Islamabad: Contrary to the perception that Osama bin Laden lived in seclusion for nearly five years in Pakistan's Abbottabad, he travelled to the restive Waziristan region to attend a dinner about a year before he was killed.
The 54-year-old al-Qaeda chief was the surprise guest at a dinner hosted by two men on the fringes of the Waziristan region late one night in the summer of 2010, BBC reported today.
Half a dozen men of a tribal family had been alerted weeks earlier about the arrival of a guest whose identity they didn't know.
The tribesmen were told about the visit by someone they described as an "important person".
They were not given any names and the exact time of the guest's arrival was conveyed to them just a few hours in advance, the report said.
At about 11 pm, when the village around them was in deep sleep, a dozen SUVs arrived.
"A dozen big four-wheel drive jeeps drove into the compound... They seemed to converge from different directions," said one unnamed elder of the tribal family.
One of the SUVs drove up to the veranda and from its back "emerged a tall and frail-looking man" wearing flowing robes and a white turban.
"The waiting men couldn't believe their eyes. Standing before them was none other than Osama bin Laden, the most wanted man in the world," the report said.
"We were dumb-struck. He was the last person we'd expected to turn up at our doorstep," the elder said.
Bin Laden stood beside the vehicle for a while, shaking hands.
The elder said he kissed bin Laden's hand and pressed it against his eyes in a gesture of reverence.
First Published: Wednesday, May 02, 2012, 16:44