Osama bin Laden was out of touch with the younger generation of al Qaida commanders, and they often didn't follow his advice during the years he was in hiding in northern Pakistan, U.S. and Pakistani officials now say.
Contradicting the assertions of some American officials that bin Laden was running a "command and control" center from the walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, officials say that bin Laden clearly wasn't in control of al Qaida, though he was trying to remain involved or at least influential.
"He was like the cranky old uncle that people weren't listening to," said a U.S. official, who'd been briefed on the evidence collected from the Abbottabad compound and who spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. "The younger guys had never worked directly with him. They did not take everything he said as right."
Nearly two months after bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs who raided his hideout in the early morning hours of May 2, a more detailed picture is emerging of how the world's most wanted fugitive lived out his final years secreted in the walled compound in this town in the Himalayan foothills, where neighbors still deny ever having an inkling that he was there.