Osama bin Laden
Photo: AFP

Navy Seal disputes prior version of bin Laden death

Member of elite unit responsible for killing world’s most wanted terrorist tells CNN soldier who claimed to have been the one who first shot bin Laden was actually not the one who delivered the kill-shot

WASHINGTON - Who is really responsible for killing of Osama bin Laden? Last month Esquire magazine hit the stands carrying a feature profiling a soldier, referred to as "the shooter," a member of Team 6 of the Navy Seals, who claimed he was the first man to shoot bin Laden. Now a third source from the elite unit disputes "the shooter"s’ version of the events in an interview with CNN terror analyst Peter Bergen, released Tuesday.


According to this source, the original shooter was the first of three fighters who burst into the bedroom of the al Qaeda leader. He was followed by Matt Bissonette, the Seal who wrote the best seller ‘No Easy Day,’ regarding the events of May 2, 2011, and then he was followed by the source himself.


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This team member refers to the initial shooter as the "point man," the one who actually led the team toward the bedroom of bin Laden. As the source explained to Bergen, the leader was the first to arrive on the top floor of the building, and shot bin Laden in the head only after he saw someone resembling him sticking his head out of the door of the bedroom.


יחידת "אריות הים" בפעולה (צילום:  AFP PHOTO/ US NAVY )

American Navy Seals in action (Photo: AFP / US Navy)


After mortally wounding bin Laden, "the leader" took two women in the room into his arms, in order to absorb any explosion that might occur, protecting team members coming up behind him in the event the women were wearing suicide vests. It was at that point that Bissonette and the new source entered the room. Upon finding bin Laden dying on the floor, they delivered fatal shoots to the chest. Bissonette was the only one to have his identity publicized, upon publication of his book.


האחוזה בפקיסטן שבה חוסל מנהיג אל קאעידה (צילום: רויטרס)

Pakistani compound in which bin Laden hid (Photo: Reuters) 


The CNN story brings into question other details in the Esquire feature, in addition to the claim of the "the shooter" to be the one who delivered the first shot. It disputes "the shooter"’s claim that bin Laden had weapons within reach. Only two guns were in the vicinity, on a shelf above the bedroom door.


The latest source told CNN that "the shooter" was thrown off of the elite Red Squadron of Seal Team 6 after publicly boasting about the operation at bars and pubs around their home base in Virginia. Along with this, the man told CNN that the leader of the operation will never identify himself or go public with an interview.


Additional sources associated with the unit told the American network that the version told by "the shooter" is indeed the most inaccurate. Even so, they emphasize that while it is known the three soldiers burst into bin Laden’s room and shot him, it will be very hard to ever accurately recreate what happened in the bedroom of the compound, that night in Abbottabad, Pakistan.



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פרסום ראשון: 03.27.13, 10:12
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