My fellow Americans, here you will find a highly speculative, possibly exaggerated, and most likely incomplete account of what could have happened on May 1st, 2011 when United States Special Forces operators kicked the door in on Osama bin ‘Hidin-no-more and brought an end to the life of one of the world’s most despicable characters. Here’s how it all went down…
April 29th, 2011 at 8:20AM. President Obama meets with members of his National Security team including Thomas Donilon, John Brennan (chief counterterrorism advisor), and others. During this meeting, final authority is given to execute the raid on the compound in Abbotabad. The raid itself was postponed one day due to adverse weather conditions – the following day, with the President’s approval already granted, CIA Director Leon Panetta signals the go ahead. we’re a go for May 1st, 2011; let’s go get the bastard.
Some short hours later, ~3:00 -3:30PM Eastern Standard Time (~1:30AM Local Time), four Sikorsky HH-60 Pave-Hawk helicopters of the U.S. Army’s “Night Stalkers” – 160th SOAR (Special Operations Aviation Regiment) approach the compound suspected of housing international terrorist Osama bin Laden. Between the two lead choppers is split anywhere between 20 – 25 members of DEVGRU, the fabled SEAL Team 6 (24 had executed practice raids on a full-size mock-up of the compound located at Camp Alpha – Bagram military base on April 7th and 13th). The other two are there for back-up. Redundancy, it’s the name of the game when it comes to keeping you alive and the bad-guys dead.
The New York Times reports that including support personnel, the raid involved “79 commandos [and a dog].” The Team had assembled in Afghanistan, were transported across the border and mounted their Velcro-Hawks at Tarbela Chazi Airbase in northwest Pakistan. Allegedly, the Team had been told; “we think we found Osama bin Laden, and your job is to kill him” – cheers are said to have been heard coming from the assembled SEALs. As the raiding party approached in the dark of night, compound guards opened fire on the choppers, and things got messy .. for the terrorists. Known as “going loud,” it’s at this point that bin Laden and crew found themselves in a sh!t-your-pants situation.
One of the helicopters stalled while hovering to deliver the operators to their target. The prop-wash from the rotor blades and high-walls of the compound combined to form a vortex of wind and forced the pilot to gently set the chopper down inside the compound and attempt to restart it. The SEALs disembarked and proceeded to their target – unsure as to whether their delivery bird would be good-to-go when then returned.
Neutralizing the compound guards, a room to room sweep would then have occurred. The Guardian reports that two adult males lived on the first floor – fighting occurred here and it is unclear as to if the casualties were the occupants or more guards; either way, they were bad-guys. Proceeding to the second and third floors, living-quarters for bin Laden and family, the team encountered, engaged, and defeated more resistance before facing off with bin Laden himself in a third story room.
The New York Times reported that at the time of the encounter, Osama did have a weapon, and resisted SEAL attempts to get him to surrender. The Guardian counters this claim, citing that he in fact had no weapon. One thing both reports are clear on, however – the cowardly head of the al-Qaeda organization used an as-of-yet unidentified woman (believed to have been his wife) as a human shield in his contest with American forces. Both were shot and killed, the message clear – make your bed with terrorists, and we’ll make your graves with them. (note: reports are now surfacing that there was no gun in the hands of bin-Laden, and that the female human shield rushed the SEAL Team, was shot in the leg, and is in stable condition).
The Shot(s) Heard Round the Free-World – Conflicting reports have surfaced surrounding the kill-shots that did-in Osama bin-Laden. It is agreed that two shots took down the terrorist mastermind; what remains in debate is the shot location and which weapon in the SEALs arsenal did the ventilating. Two reports have surfaced – one citing a “double-tap” to the head, with one round entering Osama’s skull above the left eye. The second shot is believed either to have been a high-chest or head shot, likely to the left-side of bin-Laden’s head. The BBC reports that also in the room was Osama’s 12 year-old daughter, who was (physically) unharmed.
The White House has stated that it will be releasing shortly a “death-shot” of Osama. Caution has been urged – the photo is described as “extremely graphic and gruesome” – reportedly there is a “massive open head-wound across both-eyes.” Several fakes of the alleged photo are making their way around the ‘net as we speak.
Also killed in the raid were 4 males, one of which is believed to be Osama’s son (either Hamza or Kahled (Hamza pictured below in a 2001 photo). Two other women were injured. The remainder of the reported 23 non-combatants inside of the compound (including women and children) were not harmed. United States’ personnel took no casualties
A thorough search of the compound yielded what CIA Director Panetta has called an “impressive amount” of viable intelligence. Hard drives, photos, documents, and flash-drives were recovered in the raid. The SEALs then took custody of Osama bin-Laden’s body, and made their exit from the compound a short 38 minutes after boots on the ground. The stalled helicopter was unable to be restarted, so it was wired with explosives and secured in place. The teams exited making use of one of the back-up helicopters.
Arriving back at the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), the body of Osama was reportedly handled with respect and within 24 hours after death washed in accordance with Muslim tradition before being placed in a white sheet, put inside a weighted bag, and conducted to the depths of Davey Jones’ locker to become food for the sharks.
Further analysis to continue as news becomes available…