The hijackers, many of whom lived in the United States for years, obeyed. They shaved their beards and wore western clothes. They hid their Korans. Some joined gyms and chatted about sports to neighbours. They took flying lessons and even military courses at US academies. Some brought their families to stay, warning them to flee at the last possible moment before the carnage began. They ate western food, and some even drank. No doubt they shopped at Walmart, and watched the Simpsons on TV. The Manchester terror manual even warned them "don't break parking regulations".
Even now, as US forces move in for the kill, bin Laden's satellite phone has not been cut off. But calls to the terrorist leader are going unanswered. His international phone number - 00873 682505331 - was disclosed during a trial, held in New York earlier this year. Caller to his once-active satellite link now hear only a recorded messages saying he is "not logged on".
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