For years now, it’s been reported that Osama Bin Laden suffered from diabetes-related kidney problems so severe that he was forced to undergo dialysis treatments on a regular basis. Way back in 2002, Time reported the following after U.S. intelligence officials discovered a letter Bin Laden had written to an associate:
As for the elder bin Laden, even if he is still alive, evidence of his failing health is mounting. Intelligence experts have long believed that bin Laden suffers from kidney trouble–perhaps brought on by diabetes–that requires him to undergo regular dialysis.
Now fast forward to the present and this Bloomberg story in which reporter Anwar Shakir spoke to some of Bin Laden’s Pakistani neighbors who, along with a local shopkeeper, all say that massive amounts of Coke and Pepsi were purchased regularly — along with a slew of other brand name consumer products — for the compound that housed him.
The two polite Pakistanis who helped Osama bin Laden hide in the shadow of their country’s army bought bulk food orders, chose major brands and equally favored Pepsi and Coke, neighbors and a local shopkeeper said.Rashid and Akbar Khan owned the fortified residence where U.S. commandos killed bin Laden in an early morning raid May 2, and did the daily shopping in the Pashtu-language accents of Waziristan, a region on the Afghan border, said grocer Anjum Qaisar, 27, who works 150 meters from the compound. Bin Laden’s men “never came by foot, they always drove a Pajero or a little Suzuki van, and they bought enough food for 10 people,” Qaisar said in an interview yesterday.
“I was curious about why they bought so much food, but I did not want to be rude by asking” such a personal question, Qaisar said … Bin Laden’s protectors “always bought the best brands — Nestle milk, the good-quality soaps and shampoos,” Qaisar said. “They always paid cash, never asked for credit.” They purchased meat from a butcher nearby who stayed closed yesterday, he said.
Mystery solved — though I always imagined Bin Laden being more of a Fanta kind of guy.