Details emerge of secret raid

U.S. told no one of its plan of attack

Monday, May 2, 2011 5:19 AM
Last updated 3:45 PM
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WASHINGTON  - Helicopters descended out of darkness on the most important counterterrorism mission in U.S. history. It was an operation so secret, only a select few U.S. officials knew what was about to happen.

The location was a fortified compound in an affluent Pakistani town two hours outside Islamabad. The target was Osama bin Laden.

Intelligence officials discovered the compound in August while monitoring an al-Qaida courier. The CIA had been hunting that courier for years, ever since detainees told interrogators that the courier was so trusted by bin Laden that he might very well be living with the al-Qaida leader.

Nestled in an affluent neighborhood, the compound was surrounded by walls as high as 18 feet, topped with barbed wire. Two security gates guarded the only way in. A third-floor terrace was shielded by a seven-foot privacy wall. No phone lines or Internet cables ran to the property. The residents burned their garbage rather than put it out for collection. Intelligence officials believed the million-dollar compound was built five years ago to protect a major terrorist figure. The question was, who?

The CIA asked itself again and again who might be living behind those walls. Each time, they concluded it was almost certainly bin Laden.

President Barack Obama described the operation in broad strokes Sunday night. Details were provided in interviews with counterterrorism and intelligence authorities, senior administration officials and other U.S. officials. All spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive operation.

By mid-February, intelligence from multiple sources was clear enough that Obama wanted to "pursue an aggressive course of action," a senior administration official said. Over the next two and a half months, Obama led five meetings of the National Security Council focused solely on whether bin Laden was in that compound and, if so, how to get him, the official said.

Normally, the U.S. shares its counterterrorism intelligence widely with trusted allies in Britain, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. And the U.S. normally does not carry out ground operations inside Pakistan without collaboration with Pakistani intelligence. But this mission was too important and too secretive.

On April 29, Obama approved an operation to kill bin Laden. It was a mission that required surgical accuracy, even more precision than could be delivered by the government's sophisticated Predator drones. To execute it, Obama tapped a small contingent of the Navy's elite SEAL Team Six and put them under the command of CIA Director Leon Panetta, whose analysts monitored the compound from afar.

Panetta was directly in charge of the team, a U.S. official said, and his conference room was transformed into a command center.

Details of exactly how the raid unfolded remain murky. But the al-Qaida courier, his brother and one of bin Laden's sons were killed. No Americans were injured. Senior administration officials will only say that bin Laden "resisted." And then the man behind the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil died from an American bullet to his head.

It was mid-afternoon in Virginia when Panetta and his team received word that bin Laden was dead. Cheers and applause broke out across the conference room.

___

Associated Press writers Kimberly Dozier, Adam Goldman and Julie Pace in Washington contributed to this report; Kathy Gannon contributed from Islamabad.

 

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Comments (20) Add comment
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Dixieman
17603
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Dixieman 05/02/11 - 05:26 am
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0
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RunningMan
346
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RunningMan 05/02/11 - 05:40 am
0
0
Great job by all involved in

Great job by all involved in this highly successful mission.

comet2u
28
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comet2u 05/02/11 - 06:12 am
0
0
BREAKING NEWS: Osama Bin

BREAKING NEWS: Osama Bin Laden is DEAD and Donald Trump now demands that The White House produce the Death Certificate

draksig
167
Points
draksig 05/02/11 - 06:13 am
0
0
God bless the Navy Seals!

God bless the Navy Seals! Great job.

augustadog
96
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augustadog 05/02/11 - 06:44 am
0
0
"And then the man behind the

"And then the man behind the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil died from an American bullet to his head."

A great day to be an American. God Bless The USA and the Navy Seals!

How fitting that US troops nailed him.

getalife
4
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getalife 05/02/11 - 06:49 am
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While his death is great

While his death is great news, it probably would have been better kept a secret. I am afraid the crazies here in this country will try to counter with killing people in this country.

augustakid
0
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augustakid 05/02/11 - 06:59 am
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KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!! ..

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!! .. "Osama! .. Osama! .. there's a man who says he's with the U.S. Navy at the door who would like to speak with you!!! ..

bclicious
770
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bclicious 05/02/11 - 07:00 am
0
0
Has anyone heard that after

Has anyone heard that after the Military took custody of Osama Bin Laden's body that they discarded it in the Ocean?

Is this true? Does anyone have any info? The reports seem to be a little sketchy concerning the status of Osama's body.

augusta citizen
10068
Points
augusta citizen 05/02/11 - 07:12 am
0
0
Ding Dong, Bin Ladens dead,

Ding Dong, Bin Ladens dead, the US shot him in the head!

jrbfromga
448
Points
jrbfromga 05/02/11 - 08:05 am
0
0
Thank God they didn't try to
Unpublished

Thank God they didn't try to "bring him to justice". He got what he deserved.

BamaMan
2687
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BamaMan 05/02/11 - 08:16 am
0
0
I heard on Good Morning

I heard on Good Morning America that he was cremated and then sprinkled in the sea, apparently to Muslim belief. GOOD. No place for his followers to visit. Can't help but wonder, if he could talk to his followers back here on earth, what he would say. "I WAS WRONG! I WAS WRONG! DON'T COME HERE!"

Chillen
17
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Chillen 05/02/11 - 08:17 am
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getalife. You are right, it

getalife. You are right, it would have been better off staying a secret but we needed a distraction to $4 gas, $3 bread, unemployment, inflation, foreclosures, debt & deficits. You know, so poll ratings would improve.

Congratulations to our US MILITARY for ridding the world of a monster. They are the true heroes. Thank you to GW Bush for laying the foundation for this to occur (despite 7 years of relentless liberal & media attacks on you). And, thank you to obama for not listening to all the anti-war kooks and doing the right thing for America (for once).

The muslims aren't gonna like this. Retaliation is inevitable.

Dixieman
17603
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Dixieman 05/02/11 - 08:19 am
0
0
Some folks need to reflect on

Some folks need to reflect on the fact that the intel that led to this triumph came from a detainee held at Guantanamo Bay.

kmb413
533
Points
kmb413 05/02/11 - 08:44 am
0
0
How did Pakistan not know he

How did Pakistan not know he was living in this mansion near a military facility?

Thank you military, the detainee at Gitmo, and all the intel operatives.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 05/02/11 - 08:46 am
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Good point dixieman! Good

Good point dixieman! Good thing obama broke that campaign promise.

Today the liberals don't know what to do. Celebrate the nobel peace prize winning Presidents accomplishment (though he was a tiny part of it) or criticize his pro-war, pro-Gitmo stance. I can't wait to see how they spin it. LOL!

rkbelch
79
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rkbelch 05/02/11 - 09:03 am
0
0
Now that's a "magic bullet"!

Now that's a "magic bullet"!

unbiased_propaganda
165
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unbiased_propaganda 05/02/11 - 09:06 am
0
0
Chillen - Did you really just

Chillen -

Did you really just thank GW Bush? And tell getalife that he was right we should have kept this a secret?

getalife -

Are you that naive to believe something like that could have been kept a secret? Wow...do you believe in Santa Clause too?

dvdbiggs
13
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dvdbiggs 05/02/11 - 10:00 am
0
0
Chalk one up for the good

Chalk one up for the good guys. We owe the Navy Seals a great thank you for what they accomplished. May all the poor souls killed in the 9/11 attack rest in peace.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 05/02/11 - 10:02 am
0
0
@biased propaganda. Yes.

@biased propaganda.

Yes.

iLove
626
Points
iLove 05/02/11 - 12:30 pm
0
0
"It is in times like these
Unpublished

"It is in times like these that a line is drawn between critical thinkers and those who get swiped by media crapstorms; Between those who understand the complexity of a situation and those who’d rather not know; Between those who know about the underlying motives of the people in power and those who go outside chanting “USA! USA!”.

Barak Obama’s statement on the evening of May 1st was one of triumph and celebration. He claimed that, with the death of Osama Bin Laden, “justice was served”. The media spin following the announcement was equally as celebratory: “It is a great day for America and the world”…”It is one those news where we we’ll all remember where we were when we first heard it”…The entire “event” is artificially inflated, glorified and exaggerated.

Why is the death a man causing such happiness and celebration? Since when have we devolved into such a barbaric state? Because he perpetrated 9/11? Did he also implode WTC 7? Damn you Osama and your team of engineers!"

vigilant citizen.com

iLove
626
Points
iLove 05/02/11 - 12:38 pm
0
0
"Also, incidentally: 9/11 =
Unpublished

"Also, incidentally:
9/11 = Emergency;
May 1 = May Day = Mayday = Emergency.
hmm. auspicious!"

iLove
626
Points
iLove 05/02/11 - 12:58 pm
0
0
"The Talibans were formed and
Unpublished

"The Talibans were formed and recruited in the late 70′s by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the United States National Security Advisor of Jimmy Carter, in order to repel Russian forces from Afghanistan (Brzezinski is today Obama’s main policy advisor). Bin Laden was trained by the CIA to fight the Communists. Since the fall of the USSR, Bin Laden and his Taliban served a new agenda: the invasion of key middle-eastern countries under the guise of a “war on terror”. In 2001, about 15 minutes after the second plane hit the WTC, the image of Bin Laden was shown on television. He become the ideal patsy on which the Bush Administration’s could blame its false flag operation."

So he was "Made in the U.S.A". . . . .what does that tell you?
Don't get caught in the hype. Be a critical thinker.

vigilantcitizen.com

iLove
626
Points
iLove 05/02/11 - 04:15 pm
0
0
"Wake up, it's a staged piece
Unpublished

"Wake up, it's a staged piece of propaganda.

The Obama Deception is a hard-hitting film that completely destroys the myth that Barack Obama is working for the best interests of the American people.

The Obama phenomenon is a hoax carefully crafted by the captains of the New World Order. He is being pushed as savior in an attempt to con the American people into accepting global slavery.

We have reached a critical juncture in the New World Order's plans. It's not about Left or Right: it's about a One World Government. The international banks plan to loot the people of the United States and turn them into slaves on a Global Plantation.

Covered in this film: who Obama works for, what lies he has told, and his real agenda. If you want to know the facts and cut through all the hype, this is the film for you."

corgimom
38759
Points
corgimom 05/02/11 - 07:15 pm
0
0
Alex Jones is entitled to his

Alex Jones is entitled to his opinion, and you are too, but whenever I see a movie promoted with such hyperbole, "If you want to know the facts", I head the other way. If Alex Jones had all the answers, he wouldn't be hosting a radio talk show, would he?

corgimom
38759
Points
corgimom 05/02/11 - 07:20 pm
0
0
"TMZ spoke with American bad

"TMZ spoke with American bad a** Greg McPartlin -- owner of McP's pub -- who told us when the news broke, SEALs from the nearby Naval Base Coronado quickly packed the house ... many carrying American flags.

We're told the soldiers went through 8 kegs, 15 cases of beer and TONS of cocktails in just four hours ... while leading the bar in several "USA!" chants.

McPartlin tells us, "It's great -- Osama was expecting his 72 virgins, instead he got 24 Virginians!" (The Navy SEAL team that executed the mission is based in Virginia.)

FYI -- the Naval Base Coronado is the home of the USS Carl Vinson ... the ship from which Osama's body was dumped into the North Arabian Sea.

A media relations spokeswoman at the base tells TMZ there are currently no celebrations taking place at N.B.C., in part because, "Our boys had a lot of fun over at the Irish pub last night!"

I bet there were FUN TIMES in San Diego yesterday.

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