So secret was the project, that even the model makers charged with replicating the villa in Styrofoam, clay and acrylic would not have known the identity of its occupant.

Piece of US history: The one inch to seven feet scale model of Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani home that was used to help plan the raid that ended his life in May 2011. Pic/AFP

It went on public display in a Pentagon corridor this week, attracting a crowd of soldiers and office workers. It was built by a special team at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency from satellite images.

“This is actually the first time the model has been out of the building. Although it’s been declassified for a while, we were just able to make it publicly releasable,” said spokeswoman Erica Fouche.  The scale of the Osama compound model is one inch to seven feet.