The U.S. special operations forces who killed Osama bin Laden didn’t know for sure he was in a fortified villa near Islamabad until they swooped in and came face to face with the world’s most wanted terrorist.

While U.S. intelligence officers had concluded there was a “strong probability” bin Laden was living in the compound near the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, all they could be positive about was that it was occupied by a high-value individual, unidentified officials said at a White House briefing. The military’s target was a specially built property in the city full of retired military 35 miles northeast of Islamabad.

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