When terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs in his secret compound outside of Abbottabad, Pakistan, officials discovered high-strength marijuana plants just yards from his home.
This was no garden project – there were hundreds of plants a short walk from bin Laden’s home. The plants remained undiscovered previously, only to be found by an American reporter who noticed the pungent line of plants flourishing in the dry fields surrounding the five-meter high concrete walls of the compound.
The marijuana plants were hidden alongside other crops including potatoes and cabbages.
So… was Bin Laden a pothead?
The discovery of the plants raised the possibility that bin Laden either smoked weed, or sold it to fund his terrorist activities. Bin Laden was not alone in growing weed. The northwest part of Pakistan has the ideal climate for growing marijuana plants. Although Pakistan is better known for its production and trafficking of opium, pot contributes to the country’s annual $4 billion in drug revenue.
In the years preceding his death, bin Laden was known to suffer from kidney problems. This is a medical condition that is often treated using marijuana.
After bin Laden was killed, local residents spoke to reporters about what he was like. There was little to go on, as he never left the compound and even the comings and goings of others within the compound were secretive. However, one of the more amusing reports that the world’s most wanted terrorist had a sweet tooth and loved Pepsi and Coke, two US products Bin Laden claimed to despise. Two of Bin Laden’s men regularly did the shopping, and bought enough food, as well as enough Pepsi and Coke for at least ten people. Since bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound lacked Internet access, bin Laden communicated with his network through a system that involved typing a message on his computer, saving the message to a flash drive and then giving the flash drive to a trusted courier who would drive it to far-off Internet cafes, send the message, and then return to the compound with a reply.
Osama bin Laden was shot and killed on May 2, 2011 during a covert operation conducted by members of Navy SEAL Team Six. He was the founder of al-Qaeda, a militant Islamic extremist group that claimed responsibility for the September 11th attacks on the US. The terrorist mastermind lived in hiding for years, while spending most of his time trying to destroy the United States.
Whether bin Laden used marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, or used it to finance terrorist activities, remains a mystery.