It sounds like he really suffered. Poor bastard couldn’t even get out of the house to go have a few beers with his fellow jihadis.
The joke doing the rounds in Pakistan at the moment is that Osama bin Laden was so stir crazy in his Abbottabad compound that he actually called in the SEAL team raid himself.
As Pakistani officials find out more about day-to-day life inside the compound, they are beginning to paint a picture that looks more like a bad American sit-com than the life of a terror mastermind.
Bin Laden’s final five years on Earth appear to be a dreary Groundhog Day of three bickering wives, a brood of children – including infant twins – 18ft claustrophobic walls and a life of such austerity that there was hardly enough power to run lighting.
The three wives with the al Qaeda leader at the time of the raid are now turning on each other in custody, with the two older wives viciously accusing the youngest of betraying their husband.
And they say reports of the younger wife valiantly trying to protect bin Laden, earning a bullet in the leg for her trouble, are lies.
Despite the relatively large compound, the adults and children were cooped up on top of each other – and there was little hope of the situation changing.
Rehman Malik, Pakinstan’s interior minister, said: ‘The joke in Pakistan is that bin Laden called in his location to the CIA because he was being driven mad cooped up for five years with so many wives and children.’
And Glenn Carle, a former CIA official, added: ‘Not using cell phone or internet, that’s all sound professional strategy. But living behind 18ft walls with large numbers of women and kids is not.’
The three women in bin Laden’s life were Khairiah Husain Sabir, 62, Siham Abdula bin Husain, 54, and 28-year-old Amal Ahmed al-Sadah.
Khaira and Siham deeply resented the arrival of Amal and have been highly critical of her role in their husband’s life, according to Pakistan officials.
The Sunday Times quotes one official as saying: ‘It’s a well-known fact that when you have two older wives and then this young one comes along half their age, they don’t like it.’
The tension between the three wives would have been palpable in Abbottabad. CIA agents referred to bin Laden as ‘The Pacer’ – so named because of the figure seen walking backwards and forwards in the compound in footage from spy satellites and drone cameras.