As the killing of world’s most notorious terrorist Osama bin Laden keeps haunting the world, especially the United States, the Navy SEAL who allegedly shot bin Laden breaks his silence Monday. In an interview to Esquire magazine, the commando claimed that he shot three bullets into the al-Qaida leader on third floor of his Pakistani hideout. He recounts bin Laden looked confused when the US Navy SEALs team approached him during the sting operation. The SEAL kept his identity secret in the interview, fearing for security of his family. He has also retired from the US Navy.
Bin Laden was shot dead by a team of the US Navy SEALs on May 2, 2011 in Abbottabad, a garrison city some 130 kilometers from Pakistani capital, Islamabad. After the successful operation wherein no SEAL member was killed or injured, they flew back to Afghanistan along with the body of bin Laden. The US later claimed it buried the body into the sea. A stealthy Black Hawk helicopter they were traveling in crash-landed at the compound but the team quickly got reinforcement to evacuate from the place. The commando recounts that it was a frightening moment for them and they thought to travel to Islamabad to avoid clash with Pakistan army.
The SEAL says bin Laden had a gun within reach but did not get the opportunity either to pick up the gun or blow himself up.
"I shot him, two times in the forehead. Bap! Bap! the second time as he's going down. He crumpled onto the floor in front of his bed and I hit him again, Bap! same place … He was dead. Not moving. His tongue was out. I watched him take his last breaths, just a reflex breath," he told Esquire.
After the operation, Pakistani armed forces reached the spot and took three wives of the terrorist along with their children and belongings into custody to investigate them and ascertain facts. Later, the compound where bin Laden had been living was also flattened by Pakistani authorities. The wives of the al-Qaida leader were held by Pakistani investigators for some time and allowed to leave for Saudi Arabia.
To ascertain facts on how the US Navy SEAL team managed to enter Pakistan and launch a successful operation against al-Qaida leader, Pakistani authorities also set up a judicial commission. The commission headed by Justice Javed Iqbal has completed its findings after going through circumstantial evidences and interviewing civil and military officials. The findings have now been submitted with Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and are supposed to be made public. However, many in Pakistan believe that the commission’s report will never be revealed as a number of civil and military high-ups have allegedly been found negligent of their duty in the report.