The trail to finding Osama bin Laden was led by U.S. intelligence identifying Abu Ahmad, a Kuwaiti national, as bin Laden′s “trusted courier”. During interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was also from Kuwait, U.S. officials were able to piece together his identity. KSM apparently had only given interrogators at Club GITMO in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Ahmad’s code-name. But conversations among other detainees soon revealed who Abu Ahmad was. Once the CIA had his name, he could be watched. The big break came last year during a tapped telephone conversation between Ahmad and another al Qaeda associate which led U.S. officials to believe that Osama bin Laden may be residing with Abu Ahmad at the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

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Ahmad was a close protege of KSM’s and part of his inner circle. Another GITMO detainee, Abu Farah al Libi, also known as “The Libyan”, may have been the actual person to reveal Ahmad by name. Captured in 2005, al Libi is considered the third highest ranking al Qaeda leader to be apprehended. Other coonections came from a captured document in 2008 concerning a Saudi national, Maad al Qathani, who was to have been the 20th hijacker on September 11, 2001. But Qathani could not get a visa to enter the United States. The captured document alluded to Qathani receiving computer training from Abu Ahmad.

The document also detailed how Qathani was ordered to Kandahar, Afghanistan to a compound known as KU-10024, an al Qaeda safe-house run by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Qathani apparently had been trained there, and even met Osama bin Laden and swore an oath of allegiance to him. The document listed some people who traveled with bin Laden, including those who were at his side while at Tora Bora in Afghanistan. Code named “Al-Kuwaiti”, referring to his nationality, this key associate and trusted courier to Osama bin Laden was mentioned several times. It should be noted that along with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Maad al Qathani was also subjected to waterboarding during their interrogations at GITMO.

Another GITMO detainee, Riduan Isomuddin, was a long time associate of KSM going back to the early days of jihad against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. After the 9/11 attacks and America′s response in Afghanistan, Isomuddin left Kandahar for Karachi, Pakistan. He and his wife stayed with Abu Ahmad at one of the guest houses run by al Qaeda for a time. Isomuddin was later captured in Thailand in 2003 during a joint U.S.-Thai operation. He was subsequently taken to GITMO and was considered a “high-value detainee” by U.S. officials. Another operative captured in Iraq in 2004, Hassan Ghul, also told the CIA that Al-Kuwaiti was bin Laden′s chief courier.

By 2007, U.S. intelligence was convinced that the identity of “Al-Kuwaiti” was indeed Abu Ahmad. Later documents and information confirmed their assessment. Ahmad was seen as fitting the profile of someone who was very close with both Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Osama bin Laden. Once having a solid name, officials were able to obtain more details, such as pictures and begin tracking his movements. Last year, U.S. intelligence monitored a telephone call made by Abu Ahmad, details of which led the CIA to believe that bin laden was staying with Ahmad in Pakistan. This resulted in locating the compound in Abbottabad, Pakisatn, built in 2005, where a U.S. Navy SEAL team found and killed Osama bin Laden on Sunday, May 1, 2011.

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