U.S. forces who hunted down Osama Bin Laden were ordered to kill the al Qaeda terrorist leader in the belief he would resist any attempt to capture him -- but to prepare for all contingencies.
A U.S. national security official was quoted by the Reuters news service Monday as bluntly saying, “This was a kill operation.” However, he added, “If he had waved a white flag of surrender, he would have been taken alive.”
John Brennan, a counterterrorism adviser to President Barack Obama, told reporters at the White House the president “put a premium on making sure that our personnel were protected” during the attack in Pakistan on Sunday.
As it was, it turned out that when the team of SEALs came for him, Bin Laden had not been hiding out in a cave in the wilds of Afghanistan or Pakistan as so many had believed.
Instead, the terrorist leader had been quite comfortable, living in a million-dollar three-story residence. The house was located on a one-acre property in a military garrison town called Abbottabad, slightly north of the Pakistani capital Islamabad.
The compound, located near the western border with Afghanistan, was surrounded by a 12 to 18-foot-high fence and had no telecommunication lines, according to ABC News.
Photos and a video were released Monday by the ABC network showing the house where Bin Laden was killed by the U.S. Navy SEALS who flew in for the operation from Afghanistan.
The footage, which is somewhat graphic, may be seen by clicking here.
Bin Laden's son and three others were also killed in the raid, which lasted 40 minutes. The forces took custody of Bin Laden's body, and his DNA was tested to confirm his identity. Within 14 hours, the terrorist chief had been buried at sea.