Nightly News   |  May 04, 2011

Curious neighbors peer into bin Laden compound

Townspeople in Abbottabad, Pakistan, have been climbing roofs to get a look at Osama bin Laden’s large hideout. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk speaks with the man who tweeted the attack as it happened.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> let's go to the scene of the raid in pakistan where high level officials arrived at the compound north of islamabad. tonight, there are more pictures from inside the hideout where the s.e.a.l.s made the raid that killed osama bin laden . stephanie gosk is there for us tonight.

>> reporter: a look inside the hideout. ransacked and definitely lot luxurious. everyday belongings mixed in with the aftermath of a bloody struggle, including a yemeni passport apparently belonging to bin laden 's fifth and youngest wife. this video was shot not long after the precision assault sunday by u.s. navy s.e.a.l.s. what happened in this house that night and the years leading up to it has captivated the world and shocked the people who actually live here. today, a homeowner next door briefly gave access to his roofp roofptop. dozens of neighbors climbed up, eager to see what they could. this is one of the best views we have had of the compound. the house is large, but really, in comparison to the other houses in the neighborhood, it's not that big. there's a rumor that security forces are eventually going to destroy it. residents are sharing what they rer78 of two brothers, owners of the house. they used to come to these small shops buying milk and pepsi, often in bulk. we now know one of them was the infamous courier faollowed for years. this man remembered seeing the brothers in town but never the wives.

>> did the women ever and out of the house?

>> no, no women. you don't see here the women.

>> reporter: many people here don't believe bin laden was killed. they don't even believe he was here. does anyone here believe that osama bin laden was in that house? nobody? overhead today, helicopters flew by. not a rare sight in a military town, but when they heard the sound of choppers late sunday night, it didn't sound right. he started tweeting, having no idea what was really happening. helicopter hof eer hovering over aboughta bod at 1:00 a.m . is a rare event. go away. i hope it's not the start of something nasty. he wads the only person reporting the capture of bin laden as it happened. how many followers did you have on twitter on that moment?

>> almost 800, 900.

>> now how many do you have?

>> more than 100,000.

>> reporter: an instant internet celebrity who moved his family here from lahore last year to escape the terrorists.

>> i came here to escape all the bombings and now i find myself living in the same town as him.

>> a small town once far removed from the fight on terrorism. now the site of one of its most important battles. nbc news pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski reports that u.s. officials are providing a clearing picture of the firefight that happened here. it wasn't an intense back and forth but mostly one-sided. mostly the s.e.a.l.s doing the shooting. a proscission-clearing operation.