Al Qaeda’s leader wasn’t armed when a team of Navy SEALs raided his Abbottabad compound Sunday, but he was more than prepared to flee. At a classified briefing yesterday, top intelligence officials told Congress that bin Laden had 500 euros’ worth of cash and two telephone numbers sewn into his garments. CIA director Leon Panetta reportedly revealed that bit of intel in answer to a question about why bin Laden didn’t have more security guards at the compound. According to one account, officials said bin Laden believed that if the U.S. was prepared to strike, “his network was strong enough he’d get a heads-up.” These new details help explain why the White House was reluctant to inform Pakistani officials until after the mission was complete.
The details also raise questions as to bin Laden’s familiarity with the biography of Mary Todd Lincoln, who it’s been said once walked around Chicago with $56,000 in government bonds sewn into her petticoats.
Osama Bin Laden had cash, was ready to flee [Politico]