officials missed the sise, the strange shape, the barbed wire, the lack of cars and visitors etc over a period of nearly six years beggars belief,’ the report said.
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