How Osama (nearly) got away06 May 2011
The world seems shocked that osama, rather than living in a remote cave, he was living right under the noses of the pakistan military elite. He got away with it because he did not fart. For someone like him everywhere is dangerous, and living in a notional no-go area actually makes sense. It is all about risk profile. For him it paid off for a very long time.
This area was no remote sandopolis where noone cares if doors are kicked in. It is an area where any raid would need specific reasons. Once established in an area, the odds of surprise house visits is zero, as any house checks would be targeted at unfamilier people. In the streets people were identity checked all the time, but for someone who has to keep their head down this is a risk very rarely taken. The point is that living in a high risk area where routine checks are common means that complete surprise checks, a much more /uncertain/ risk, are much less likley. And since that risk reduces with time, someone with a reputation for staying on the move is better off staying put.
The other bonus is that there are not the suspicious long drives through barren land to get supplies and messages through. Noone ever queries yet another camel milk delivery in an area they are common, and if they do they also have plausable deniability so that any checks are more likley cursory. They will be looking for guns, not memory sticks.
There is also the issue of support network size. A few ultraloyals with loads of wedge can get very far, because ultimately there are not many things people need for real survival. There are odd people everywhere, and once someone has accepted the isolatin of international villianary, it does not take much to make a robust last mile contact loop.