The Navy SEAL team that offed the 21st century's most wanted man Sunday was so concerned about preparation and accuracy that they re-created the one-acre compound where their target was living, "Ocean's Eleven" style. The SEALs ran trial runs there in early April until they were ready to take down Osama bin Laden.
This snippet, mentioned in a depiction of the raid posted at the Atlantic, highlights one particularly interesting facet of this operation: It centered on people. Certainly, the specialized Black Hawk helicopters, hyperspectral imagers and other tactical technology were key — but in the end, bin Laden met his demise at the hands of ultra-trained human warriors, not machines. Here's how it went down.
Back in August, American officials received a tip that bin Laden was hiding in Waziristan Mansion, a suburban compound with walls up to 18 feet whose residents burned their trash and employed various other security measures. Over the next few months, CIA analysts studied whether the chief resident could be anyone else, and decided it was almost certainly him.
In March, President Obama authorized a plan to bomb the compound using B2 stealth planes carrying 2,000-pound ordnance. But ABC News reports the president learned the compound would be reduced to rubble and changed his mind, partly because of the risk of civilian casualties and partly because the destruction would mean there was no proof the leader of al Qaeda was dead. Then he ordered in the SEALs instead.
SEAL Team Six practiced at Camp Alpha, a segregated portion of Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, using a replica of Waziristan Mansion. Team Six, also known as DevGru (the Naval Special Warfare Development Group), is part of the Joint Special Operations Command, the same folks who took out a team of Somali pirates two years ago to rescue a merchant marine captain.
Obama authorized the raid Friday morning, and proceeded to the planned launch of space shuttle Endeavour with First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters. He also toured areas in Alabama that had been devastated by a string of tornadoes last week.
The operation was scheduled for Saturday night, when the team could take advantage of scant moonlight, but cloudy weather over Islamabad pushed it back to Sunday, according to various reports. The SEALs boarded modified Black Hawk helicopters at Ghazi Air Base in Pakistan and flew to the compound without alerting Pakistani authorities. Though U.S. authorities have not confirmed any additional air support, Danger Room points out that it's unlikely the CIA and JSOC would risk sending in a bare-bones team to face terrorists capable of shooting down helicopters. (One of them crashed, which the military said was the result of mechanical problems, and it was subsequently destroyed.) "That means air cover—most likely armed drones or Air Force gunships," Danger Room notes.
The SEALs swept in, engaged in a firefight, ordered bin Laden to surrender, and when he refused, shot him twice in the head. Such a "double tap" would be standard procedure, military officials told ABC News. His body was quickly taken away for DNA testing, ensuring it was really him. Bin Laden was later buried at sea according to Islamic rites. American officials are still contemplating whether to release photos of his body.
ABC obtained video from inside the compound, which you can see below. Warning: Some images are graphic.
In the first hours after bin Laden's death was announced, authorities were careful to point out that people, not drones, did him in. Danger Room notes that drones couldn't have gotten it done no matter what — the compound's location all but precluded a successful drone attack. Check out its location and you'll see why.
The compound was added to Google Maps within moments of President Obama's announcement, showing its proximity to, among other landmarks, a clinic for women and children. It's only a few hundred yards from the Pakistan Military Academy, which the BBC describes as equivalent to West Point in its elite exclusivity. And it's within the boundaries of Pakistan's air defense intercept zone for the capital, which is about 35 miles away — towards Pakistani enemy India. All this would have almost certainly lit up Pakistan's surface-to-air defense capability, letting the cat out of the bag and perhaps compromising the entire operation.
The AP reports US intelligence officials believe the mansion was built in 2005 for the express purpose of harboring bin Laden.
The SEAL team was in and out in under 40 minutes, including the entry, firefight, and extraction of bin Laden's body. The team also grabbed computers and other intel that could help unmask more al Qaeda deputies and funding sources, officials said.
Intelligence officials are no doubt poring over every pixel of information taken from that mansion, and the most advanced technology in the world will help them analyze it. Meanwhile, the U.S. is on alert for retaliatory action, and homeland defense authorities are employing enhanced security measures, including tightened patrols at airports and on public transit. Along with unraveling bin Laden's network, technology could help prevent future terrorist attacks, pinpoint al Qaeda operatives, and conduct surveillance and reconnaissance.
But this operation shows that when failure is not an option, even in the future, it will be people, not machines, that get the job done.
Bin Laden was being hidden right under the noses of Pakistani's elite Military Academy so the suspicion that the Pakistani government was hiding Bin Laden all along has pretty much been proven.
And per Bush's statement "if you harbor a terrorist you are a terrorist" it remains to be seen what Obama does about this.
Personally, we should just find a sparsely inhabited region along the Afghan/Pakistan border visible from Islamabad and drop a nuke there with a warning that this will be your fate if you do it again.
People knew he was there, its the same kind of corruption/loyalty with the cartels in Mexico. Glad it was the SEALs that got him, as a Marine, I can admit those guys are the very best. I dont condone his quick burial according to his religion. Sucker should have been hung on the border to show everyone of his followers no matter how rich you are or how many people you know, we will hunt you down, and we will put 2 in your brain housing group.
Hats off to Seal Team Six! If I were president Id exempt them from taxes the rest of their lives.
I guess we will be seeing more SEALs movies after this. They really are the best at what they do. Extreme training, the best equipment and the best technology at their disposal.
Not to take anything away from this elite group, but it would have been nice to know that it was technology and high tech spy gadgetry, that brought him down though, being a technocrat and all.
What I found interesting in all this, again it is the SEALs that did all the work and deserve all the credit, but consider this: The President did all that he did in that weekend plus made a laughing stalk out of Trump without giving the slightest shred of evidence that something like this was about to transpire.
I guess it goes without saying, you don't want to mess with the Americans. They have everything already mapped out, literally, just waiting to send in the SEALs. All the while keeping a poker face.
So, from what I understand, It was Bin Laden, 2 couriers, and a woman they were using as a human shield who was killed.
Am I supposed to believe Seal Team Six couldn't handle arresting an old guy, an innocent woman, and 2 couriers?
Why on earth would we kill the figurehead of our biggest enemy and then dump him into the sea when we obviously had no need to do so? Why not capture him alive and get information from him, then turn him over to the Afghani's to hang.
Makes no sense to me... and I don't generally believe things that make no sense...
@B.V., careful now. The unwritten rule is to say what you mean... without saying what you mean.
my guest is bringing him back alive would have been a huge mess, can you imagine how big of a prize he would be for some lawyer.
i rather believe the seal's put the cunt down on his knees and blow his head, still to quick of a death for him.
Amazing job to the seals and everyone else involved in the operation. This is amazing moral booster for the people or our country and people across the world. Let it be known that if you are a big enemy to the public you will be brought to justice.
Now that being said in response to b.v., it is much more complicated than you think. Do you think Osama wouldve surrendered? If you do you are insane. He also would not have ever given us any information seeing as this is a man that hates our country so much that he was willing to kill 3000 innocent civilians.
In response to others, while i think it is great that we finally killed him, it was completely right for us to dump his body in the ocean seeing as how that it part of his religion. The man is already dead, there is no need to disgrace his dead body. Put yourselves above the people in this world with no morals. Also, that would have created more terrorists bc people would have been upset bc we disgraced his dead body.
Finally, NO NUKES. That is just an immoral and irrational idea. Why would you want to create suffering and death for innocent civilians?
This is well written, very concise and to the point! and in such a short turnaround
This is great news, only 1 trillion and over 100.000 lifes later US was able to kill one man.
We have killed many other terrorists high up in the chains of command and many more low ranking ones. However, I agree that the war was a waste of lives and money.
This is actually great news because we finally got the man we wanted worse. That money and lives lost would hurt even more if we didn't succeed in killing him.
9/11 was an inside job...and the science backs me up
I am so surprised though...that they would do this. Make public his death...now who are the sheep going to be afraid off?
But no pictures or video of what happened, or pictures of him? They dump his body in the ocean...as to respect his Muslim beliefs?
This whole story is B.S
WAKE UP SHEEP!!
Good article except the part "every pixel of information". Why pixels??? Bits would make so much more sense.
@Aldrons Last Hope
Please shut up. The reason for the burial at see is to prevent Bin Laden's grave from becoming shrine to the Extremists. And, please look into Islamic traditions before you spew all your bullshit. It is a discredit to you. And pictures will be released, the US is not going to release info on a highly classified operation until they remove all sensitive data and information from it. And, we "sheep" are still "afraid" of Al-Queda. It does not end with Bin Laden. Bin Laden was just the Icon, just as you are for crazy conspiracy theories on this site. You remove the tip of the ice burg, you still have the rest of it.
Thank you colummcgaley. I swear that person believes every conspiracy theory he hears. In addition to what you have said, there are some videos and pictures of the house/ operation on other sites. Besides, reports say that he was shot twice in the head, so it may be hard to tell from pictures if it was actually osama bc of the mutalation. Lastly, if they were going to lie about killing him, why would they wait ten years?
I don't think we will ever know the whole story on this or 9/11. There are a lot of powerful people with a stake in our wars. There's a lot of people with a stake in keeping the military industrial complex well funded. I wouldn't put anything past the government at this point. I mean we went into Libia. We went into Iraq. We have been in afganistan when everyone knows that Al Qeada moved over to pakistan. Just remember this war gives a lot of people a lot of money.
I'm not saying i agree but they would keep the body for ten years because they would want people to still support the war, and keep the money rolling. Then say you found him at a time when foreign policy is a complete mess.
I truly believe that USA is not acting on my best interest. Americans are just looking for somebody to beat down in a true bullying fashion.
Honestly USA is a beacon of tyranny and not of freedom. USA can drink my farts.
Now you claim to be world police and want to be payed too. Booooh boooh boooh.
Stay inside your borders!
@ Aldrons Last hope, B.V.
So we meet again. You do know conspiracy theory was a fictional movie right........not everything is a conspiracy guys.
If it weren't for us terrible Americans, you would not have this site or the internet to complain on. lol
I'm not saying it's a conspiracy... just saying it doesn't add up. And if the whole thing was actually handled the way they claim... it's pretty disappointing.
As far as the whole "it would be complicated to capture him and put him on trial"... not really. We captured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and are holding him in Guantanamo for the same crimes as Bin Laden. Somehow we've managed to do that... so why would it be any different with Bin Laden?
If they really did just shoot him in the head twice cause he didn't surrender, I think it's disappointing on many levels.
1) It makes the U.S. look like revenge-driven vigilantes instead of "justice" delivering people with higher moral standards than those of our enemies.
2) The best possible death for a "Jihadist" is to die in battle. By killing him we've made a martyr out of him... and have given ammunition to Al Qaeda to further operate.
I think it would have been much more advantageous to the U.S. to capture him alive, put him on trial in front of a military tribunal, and show the whole world that we actually adhere to our system of beliefs and ideas about justice and civility.
Finally, we could have let him rot in prison for the few remaining years he had left. This way there is no martyrdom, no virgins in heaven, no easy way out... just a lonely prison cell and this demoralizing message to the enemy:
If you are a terrorist, the U.S. will catch you, and you won't die an honorable death on the fast-track to heaven. You will be tried and imprisoned, and live out the rest of your days in the hands of those who are too good to resort to your level of petty violence and murder.
I'm not trying to minimize the amazing accomplishment here...just would have preferred to see a different approach.
why the the hell would the my nation be acting on your best interest.
you forgot racist baby eaters lol
Those buildings were brought down by controlled demolition...you would have to be blind and dumb to not see that. Nano thermite was found in the debris (do any of you know what that is?) Explosions were heard BEFORE the planes hit….and continued and was even reported on the first day. Google 9/11 coincidences it’s a 5hr documentary that proves that Nist is full of it, and that those 3 buildings were brought down by controlled demolition….someone please prove me wrong…if you can.
Again, Engineers and Architects agree with me.
Please check that site out...it's on behalf of the victim’s family of 9/11. (most of you could care less about them)
If anyone believes that they killed Osama yesterday and threw him in the ocean....you are actually done for...you are in the mindset of 1984. He is much more valuable alive...not just from an information standpoint (he apparently outsmarted the whole of NORAD command). Osama is not a martyr...he was a tool of the C.I.A, he does not speak for Islam or the middle east. He was a willing pawn in the 9/11 scam, and he will have to answer for his part in this atrocity.
Look at all that was gained from 9/11....the U.S has taken away the privacy rights of everyone...torture is legal; you get all that Iraqi oil. my God the list goes on and on and on. Carlyle group has made billions. The pipeline under Afghanistan has been built and is running; the U.S.A now controls the world heroin supply…etc. etc. 9/11 benefited the neo-cons.
I did see the movie conspiracy theory...and it's very interesting...the hero (Mel)...knows something what the sheep doesn't. But he is presented as flawed, schizoid and damaged. He doesn't even get the girl. What is hollywood trying to tell the sheep?...it's better to be a retard (Forrest Gump) than to be aware of the truth. Just go along with everything.
I know 9/11 was an inside job %100...and I'm a total sane, family man, with a career and a nice house....so there! That conspiracy theorist stereotype that all the sheep have in their mind is an archetype that Hollywood put there. Stop being mind controlled.
@Colummcgaley you shut up sheep! You say you are still afraid…why doesn’t that surprise me? Please go look at your history…your founding fathers did not liberate you from the crown so you can be scared little sheep….you take your freedom for granted while others are willing to fight and die for it (your military)….keep being afraid and praying to Obama to protect you from the boggie man. You need the bible…for there is nothing to fear except fear itself. You are willing to give up all your rights, and laws and morals, just so the boggie man doesn’t get you?? Grow a pair!
And to everyone that says bomb Pakistan…LMAO…Pakistan is the one who allowed the U.S gov’t to operate in their territory.
Osama died a long time ago…they just rolled out his body now cause Obama’s approval rating is down, and his birth certificate is fake.
@gravytrain....it's not all americans, it's the ruling elite...I was in Chicago in March...I met some of the nicest most sincere people that I have ever met...I made friends within 5 minutes, and I’m talking white, Hispanic, black. That goes for New York, Florida, Texas...I wish they would just stand up against their government which is out of control right now. And sooner or later will turn on them. To all you americans...don't lose your 2nd amendment rights..cause when you do you are done.
@Alderons Last Hope,
Do YOU even know what nano thermite is? LOL! Take it from me, a combat engineer who blows up bridges and buildings and I've seen what the damage looks like up close. When looking at the wreckage of the twin towers it is very obvious to me that explosives WERE NOT USED to take out the support. First, the amount of explosives that would have been needed to take out those buildings is alot. We are talking thousands of pounds of C4. And I know you are going to say that they used the nano thermite but that is not the case. Nano thermite is very sensative to electro static discharge, it is considered to be unstable for the most part. Nano thermites are out of the question, it's just not a viable option when you demo a building.
Secondly since when does explosives cut metal cleanly like I've seen in the photos? ----\ /----- thats the best represntation I can give you over text. The ends of metal pieces bend in opposite directions because when you cut metal bars with explosives you back the explosives on opposite sites of the metal to create a pushing effect=heat and pressure thus causing the metal to sear. It never cuts cleanly. You know what does cut cleanly? High amounts of weight stacked on top of a metal surface that experiences a stress fracture from kiinetic energy. See where I'm going with this? Vibrations from the impact of the plane caused stress fractures in the metal support beams and the weight of the building seared the metal cleanly.
Lets not forget that these metal beams are packed all the way around with conrete. So to even get to the metal you would have to drill holes into it then load it with C4. Lots of C4. You mean to tell me that the security didn't notice people drilling holes into the support and then loading hundreds upon hundres of punds of C4 into the support?
And for all the hundreds if not thousands of people that would be required to carry out an operation of that magnitute and yet not a single one has spoken up? I'm sure all of that would weigh on at least one persons conscience.
What pipes under Afhanistan do you speak of? You do know that Afhanistan has a sea of mountain landscape don't you? You mean to tell me that pipes have been layed under the mountains in Afghanistan? Or that all this construction took place in the middle of all the fighting, road side bombs and dangerous mines that are littered all over the place? You have got to be the most gullible man on the planet. I have ocean front property in Arizona I would like to sell you. It really exists! The government has purposely altered all the maps to make you think it doesn't but it does. It's all a money making scam! A conspiracy!
Too many holes in the theory. But no matter how much truth and proof there is to refute your bogus claims you will always think you are right and that we are the sheeple.
Just curious Aldron, what country do you live in? In addition, be careful as to what assumptions and insults you make because there are often people who are far more experienced then you in their field and they know the truth first hand. Ahh im falling right into your trap. O well, have fun with all your little conspiracy theories, I prefer to believe the truth.
Nicely done army juggernaut. In addition, it is ridiculous to say that we are taking Afghan opium. Are you stupid? We have been trying to teach farmers to grow crops besides opium, so that they can have a better lifestyle where they grow food crops so that they don't starve. Don't believe me? Ask people who are in the military or are doing community service in Afghanistan, they will tell you the truth.
The SEALs killed him in a fire fight as they were trying capture him. Two shots to the left eye sounds like something that would happen with fighting. It sounds even more likly if he was using a human sheild so about all you have is his head to hit. The SEALs buried Bin Laden at sea in line with his religious beliefs. I think that doing that was more than he should have goten but if they hadn't it might have been used by people like him to again say we are evil people with no honor. I thonk this is about as good as something like this could happen in real life.
@Army Jugernaut do you know what nano-thermite is?
You say the damage at ground zero doesn't look like the work of explosives...that is a lie. Pulverized concrete is proof of explosives.
You say that explosives cannot cut vertically or horizontally
I just proved you wrong.
You say that explosives were not used to take out the base.
Here is a witness that was honored by G.W Bush. This man is a hero and the reality of what he speaks of on 9/11 is too much for the sheep to comprehend.
Proved you wrong AGAIN
What did you say about security at WTC? Funny you ask, this link will show you the security firm in charge of WTC and Dulles airport...was none other that G.W Bush's brother Marvin. Also "renovations" were taking place months before 9/11, including a complete shut down of security cameras the week before 9/11
Wrong again army.
What pipeline? Have you ever heard of UNOCAL??
If anyone believes the pipeline that UNOCAL lobbied congress for is a conspiracy...get your head out of your ass and read a book!!
Proved you wrong AGAIN
BTW you mention jet fuel and the impact of planes...what plane hit WT7? For it collapsed the same way.
Army please open your eyes. You are the gullible one. Also steel melts at over 2000 degrees, jet fuel burns at 900 degrees...what produced the molten steel gushing out of WTC seen here? Anyone? Come on this is a science blog, I would like a scientist to tell me how 900 degree heat produces 2000 degree molten steel.
And what caused molten concrete and metal to pool at the base of all three towers?
Listen man, there is so much info out there on this..that you shouldn't need me to shepherd you. CNN, ABC, FOX, are owned by the global elite...to find the truth you have to look for it.
@bob clemintine..."nicely done" are you serious?..you are a friggin sheep that has no idea. Heroin production has gone up since the U.S took over the operation...in fact the Taliban burned all the poppy fields prior to 9/11 in defiance of the U.S position of the pipeline.
Have you ever heard of the Iran Contra scandal? That is a conspiracy that was proven true. The biggest drug dealer in the U.S is the C.I.A. Here is a link the shows that the U.S is overseeing heroin production in Afghanistan
My home is the world, My religion is to do good.
BTW this is not me floating weather balloons like the "moon" threads...I know with every part of my being that 9/11 was an inside job, and I will prove anyone wrong who tries to argue with me like I have done thus far. Architects and Engineers for 9/11 is just one group that I look to for answers, mainly because they employ the scientific method..and their case is air tight. So all you sheep wake up...it's not an insult, I was asleep too, but 9/11 woke me up.
of..of..o-of....of of...of of.....