The death of Bin Laden

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It is hard to believe that it has already been 6 years to the day since Obama Bin Laden was killed.

I can’t help but thinking what the Iranian born comedian Omid Djalili said about this.”We spent 10 years looking for Bin Laden. We scoured 27 countries looking for Bin Laden, we spent 2 Billions Dollars looking for bin laden . Where do we find him? In his house!”

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He was killed on May 2, 2011, by American military and C.I.A. operatives who tracked him to a compound in Pakistan.

President Obama announced the death in a televised address to the nation from Washington, where it was still late on the night of May 1. “Justice has been done,” he declared.

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The United States had been trying to kill or capture Bin Laden since it launched an invasion of Afghanistan in November 2001. The next month, he escaped from American and Afghan troops at an Afghan mountain redoubt called Tora Bora, near the border with Pakistan. For more than nine years afterward, he remained an elusive, shadowy figure frustratingly beyond the grasp of his pursuers and thought to be hiding somewhere in Pakistan’s remote tribal areas and plotting new attacks.

When he was hunted down, Bin Laden was killed not in the wilderness but rather in the city of Abbottadad, about an hour’s drive drive north of the capital of Islamabad, raising anew questions about whether the Pakistani intelligence services had played a role in harboring him.

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The official mission code name was Operation Neptune Spear. Neptune’s spear is the trident, which appears on the U.S. Navy’s Special Warfare insignia, with the three prongs of the trident representing the operational capacity of SEALs on sea, air and land.

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Behind the raid that killed Bin Laden lay years of intelligence work.  The turning point came in July 2010, when Pakistanis working for the Central Intelligence Agency drove up behind a white Suzuki navigating the bustling streets near Peshawar and wrote down the car’s license plate.

The man in the car was Bin Laden’s most trusted courier, and over the next month C.I.A. operatives would track him throughout central Pakistan. Ultimately he led them to a sprawling compound at the end of a long dirt road and surrounded by tall security fences in the wealthy hamlet 35 miles from Islamabad.

On a moonless night eight months later, 79 American commandos in four helicopters descended on the compound. Shots rang out. A helicopter stalled and would not take off. Pakistani authorities, kept in the dark by their allies in Washington, scrambled forces as the American commandos rushed to finish their mission and leave before a confrontation. Of the five dead, one was a tall, bearded man with a bloodied face and a bullet in his head. A member of the Navy Seals snapped his picture with a camera and uploaded it to analysts who fed it into a facial recognition program.

In its initial account, the American government said that Bin Laden had been armed while taking part in the fierce firefight that broke out after a team of Navy Seals launched its assault. That was later revised to say that Bin Laden had been unarmed.

According to the later account, when the Seals reached the compound, they were immediately fired upon by Bin Laden’s trusted courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti.

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The SEALs encountered bin Laden on the third floor of the main building.Bin Laden was “wearing the local loose-fitting tunic and pants known as a kurta paijama“, which were later found to have €500 and two phone numbers sewn into the fabric.

Bin Laden peered through his bedroom door at the Americans advancing up the stairs, and then retreated into the room as the lead SEAL fired a shot at him, which either missed or hit him in the side. Robert O’Neill, who later publicly identified himself as the SEAL who shot bin Laden,rolled through the door and confronted bin Laden inside the bedroom.

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Seymour Hersh reports that, according to his sources, bin Laden was found cowering and shot dead

The commandos killed him and a woman with him. When the Seals moved into the main house, they saw the courier’s brother, who they believed was preparing to fire a weapon. They shot and killed him. Then, as they made their way up the stairs of the house, officials said they killed Bin Laden’s son Khalid as he lunged toward the Seal team.

When the commandos reached the top floor, they entered a room and saw Osama bin Laden with an AK-47 and a Makarov pistol in arm’s reach. They shot and killed him, as well as wounding a woman with him.

And just like that, history’s most expansive, expensive and exasperating manhunt was over. The inert frame of Bin Laden, America’s enemy No. 1, was placed in a helicopter for burial at sea, never to be seen or feared again.

According to U.S. officials, bin Laden was buried at sea because no country would accept his remains. Before disposing of the body, the U.S. called the Saudi government, who approved of burying the body in the ocean.Muslim religious rites were performed aboard Carl Vinson in the North Arabian Sea within 24 hours of bin Laden’s death.

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The claims that O’Neill killed bin Laden came on October 5, 2014, in anticipation of a Fox News special called The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden,which was expected to reveal his identity and details of the mission Operation Neptune Spear. He had previously been interviewed anonymously in an Esquire magazine article in February 2013.

O’Neill’s statements resulted in criticism by fellow Navy SEALs. Rear Admiral Brian Losey and Force Master Chief Michael Magaraci issued a public statement,

A critical tenant [sic] of our ethos is “I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions

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