by Aaron Klein
TEL AVIV — Osama bin Laden bribed a Pakistani zoning official to allow the construction of the fortified compound where he was killed by the US special forces last year, a local Pakistani newspaper has reported.
The Pakistani daily The News reported the bribe was detailed in bin Laden’s diary, which is now in the possession of Pakistani officials.
According to one Pakistani official citing information obtained from the diary, bin Laden paid a land registrar 50,000 rupees, or about $515, to approve the permit for his compound in the northern town of Abbottabad near Pakistan’s main military academy.
The report did not cite whether the zoning official was aware the bribe originated with the al-Qaida chief.
The information raises further questions about the role Pakistan may have played in facilitating the hideout location for bin Laden.
The country has staunchly denied knowledge of bin Laden’s compound, while a slew of news media reports have questioned whether some Pakistani officials were not only aware of bin Laden’s location but may have helped the al-Qaida chieftain evade capture for years.
With additonal research by Joshua Klein