Monday, May 2, 2011
Details Emerge: How We Got Bin Laden
Details Emerge: How We Got Bin Laden
By Guy Benson
Fascinating news accounts are beginning to paint a picture of how US special forces -- Navy Seals and CIA, in this case -- took out one of the world's greatest monsters. A radical to the end, bin Laden reportedly exchanged fire with American forces before he was gunned down:
According to U.S. officials, two U.S. helicopters swept into thecompound at 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning. Twenty to 25 U.S. NavySeals under the command of the Joint Special Operations Command incooperation with the CIA stormed the compound and engaged Bin Laden and his men in a firefight, killed Bin Laden and all those with him.
Two Bin Laden couriers were killed, as was one of Osama Bin Laden'sson, as was a woman reportedly used as a shield by one of the men.Other women and children were present in the compound, according toPakistani officials, but were not harmed. U.S. officials said that Bin Laden himself did fire his weapon during the fight.
Bin Laden's team of thugs was completely wiped out, and our strike team suffered no losses (aside from one helicopter). How'd they pull off such an impressive feat? Outstanding and meticulous preparation:
Military source tells me #Seals built a full-scale mockup of #bin Ladin's compound and spent weeks practicing the raid and learning layout.
Another interesting nugget -- early intelligence that ultimately led US intelligence officials to bin Laden's compound came from Guantanamo Bay detainees:
Some time after Sept. 11, detainees held by the U.S. told interrogators about a man believed to work as a courier for bin Laden, senior administration officials said. The man was described bydetainees as a protégé of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and “one of the few Al Qaeda couriers trusted by bin laden.”
Initially, intelligence officials only had the man’s nickname, but they discovered his real name four years ago.
Two years ago, intelligence officials began to identify areas of Pakistan where the courier and his brother operated, and the greatsecurity precautions the two men took aroused U.S. suspicions.
Last August, intelligence officials tracked the men to their residence in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a relatively wealthy town 35 milesnorth of Islamabad where many retired military officers live.
Far from being holed up in a cave, bin Laden had been hiding out in a million-dollar mansion. Somewhat infuriating:
The compound was eight times larger than any other home in the area.It was surrounded by walls measuring 12 feet to 18 feet that weretopped with barbed wire. There were additional inner walls thatsectioned off parts of the compound and entry was restricted by twosecurity gates. And the residents burned their trash instead of leavingit outside for pickup. There was a three-story house on the site, witha 7-foot privacy wall on the top floor.
While the two brothers, the couriers, had no known source of income,the compound was built in 2005 and valued at $1 million. That ledintelligence officials to conclude that it must have been built to holda high-value member of Al Qaeda.
This cretin eluded capture for years, but met a fitting demise: Staring down the barrel of a gun wielded by Uncle Sam's finest. He tried to resist. He lost.
UPDATE - Wow, we didn't inform the Pakistanis about the raid until after the mission was complete:
A helicopter involved in the raid suffered mechanical failure and was blown up by the American team, none of whom were killed or injured. The Pakistani government was not informed of the raid until after it was over.
Probably a smart move.
Posted by Brett at 10:17 AM