> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Thoughts on Osama



Thoughts on Osama

It took a decade and billions of dollars, but when the U.S. decides to kill somebody, we get it done! Huge salute to the men and women of the armed forces and intelligence community, for the untold sacrifice and millions of hours of work that went into this.

In many ways, it is amazing that Osama evaded U.S. forces for so long. Apparently one of the reasons he was so successful was because he chose to hide in relatively plain sight--using "grey man" techniques often discussed in the survival/prep community. He kept a low profile, blending into a suburb community that was home to the Pakistani military's version of West Point and a police station. This was not exactly the place you would look for Osama Bin Laden - certainly not the hole-in-the-mountains that many thought he would be hiding in. And that's why it worked well.

Despite a well chosen suburban retreat, Osama made some fundamental tactical errors for one trying to go grey man or hide in plain sight. Apparently, for fear of detection, Osama kept the house/mansion a communications black hole - no internet connection or phone line. This was a major mistake - it was unusual, asymmetrical, out of place. When blending in, you want to appear just like everything surrounding you. An expensive home without any form of communications lines is the exact opposite - it stands out and draws attention. And so it was with Osama - the communications "black hole" is reportedly what led US forces to suspect the compound in the first place - really, who would have a big, expensive house and no internet or phone line? Osama Bin Laden - that's who.

If he had simply paid for internet and a phone line, his plain-sight hiding place may have continued to slip beneath notice--and Osama would still be plotting against the West, not dead and sunk to the bottom of the North Arabian Sea.