Monday, May 2, 2011

Details emerge regarding Bin Laden raid

Alleged location of the Bin Laden compound

As more time elapses, more details begin to emerge about the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

  • The raid lasted roughly 40 minutes, and was carried out by SEAL Team Six (officially called the Naval Special Warfare Development Group).
  • 22 people were killed or captured. No U.S. casualties. Osama bin Laden was killed by two shots to his left eye. Two Al-Qaeda couriers and one of Osama's sons were also killed, along with a woman being used as a human shield during the fighting.
  • One of the two helicopters used for the raid had mechanical issues, and had to be crash-landed at the compound. The chopper was blown up when the SEALs left the area.
  • Bin Laden's body was brought back with the SEAL team. Preliminary DNA testing confirms that it was Osama. 
  • Bin Laden was given a brief Islamic funeral ceremony aboard the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, and then buried at sea.
  • The compound was built in 2005, on approximately one acre. High walls surrounded the property, and were also present on upper floors of the building. The house had no telephone or internet service, and the residents burned their trash (instead of placing it out for collection, like their neighbors).
  • Intelligence discovered the name of one of the couriers bin Laden was living with back in 2007. They found the courier in 2009, and the compound in August 2010.
  • The original plan was to bomb the compound, but the President was told that there would be no evidence that could be recovered to prove Osama's death.

The Pentagon has released a briefing on the compound, viewable here (.pdf).

ABC's Jake Tapper is reporting that the Obama adminstration is debating on whether or not to release pictures of Bin Laden's body. "The argument against releasing the pictures: they’re gruesome. He has a massive head wound above his left eye where he took bullet, with brains and blood visible."  [On that note, the photos currently floating around are 2 years old, and are fake]

After the news broke, crowds gathered across the country to celebrate. In particular, thousands came to the White House in Washington, D.C., Ground Zero in New York City, and President George W. Bush's house in Dallas. In Philadelphia, at the Phillies vs. Mets baseball game, fans chanted "USA! USA!" when the news began hitting attendees phones.

ABC has photos and video from inside the compound.

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