In a world where everyone is connected all of the time, Bin Laden's lack of links to the outside world raised too many red flags
Right after it was announced, around 9:45 p.m. EST, that President Obama would address the nation at 10:30 p.m. (the speech was ultimately delayed by nearly an hour), reporters started to work their sources. Several confirmed over Twitter, about half an hour later, that Obama was planning to announce that Osama Bin Laden had been killed earlier that day.
As late evening turned into early morning, more details leaked out, one after another. We learned that Bin Laden had been killed with a bullet to the head after four helicopters stocked with a combination of Navy SEAL and CIA officers descended on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. At first it was referred to, on major cable networks, as a mansion, but the photograph above, released by Reuters earlier this afternoon, shows it was anything but. The compound, we learned, was surrounded by a high fence of barbed wire.
Then, on CNN, Wolf Blitzer, in a suit and tie despite having been at home when the news broke, told us that, while Osama Bin Laden's hideout was a large compound, it lacked many basic amenities. No Internet, no telephones, he said. But he didn't explain why. Bin Laden, of course, has long avoided satellite phones and video messages; too easy to trace, too hard to hide. ("How can we not find Osama?" begins a Joan Rivers joke made popular by the documentary of her life released last year. "There's one outlet in all of Afghanistan. Find it and follow the cord.)