"Scientists Predicted bin Laden's Location in 2009 http://www.sci-tech-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=010000KCRZ1K&full_skip=1 May 4, 2011 1:22PM The same theories used to study endangered birds led scientists to an accurate prediction of Osama bin Laden's whereabouts -- in 2009. The scientists named the city of Parachinar as the most likely hide-out of bin Laden with a probability of 98 percent that he was in the region, which includes the city of Abottabad, where he was tracked down and killed. A team of Los Angeles geographers correctly predicted Osama bin Laden's location in 2009 by adapting probability models used to map and predict the extinction of endangered birds, according to a report Tuesday on the Science Insider Web site. The scientists named the city of Parachinar as the most likely hide-out of Bin Laden with a probability of 98 per cent that he was in the region. The researchers predicted there was an 89-percent chance that the al-Qaeda leader was in the area, which included the city of Abottabad, where he was tracked down and killed by US forces on Sunday. "The theory was basically that if you're going to try and survive, you're going to a region with a low extinction rate: a large town," geography professor Thomas W Gillespie said. "We hypothesized he wouldn't be in a small town where people could report on him." "It's not my thing to do this type of stuff (on terrorism research)," he said. "But the same theories we use to study endangered birds can be used to do this." The research team comprised Gillespie, geography professor John A Agnew and their students at the University of California at Los Angeles. Using a theory called island biogeography, they predicted that bin Laden would be hiding in a large city, based on the notion that species are more likely to survive on a large island than a small one. They used a theory called distance-decay theory to predict that bin Laden was hiding close to his last known whereabouts (determined to be the cave complex of Tora Bora in 2001) and in a region that has a similar physical and cultural environment . "The further he moves from his last reported location into the more secular parts of Pakistan or into India, the greater the probability that he will find himself in different cultural surroundings -- thereby increasing the probability of his being captured or eliminated," the authors said in their paper. Gillespie said it was common sense that Osama would be hiding in a town. "Caves are cold, and you can't see people walking up to them," he said. He criticized bin Laden's choice of location. "An inconspicuous house would have suited him better," he said."