Neighbors and residents interviewed by the Monitor said they had never seen bin Laden, but were familiar with two middle-aged Pashtun brothers cited in reports as his couriers, named Ahmed and Rashid.
“They were very well liked in the area,” says Bashir, who says the “family” had been in the area for close to seven years. “They would go to peoples' houses sometimes participate in peoples' family celebrations like births and condolences, but would never call people to their own house,” he adds.
Ahmad Jan, a teenage student whose home overlooked the compound, says he recalls that every morning a bright red truck would enter the compound, and leave at night. “I would pass by the house sometimes and think they were some kind of special people.”
Despite these oddities, few seemed interested in knowing more about the resident of the compound whom most assumed were wealthy Pashtun migrants, or “Khan jees” in local slang.
The high barbed-wire walls were seen as a token of the family’s religious conservatism.
“Some people guessed there may be more to it than met the eye, but no one could imagine it was [bin Laden],” adds Munawar Iqbal, a construction boss whose property overlooks the compound. “But if we knew [it was bin Laden] we would protect him as our guest. Whatever you say about him, he was a brave man. ”
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