Before the Abbottabad operation, there had been no sighting of Osama bin Laden since December 2001. No intelligence agency of the world— and many were operating in Afghanistan and on the Pak-Afghan border—had reported the presence of Osama in the region.
Most international observers had suspected that Bin Laden may have died many years ago due to his kidney problem for which advanced equipment was not available. This was highlighted in the last 10 years.
According to The Telegraph: “Bin Laden’s voice was detected regularly until 14 December 2001 by intelligence operatives monitoring radio transmissions in Tora Bora, according to the Pentagon. Since then, nothing has been heard from the al-Qaeda leader and President Bush has hinted in private that bin Laden’s silence could mean he has been killed.” Afghan President Hamid Karzai had also told CNN that Osama bin Laden was “probably” dead.
The FBI’s counter-terrorism chief, Dale Watson, in an interview to BBC said he thinks Osama bin Laden is “probably” dead. The editor-in-chief of a London-based Arab news magazine said that a will it published was written late last year (2001) by Osama bin Laden, and shows “he’s dying or he’s going to die soon.”
The NYT stated in July 2002: “With an ego the size of Mount Everest, Osama bin Laden would not have, could not have, remained silent for so long if he were still alive. He always liked to take credit even for things he had nothing to do with. Would he remain silent for nine months and not trumpet his own survival?”
US Conservative commentator, former Marine Colonel Bob Pappas has been saying for years that Bin Laden died at Tora Bora and that Senator Kerry’s claim that Bin Laden escaped with Bush help was a lie.
The Guardian reported in 2001 that bin Laden had often been reported to be in poor health. “Some accounts claim that he is suffering from Hepatitis C, and can expect to live for only two more years. According to Le Figaro, last year  he ordered a mobile dialysis machine to be delivered to his base at Kandahar in Afghanistan.”
In a 66-page report on Afghanistan before he was fired, General Stanley McChrystal never mentioned Osama bin Laden. Everything is “Mullah Omar” now. Boston University’s Professor of international relations Angelo Codevilla said that there was a simple explanation - he was dead.
Professor David Griffin, professor emeritus at California’s Claremont School of Theology, claims in his new book - Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive Out of the blue, around 13 December 2001, signals intelligence on Bin Laden ceased and has never been re-established. Whereas before the US regularly listened in to his conversations, they haven’t heard a squeak from him in eight years.
The US intelligence agencies possess the most advanced and sophisticated equipment and use innovative techniques in their operations. US satellites, thousands of kilometers up in the space, can even pinpoint a golf ball on the ground. They can also tap telephone calls and listen to people on the ground. Strangely, it took them more than nine years to trace bin Laden. Why?