The extraordinary revelation is made by Pakistan’s official investigation, obtained last night by Al Jazeera, into how bin Laden managed to live undetected in the country for almost a decade. …

They may have come closest when the al-Qaeda leader was living in the Swat Valley during 2002 and 2003.

According to the testimony of Maryam, the wife of Ibrahim al-Kuwaiti, on bin Laden’s two trusted bodyguards, they would make occasional visits to the local bazaar.

She told investigators that on one trip their car was pulled over for speeding by a policeman, but that her husband “quickly settled the matter”. Whether the police officer was paid off or simply failed to spot the notorious passenger is not explained.