Matt Bissonette, the elite soldier who tracked down the Al Qaeda boss, revealed in his new book that Bin Laden was shot in the head by a ‘point man’ from the crack unit as the Al Qaeda leader peered out through his narrowly-opened bedroom door. Bursting into his room, the Seals fired more rounds into his body as he lay on the floor in his death throes and as two of his wives wailed beside him.

The full extraordinary story of the  assassination of Osama Bin Laden has been revealed for the first time by a  member of the elite team that killed the arch terrorist in his secret lair in  Pakistan.

Bin Laden was shot in the head by a ‘point  man’ from the crack US Navy Seals unit as the Al Qaeda leader peered out through  his narrowly-opened bedroom door.

Bursting into his room, the Seals then fired  more rounds into his body as he lay on the floor in his death throes and as two  of his wives wailed beside him.

The gruesome last moments of the 9/11  mastermind are revealed in a book by retired Seal Matt Bissonnette who took part  in the raid and made sure Bin Laden was dead.

But the minute-by-minute account of  the  heart-stopping, top-secret raid has infuriated Pentagon lawyers who  are  demanding that its launch next week is cancelled.

Bissonnette, 36 — who uses the  pen-name  Mark Owen — is accused of breaching a  secrecy commitment that he signed when he  left active duty last April.  And it has incensed Islamic fundamentalists, who  have posted online  death threats against the author.

Matt Bissonette, the elite soldier who tracked down the Al Qaeda boss, revealed in his new book that Bin Laden was shot in the head by a ‘point man’ from the crack unit as the Al Qaeda leader peered out through his narrowly-opened bedroom door. Bursting into his room, the Seals fired more rounds into his body as he lay on the floor in his death throes and as two of his wives wailed beside him.

Owen’s detailed account in his book, No Easy  Day, tells how, on a moonless  night on May 1, 2011, 24 US Navy Seals left their  base  in Jalalabad,  Afghanistan, for Bin Laden’s one-acre walled compound  in Abbottabad.

The Seals, who were to operate in teams of  three, travelled in two Black Hawk helicopters.

They knew that, as well as the  terror  chief, they could expect to find at  the compound Khalid, one  of Bin  Laden’s sons, and Ahmed  al-Kuwaiti and his brother Abrar  al-Kuwaiti,  who had acted as couriers for Bin Laden.

Owen tells how the mission soon hit  difficulties when the plan to ‘fast-rope’ the Seals from one of the helicopters  into the compound had  to be rapidly revised when one of the Black Hawks — with  Owen inside — crash landed inside the courtyard.

The other Black Hawk, which was supposed to  fast-rope its passengers on  to the roof of the main building in the compound,  dropped them outside  after seeing the crash. They were let inside by their  shaken but  uninjured comrades.

According to Owen’s book, they had 30 minutes  to complete the  mission  based on the amount of fuel the helicopters had  been carrying.

Owen says his team headed towards a  guesthouse in the compound where  they knew Ahmed  al-Kuwaiti lived with  his family. They also knew that  the occupants had heard them coming.

The guesthouse was in darkness and had a set  of metal double doors with windows at the top.

Owen describes kneeling at the side of the  door while he attached an  explosive charge. As one of his team headed towards  the stairs that led  to the roof of the guesthouse, AK-47 rounds from inside  shattered the  glass above the door, narrowly missing him and showering him in  glass.

‘The first rounds always surprise the s***  out of you,’ he writes. Will, another member of Owen’s team, yelled in Arabic  for al-Kuwaiti to come  out while Owen returned fire. The door started to open  and a woman  called out.

Tension: The raid of bin Laden’s Abottabad compound was watched by President Obama and his closest advisers in the Situation Room of the White House

Owen says that in the green glow of their  night-vision goggles, the  Seals could make out the figure of a woman clutching  something in her  arms. The first suspicion was that it was a bomb.

Owen recalls in his account how he started  applying pressure to his  trigger. Lasers on the Seals’ guns targeted the  woman’s head — she could be dead in a second.

However the bundle was a baby. Al-Kuwaiti’s  wife, Mariam, emerged with  the infant and three more children behind her. Owen  kept his weapon  trained on her as she told them that Al-Kuwaiti was  dead.

Owen says he spotted a pair of  feet  lying in the doorway of a bedroom  and that he shot the body of al-Kuwaiti  several times to make sure. With the guesthouse secured, the Seals sprinted to  the main compound. Bin  Laden’s house was split into a duplex and his family  lived on the second and third levels and had their own private  entrance.

A team led by a Seal referred to in the book  as Tom was to clear the  first level, according to Owen. Again, the building was  dark but the  soldiers’ night-vision goggles revealed a long hallway with two  doors  opening off on each side.

The point man — the leading Seal — spotted a  man’s head sticking out of  the first room on the left. The point man shot him  and he disappeared  back into the room. When the team reached the doorway the  man, later  identified as Abrar al-Kuwaiti, was writhing on the floor. The Seals  opened fire on him. Al-Kuwaiti’s wife Bushra, who jumped in the way to  shield  him, was also killed.

Owen says a woman and several children were  huddled in the corner  crying. An AK-47 was found in the room and Tom unloaded  it while  the  rest of the team searched the remaining rooms.

After one of the US troops blew up an iron  gate blocking access to the  second level, the Seals started filtering up a  spiral staircase  punctuated by small landings. When Owen reached the second  level, he  could see a body splayed out on its back on the landing above,  between  the second and third levels. One of the Seals had shot Khalid, one of  Bin Laden’s sons, who had probably been living on the second floor.

By now, Owen writes, Seals were queuing up  behind Owen on the staircase, and the second-level hallway already had  sufficient troops to search  and clear it, so he continued to the third level,  up steps slick with  blood and passing Khalid’s unused AK-47 propped up on a  step.

‘We had planned for more of a fight,’ he  writes. ‘For all the talk about suicide vests and being willing to shed blood  for Allah, only one of  the al-Kuwaiti brothers got off a barrage.’

He describes how, as he and his team slowly  ascended the narrow  stairwell, his ears strained to hear footsteps or the sound  of a round  being chambered. He was less than five steps from the top of the  staircase when he heard shots.

Mission: The Al Qaeda leader was killed at this compound in Abbottabad by U.S. Special Forces – and Matt Bissonette claims that if SEAL Team 6 had never made it there they were to explain that they were searching for an unmanned drone to their Pakistani allies

He writes: ‘BOP. BOP. The point man had seen  a man peeking out of the  door on the right side of the hallway about ten feet  in front of him. I  couldn’t tell from my position if the rounds hit the target  or not. The  man disappeared into the dark room.’

They cautiously approached the room where  they found two women,  hysterically crying and standing over a man lying at the  foot of a bed.  The younger of the two women rushed at the point man who grabbed  them  both and herded them into a corner. Owen comments that had the women  been  wearing suicide vests, this action would have cost the soldier his  life but  saved those of his colleagues.

According to No Easy Day, the fallen man,  wearing a white sleeveless  T-shirt, tan trousers and a tan tunic, had been shot  in the right side  of his head.

‘Blood and brains spilled out of the side of  his skull,’ writes Owen. ‘In his death throes, he was still twitching and  convulsing.’

Owen and another Seal shot more rounds into  his chest until he was motionless.

At least three children sat stunned in the  corner of the room as the  commandos cleared two small rooms just off the  bedrooms. Other Seal  teams cleared the rest of the third level until it was  declared secure.

Owen and his comrades then examined the body.

He says: ‘The man’s face was mangled from at  least one bullet wound and  covered in blood. A hole in  his forehead  collapsed the right side of  his skull. His chest was torn up from where the  bullets had entered his  body.

He was lying in an ever-growing pool of  blood. As I crouched down to take a closer look, Tom joined me.

‘ “I think this is our boy,” Tom  said.’

Owen writes that Tom did not want to report  over the radio that this was Bin Laden because he knew that call would be  rapidly relayed to  Washington where President Obama was listening. The Seals  wanted to be  sure first.

The dead man was the correct height and  looked like the composite photos the Seals had been given. They wiped the blood  from his face using a  blanket from the bed and he looked more familiar but  younger than  expected. It transpired his beard had been dyed.

Owen says he took photos of Bin Laden’s full  body and then his head.  ‘Pulling his beard to the right and then the left,  I shot several  profile pictures.’

He asked his colleague to hold Bin Laden’s ‘good eye’ open. ‘He reached  down and peeled back the eyelid, exposing his now  lifeless brown  eye. I zoomed in and shot a tight photo of it.’

Meanwhile other Seals were collecting  computers, videos and notebooks  and a team was preparing to blow up the crashed  Black Hawk.

The remaining Black Hawk and a CH-47 Chinook  helicopter, that had set up a forward refuelling point 15 minutes from the  compound, and was  carrying a ‘quick reaction force’ of additional troops, were  circling  the compound, using up precious fuel. Time was pressing.

Owen says a comrade, ‘Walt’, took DNA samples  by dipping a swab in Bin Laden’s blood and used another to swab his  mouth.

He tried jabbing a spring-loaded syringe  provided by the CIA to  get a  marrow sample from Bin  Laden’s thigh  but the needle did  not work and  he gave up after  several  attempts.

Owen says two sets of DNA  samples and  two sets of photographs were  needed so that if one of the helicopters was shot  down on its way back  to Jalalabad, one set of evidence would survive.

Meanwhile, Seals were trying to get  confirmation from Bin Laden’s wife,  who had been wounded in the ankle, that the  dead man was the Al Qaeda  leader. She gave a series of aliases for him  such as ‘the sheikh’.

Owen recalls how one Seal then approached the  children outside on the  balcony. ‘They were all sitting silently against the  wall. Will knelt  down and asked one of the girls, “Who is the man?”

‘The girl didn’t know to lie.’

‘ “Osama bin Laden.”

‘Will smiled.’

‘ “Are you sure that is Osama bin  Laden?”

‘ “Yes,” the girl said.

‘ “OK,” he said. “Thanks.”

‘Back in the hallway, he grabbed one of the  wives by her arms and gave her a good shake.

‘ “Stop f****** with me now,” Will said, more  sternly than before. “Who is that in the bedroom?” ’

Owen continues: ‘She started to cry. More  scared than anything else, she didn’t have any fight left.’

‘ “Osama,” she said.

‘“Osama what?” Will said, still holding her  arm.’

‘ “Osama bin Laden,” she said.’

With dual confirmation, the Seals ‘called it  in’ to Admiral McRaven in Jalalabad, who was keeping President Obama  updated.

While the soldiers cleared the building of  material that would provide  useful intelligence, Owen watched two Seals drag  Bin Laden’s body by his legs down the stairs.

Searching the tiny bathroom, Owen found a box  of Just For Men hair dye, which he assumed was what Bin Laden used on his beard.

Owen records that he was surprised by how  tidily Bin Laden kept his  clothes. All of his T-shirts were neatly folded into  squares and his  clothes were hung evenly spaced.

He discovered a rifle and a pistol, neither  of them loaded.

Owen writes about his surprise that Bin Laden ‘hadn’t even prepared a  defence’. He says the terror leader had no intention of  fighting, though he asked his followers for decades to wear suicide vests or fly  planes  into buildings.

He says: ‘In all of my deployments, we  routinely saw this phenomenon.  The higher up the food chain the targeted  individual was, the bigger a  pussy he was.’

He says leaders are less willing to fight and  that it was always the  young and impressionable who strapped on the explosives  and blew  themselves up.

He writes: ‘Did he [Bin Laden]  believe  his own message? Was he willing  to fight the war he asked for? I don’t think  so. Otherwise, he would  have at least gotten his gun and stood up for what he  believed.

‘There is no honour in sending people to die  for something you won’t even fight for yourself.’

The Seals had now been in the compound for 30  minutes and were reluctant to leave areas unsearched but had no  choice.

Owen says Bin Laden’s body was put into a  body bag. As many of the women and children as possible were herded into the  guesthouse to protect  them from the explosion when the Seals blew up the  crashed helicopter.

Owen’s group of Seals, which had Bin Laden’s  body, travelled on the  remaining Black Hawk which, as a smaller, more  manoeuvrable aircraft,  had less of a chance of being shot down than the  CH-47.

In the Black Hawk, one of the Seals had to  sit on Bin Laden’s body which lay at Owen’s feet in the centre of the cabin.

At one point during the flight  to  Afghanistan, he says, they searched  the body again but found nothing and the  Seal returned to his seat on  Bin  Laden’s chest.

Despite having the body at his feet, Owen  writes that he felt a sense of failure that the teams had left intelligence  behind because they had  run out of time.

Back at base in Jalalabad, the Seals loaded  the body on to the back of a truck. It was to be transported to  Bagram.

Admiral McRaven asked to see it. Owen says he  pulled the body bag from the truck.

‘It flopped on the cement floor like a dead  fish. Kneeling down,  I  unzipped the bag. Almost all  of the colour  had faded from his face and  his skin looked ashy  and grey. The body was  mushy and congealed blood  had pooled at the bottom of the bag.

‘There’s your boy,’ I said.

Source: The Daily Mail


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