A U.S. helicopter landed on the roof of Osama Bin Laden’s mansion in Pakistan shortly after midnight Saturday, and Navy SEALs burst out and surrounded the mansion’s 12-14-foot thick walls and killed Terrorist No. 1 in a 40-minute firefight. He was shot in the head.
Fox News quoted a source saying that he was given the opportunity to surrender, but other sources said the mission was to eliminate Bin Laden and not take him alive.
None of the American fighters were killed, but it was not disclosed if anyone was wounded.
SEAL (Sea, Air and Land) teams from three other helicopters, which landed on the huge acreage surrounding the building, participated in the raid on the multi-million dollar mansion of Bin Laden. His son also was killed in the operation, which was kept secret from Pakistan’s government because of the high probability of the presence of double agents.
One of the helicopters developed a technical malfunction after the operation, and American forces blew it up so nothing would fall into the hands of other terrorists.
Bin Laden’s presence in the mansion gave lie to the assumption that he had been hiding out in a cave in Afghanistan, which he may have done in the past.
In addition to the thick surrounding walls, other indications that the mansion was a hideout were the high windows and few access points.
Approximately two dozen Navy Seals participated in the secret operation, carried out between 1:30 and 2:30 a.m.
Besides Bin Laden, the U.S. soldiers killed two of his couriers, his son and a woman who was used to shield him, and captured two people. As reported earlier, Bin Laden’s body is in the hands of American officials and his identity has been confirmed through DNA testing.
The United States said it is "ensuring it [the body] is handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition. It's something we take seriously and therefore it's being handled in an appropriate manner."
Ten Years and Forty Minutes
Although the operation was over in just 40 minutes, it actually began in 2001, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. American investigators gathered information on Bin Laden’s couriers, one of whom was considered the most likely person to follow in order to find the head of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network.
The investigators discovered the courier’s name in 2007, and the area in Pakistan where he operated was identified in 2009. Bin Laden’s luxurious home was pinpointed last August on the outskirts of Abbotabad, Pakistan.
Obama administration officials told MSNBC that its “best information was that Bin Laden was there with his youngest wife. Our analysts looked at this from every angle. No other candidate fit the bill as well as Bin Laden did... The bottom line of our analysis was that we had high confidence that the compound held a high-value terrorist target. There was a strong probability that it was Bin Laden."
This information was shared "with no other country. Only a very small group of people inside our own government knew of this operation in advance."