For years prior to his capture, conventional wisdom held that Osama Bin Laden spent his days hiding in remote areas, rarely, if ever, venturing out into the light of day. After Navy SEALs found him holed up in a compound in Pakistan, a similar storyline formed — that he rarely, if ever, ventured outside the house.
But an internal Pakistani government investigative report obtained by Al Jazeera and NBC News shines new light on Bin Laden’s years on the run/in hiding, and it contains some rather startling revelations, namely that Bin Laden routinely ventured out into the world wearing an impossibly ironic disguise: a cowboy hat.
Reports NBC News:
Interrogations of bin Laden’s wives and family revealed the man behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks went into public and simply disguised himself by shaving his head and wearing a cowboy hat.
In testimony showing how close the mastermind came to authorities who were supposed to be looking for him, “Maryam” — the wife of one of bin Laden’s most trusted aides — recalled how his car was stopped by Pakistani police in the Swat region.
“Once when they were all … on a visit to the bazaar they were stopped for speeding by a policeman,” the report says. “But her (Maryam’s) husband quickly settled the matter with the policeman and they drove on.”
And in a bit of ironic farce, the report states that bin Laden’s wives told investigators that to avoid detection from the sky, he took to wearing a cowboy hat when moving about his Abbottabad compound.
Here’s NBC’s video report…
Let the Bin Laden wearing a cowboy hat Photoshops like the one above commence!
(Bin Laden Photoshop via World of Isaac)