US NAVY Seals have revealed for the first time that they killed Osama Bin Laden within 90 seconds of entering his fortress-like home in Pakistan.
The men who killed the al-Qaeda chief have decided to speak out because they are tired of their “shabby treatment” by politicians who claim they were on a “kill mission”.
They insisted there was no lengthy gun-fight in the compound and claimed they would have captured Bin Laden if he had surrendered, The Sunday Times in the UK reports (behind a paywall).
They were not on a “kill mission”, they said, and fired only 12 bullets in the entire operation.
The details of the mission, which was codenamed Operation Neptune’s Spear, are revealed in a book by the Seals’ former commander, Chuck Pfarrer.
“I’ve been a Seal for 30 years and I never heard the words ‘kill mission’. It’s a fantasy word. If it was a kill mission you don’t need Seal Team 6; you need a box of hand grenades.”
He said the men were angry with President Barack Obama for announcing Bin Laden’s death on TV just hours after they completed the mission on May 1.
“There isn’t a politician in the world who could resist trying to take credit for getting Bin Laden but it devalued the ‘intel’ and gave time for every other Al-Qaeda leader to scurry to another bolthole,” he said.
“The men who did this and their valorous act deserve better. It’s a pretty shabby way to treat these guys.”
Pfarrer’s books also reveals that the Seals’ nickname for Bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri were Bert and Ernie, after the two Muppets in Sesame Street.
When they were first told they were going to Pakistan to pick up a high-value person who was holed up in high-walled compound, they asked: “So is this Bert or Ernie?”
Pfarrer said the squad’s nickname was Jedi.
His account of the mission makes for terrifying reading. Here is an extract from The Sunday Times report, detailing the death of Bin Laden:
Bin Laden’s bedroom was along a short hall. The door opened; he popped out and then slammed the door shut. “Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo,” radioed one Seal, meaning “eyes on target”.
Two Seals kicked in Bin Laden’s door. The room, they later recalled, “smelt like old clothing, like a guest bedroom in a grandmother’s house”. Inside was the al-Qaeda leader and his youngest wife, Amal, who was screaming as he pushed her in front of him.
“No, no, don’t do this!” she shouted as her husband reached across the king-size bed for his AK-47 assault rifle. The Seals reacted instantly, firing in the same second. One round thudded into the mattress. The other, aimed at Bin Laden’s head, grazed Amal in the calf. As his hand reached for the gun, they each fired again: one shot hit his breastbone, the other his skull, killing him instantly and blowing out the back of his head.
Posted over at Weasel Zippers