Bin Laden Killed

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Photo caption:  "Osama Bin Laden Death Photo."

From An American Expat in Southeast Asia blog.  I'm tried to find out the who, what, where, when stuff.

American Expat, is in SE Asia, but won't provide any additional information, so the photo can't be confirmed as the real deal.

Details Of Raid -- Shootout, No Surrender

David Gardner is reporting that almost ten years after the horror of 9/11, Osama bin Laden must have thought he was safe.  He had moved from the remote, barren mountains on Afghanistan’s inhospitable border to a comfortable $1 million mansion in one of Pakistan’s most picturesque and affluent cities, Abbottabad -- named after James Abbott, the British major who founded the town in 1853 -- has such a pleasant climate that it is a major hub for tourists visiting the region.  And the former home of the Gurkhas is still a major military base, so locals have no reason to feel threatened.

Behind the walls of his sprawling compound about 60 miles north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, Bin Laden had every reason to believe he was way beyond the searching eyes of the Americans he had taunted for so long.  His family was with him and a parade of couriers would bring him everything he needed from the city outside of more than a million people.  So confident was he that the huge three-storey house he was living in was eight times larger than most other homes in the area, hardly a low-profile hideaway for the most wanted man in the world.
    
    
But, according to U.S. intelligence sources, Bin Laden was taken completely by surprise by the special forces who had spent the best part of a decade stalking him.  He had, after all, survived two wars launched with the aim of capturing him and his followers.

The last time the Americans and the British got as close -- a few months after the attacks on New York and Washington -- Bin Laden managed to elude them on horseback through the caves and gullies in the White Mountains of eastern Afghanistan.

For most of the past ten years, Bin Laden lived up to the nickname of "Elvis" he had been given by the CIA because there had been so many bogus and fanciful sightings. But as long ago as last August, Obama was told in an intelligence briefing that there was a possible lead that Bin Laden was hiding in plain sight in Abbottabad.

It took eight months for U.S. and Pakistani agents to confirm for certain that the information was accurate.
      

       

Deserted:  Nestled among trees and in the shadow of Pakistan's mountains, Bin Laden's hideaway stands empty today after a helicopter raid by U.S. troops that killed the terror chief yesterday.

      

          

Hideout: A large sheet covers the U.S. helicopter that crashed in the grounds of the compound where Bin Laden lived with his youngest wife and his trusted aides. 

    
After several run-throughs and the diplomatic blessing of the Pakistani government, a small special forces team of U.S. Navy SEALS landed in the compound grounds yesterday with the explicit instruction -- get Osama bin Laden, dead or alive.
 
The raid on the compound, which was just 100 yards from a Pakistani military academy, was launched at about 1.15 am in the morning, according to witnesses. Four U.S. helicopters took off from the Ghazi air base in northwest Pakistan. Bin Laden's guards opened fire from the roof and one of the helicopters crashed.

During an operation that took just 40 minutes from start to finish, Bin Laden was shot in the head in a firefight as he tried to evade capture. Three of his men were also killed along with a woman they tried to use as a human shield. One of Bin Laden's eleven sons was said to be among the dead.

      

Near miss: One of the U.S. helicopters crashed over a wall within the compound after coming under heavy fire from rocket propelled grenades. However, all special forces troops escaped safely
    
 

Near miss:  One of the U.S. helicopters crashed over a wall within the compound after coming under heavy fire from rocket propelled grenades.  However, all special forces troops escaped safely

      

Clean up: The remains of the U.S. helicopter that crashed during the mission are driven away on a tractor through Abbottabad today
           
 Clean up: The remains of the U.S. helicopter that crashed during the mission are driven away on a tractor through Abbottabad today. No Americans were hurt in the mission, but it didn’t go without a hitch.

The helicopter they used to breach the mansion walls suffered a mechanical breakdown and couldn’t fly the soldiers out. The SEALS burned the helicopter and had to carry Bin Laden’s body out on foot, an ignominious ending for the terrorist chief after one of history’s biggest manhunts. It was also a major triumph for a special CIA and special forces team of up to 100 whose mission since September 11 has been to find and kill Bin Laden.

For years, they have had to brave the jibes aimed at both the Bush and Obama administrations over the failure to track down the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.
    
Bin Laden map

     

Stormed: The image below from Geo TV shows flames from the compound where terror mastermind Bin Laden was shot
         
Stormed: An image from Geo TV shows flames from the compound where terror mastermind bin Laden was shot
          

They worked closely with the ISI, the Pakistani intelligence service for whom many CIA officials have a deep mistrust because of the agency’s traditional ties with the Pashtuns of Waziristan, who were believed to have harbored Bin Laden for some of his years on the run. After he evaded capture in mid-December 1991, there were precious few credible leads of his whereabouts. But about four years ago, CIA agents managed to identify one of his most trusted couriers after a detainee at Guantanamo Bay gave them his nickname.
   
It took another two years for them to discover the area where the courier and his brother were operating. By January this year, they found out that the courier and his brother were living in a mansion that appeared to be much larger than anything they could afford. Suspicions were raised further by the thick walls around the compound.  While other homes in the area put rubbish out to be collected, the trash was burned in the ground of the mansion, which did not have a telephone or internet service. By February, U.S. intelligence officials were confident that Bin Laden and his family were living there and by March, Obama was convening top secret meeting with his senior security staff.
 
The CIA believe that for many years before settling in Abbottabad, Bin Laden moved from village to village in Waziristan. He communicated only about once a month and never used a telephone. When he reached a village with his bodyguards he would request a meeting with the local tribal leader and a substantial bribe would be paid. Bin Laden would then be the guest of the village, where under Pashtun custom, he must be protected.

The main obstacle in finding him was that even if someone wanted to betray him and collect the $25 million reward -- there was no one to turn to. The local police would know Bin Laden was there and if anyone tried to report his presence they would quite likely be killed. One local mullah from Waziristan agreed to send information about Bin Laden’s movements and his beheaded body was found several weeks later with a message that his was the fate of spies.
   
While Operation Enduring Freedom was successful in liberating Afghanistan from Taliban control after 9/11, there was no doubt that the real prize was Bin Laden himself. But the Al Qaeda chief had chosen his first redoubt with care. For several years before 2001, he had developed an intricate network of caves and dwellings 14,000ft up in the settlement known as Tora Bora.
           

Bin Laden special forces
        

The impenetrable mountains not only made it difficult for anybody to track him, they were also just a few miles from Pakistan, allowing him to escape easily as western troops moved in. The commander of one U.S. military force told the ’60 Minutes’ news show how soldiers under his command found Bin Laden -- but let him slip through their fingers.
   
The commander, calling himself Dalton Fury, expressed his frustration at having known where Bin Laden was, but feeling he was powerless to do anything.

At one point, he said, his forces were closing in on Bin Laden's men -- but he decided to abort the mission because he did not have support from Afghan troops. And in another incident Delta soldiers actually saw a tall man dressed in camouflage that they believed was Bin Laden -- only to have the Al Qaeda leader escape their bombing campaign in the mountains. Fury talked about a book he has written entitled "Kill Bin Laden," detailing his memories of the campaign in Tora Bora in 2001.

"Our job was to go find him, capture or kill him, and we knew the writing on the wall was to kill him because nobody wanted to bring Osama bin Laden back to stand trial in the United States somewhere," the mission commander told his interviewer. He said the administration's strategy was to let Afghans do most of the fighting, however. Using radio intercepts and other intelligence, he said, the CIA pinpointed Bin Laden's location in the Tora Bora mountains near Pakistan.
   
Fury's Delta team joined the CIA and Afghan fighters and piled into pick-up trucks. He claimed their orders were to kill Bin Laden and leave the body with the Afghans, keeping an Afghan face on the war. However an audacious plan to come at Bin Laden from the back door was vetoed higher-up -- Fury claimed he was never sure who.
 
And a second plan to drop hundreds of landmines over any escape route into Pakistan was also vetoed, with Fury claiming he had no idea why.

The only option left was a frontal assault. Fury said he had 50 men in Delta force up against Bin Laden's 1,000 -- support from the Afghan forces was needed. But, he claimed, many of the Afghan soldiers were not on board -- seeing Bin Laden as a hero.

One night -- alone without his Afghan allies -- Fury said he was told Bin Laden was two kilometres away. Faced with overwhelming odds, he elected to stay away. But the decision always nagged him. He wrote in his book:
   
"My decision to abort that effort to kill or capture Bin Laden when we might have been within 2,000 metres of him, about 2,000 yards, still bothers me. It leaves me with a feeling of somehow letting down our nation at a critical time." But, he added, it wasn't worth the risk.
   
Fury had a second chance: Later, a Delta force named Jackal radioed they had Bin Laden in sight. He wrote: "The operation Jackal team observed 50 men moving into a cave that they hadn't seen before." The mujahideen said they saw an individual, a taller fellow, wearing a camouflage jacket. Everybody put two and two together, "okay, that's got to be Osama bin Laden egressing from the battlefield."
         

Patrols: Soldiers drive through Abbotabad where the Al Qaeda leader was apparently living in a mansion

Patrols: Soldiers drive through Abbottabad where the Al Qaeda leader was living in a mansion

      

"They called up every available bomb in the air, took control of the airspace. And they dropped several hours of bombs on the cave he went into. We believe, it was our opinion at the time, that he died inside that cave."
 
Later, however, he was proven wrong, when American forces were unable to find Bin Laden's body and the Al Qaeda leader began releasing radio and video footage again. Fury told 60 Minutes he believes he knows what happened. He said Bin Laden was wounded in the shoulder by shrapnel from an American bomb, and was then hidden a town next to the Al Qaeda cemetery.

'We believe a gentleman brought him in -- a gentleman, him and his family were supporting Al Qaeda during the battle. They were providing food, ammo, water. We think he went to that house, received medical attention for a few days then, and then we believe they put him in a vehicle and moved him back across the pass."      

Obama

For Barack Obama, it is the image that he might want to define his presidency more than any other -- the grim-faced leader and his security team captured at the moment of the riskiest gamble of his administration.

   

It could be a scene from political drama The West Wing. Indeed, it took place in the White House’s west wing. But this was not fiction. From halfway around the world, Obama and members of the National Security Council huddled in front of a video screen on Sunday afternoon to follow the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistan compound as it happened.

   

Their faces, racked by tension, looked set in stone -- hardly surprising, given what was at stake.

   
The moment America's ten-year search for the world's most wanted man came to an end
President Barack Obama receives an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House May 1 2011
President Barack Obama receives an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House May 1 2011

Tension: President Obama took 16 hours to decide whether to go with the mission. Hilary Clinton watches the dramatic moment unfold with apparent shock

    

Geronimo, the codename for Bin Laden, was the redoubtable Apache chief who famously evaded capture by American forces. But it is also the battlecry one shouts when making a brave leap, and this was certainly one of those.

    

Aides said there hadn’t been an intelligence meeting in previous weeks where someone did not mention the Iran hostages debacle in 1980 or Black Hawk Down, the film about the disastrous U.S. helicopter-borne attempt to seize a Somali leader in 1993.

    

There had been deep disagreement among the security team, with half of them -- reportedly mainly the politicians -- opposing the assault, instead favouring waiting until they could be sure Bin Laden was definitely in the compound, or mounting a less risky bombing raid.

    

Presidential aides have given countless briefings presenting Barack Obama as a decisive commander in chief with a studied calm and steely resolve since Bin Laden was killed.

    

But fresh details emerged last night that it actually took 16 hours for him to decide that the world’s most wanted terrorist should be taken out.

Far from making his mind up quickly, Mr Obama kept his top military officials waiting overnight before finally telling them: ‘It’s a go.’

      

Presented with the latest intelligence last Friday, Mr Obama could only muster silence before telling his top military staff: ‘I’m not going to tell you what my decision is now -- I’m going to go back and think about it some more. I’m going to make a decision soon.’

  

The following morning, a full 16 hours later, four senior aides were summoned to the White House Diplomatic Room to be told the operation could go ahead.

    

The delay meant that, in part due to bad weather, the earliest the attack could be carried out was Sunday.

   

Former vice president Dick Cheney said it would be ‘a tragedy’ to spend so much time ‘patting ourselves on the back’ that we miss the next attack.

But he added: ‘The administration clearly deserves credit for the success of the operation.’

    

Mr Obama received extensive praise from the EU anti-terror chief, who went as far as saying he hoped the killing would lead to a second term for him.

Gilles de Kerchove said: ‘I hope that this will help him be re-elected.’

        

But Obama took the decision to go in with the Navy SEALs after deliberating for 16 hours.

      

Officials said the photo, taken by the White House photographer in the building’s high-tech Situation Room communications nerve centre, was not choreographed.

    

But you can see why they chose to release this particular one. It shows a leader, who has been derided for his unemotive, overly detached demeanour, instead looking every inch the concerned commander-in-chief, his attention riveted on the fate of the men he has sent into battle.

    

It is possible to miss Barack Obama at first glance, his tall frame hunched in the corner in his golfing clothes (he had just played that Sunday morning), his trademark bottle of mineral water on the table in front of him.

    

That said, it is impossible not to recognise his intense gaze as, jaw clenched, he watched live video feeds of the attack.

Reinforcing the reported blokey informality of which his fans are proud, he has given up the padded leather presidential chair for a uniformed underling, perhaps so Brigadier General Marshall ‘Brad’ Webb -- the most junior man in the room -- can have space at the conference table to use his Hewlett Packard laptop.

    

   

Indeed, the usual rules whereby National Security Council members sit closest to the President in strict order of seniority appear to have been junked in the crisis.  Denis McDonough, the deputy national security adviser, has drawn up a chair between that of the President and Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State.

    

In her tweed jacket, Mrs. Clinton would look her usual composed self if it wasn’t for the hand covering her mouth in apparent shock.
       

Across the table, Vice President Joe Biden looks more relaxed in his open collar but out of shot are the rosary beads that the staunchly Roman Catholic was playing with during the ordeal.

   

Others dealt with the tension in different ways, several pacing around the room. But Mr Obama barely moved, looking ‘stone faced’ throughout, according to an aide.

   

The Situation Room, a highly secure suite of rooms on the ground floor of the White House’s west wing, was created in 1961 to address President Kennedy’s complaints about the supposed poor ‘real-time’ information failures which hampered another U.S. surprise strike -- the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

   

On Sunday, officials had cancelled all White House tours to avoid the possibility of a tourist or visiting celebrity accidentally running into the security officials and their tense work.

   

The group gathered at noon without the President. A member of staff went to Costco, a local grocery, and returned with lunch -- turkey in pita bread wraps, prawns, crisps and fizzy drinks.

   

They spent the next two hours watching video and audio feeds from the CIA whose director, Leon Panetta, was connected to the Situation Room via a video link to his office at Langley, Virginia.

   

Just after 2pm, Mr Panetta outlined the raid for a last time and, within an hour, began talking them through the operation. And then, ‘They’re in Pakistan,’ he announced simply.

   

The raid lasted 40 nail-biting minutes. ‘It was probably one of the most anxiety-filled periods of time, I think, in the lives of the people who were assembled here. The minutes passed like days,’ said John Brennan, Mr Obama’s chief counterterrorism advisor, who was standing behind Mrs Clinton during the operation. Both Mr Panetta and Mr Brennan had supported the ground strike over waiting.

   

The President, he said, was ‘very concerned’ about the safety of the U.S. troops -- ‘That was what was on his mind throughout.’ The watchers had an early jolt of fear on that front when one of the helicopters crashed over the compound, although all its occupants were safe.

   

The atmosphere was ‘very tense, a lot of people holding their breath’, Mr Brennan added. Nobody dared speak for fear of talking over one of the regular updates from Mr Panetta.

   

Minutes passed before Mr Panetta came on air again to say: ‘We have a visual on Geronimo.’

  

It took a few more nerve-racking minutes before he was on the line again. ‘Geronimo EKIA [Enemy Killed in Action],’ he said.

Minutes after the successful mission Barack Obama tells to the world the good news at The White House

Minutes after the successful mission Barack Obama tells to the world the good news at The White House

Osama Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad where he was killed on Sunday night

Osama Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad where he was killed on Sunday night had a seven foot wall on one side where the terrorist mastermind could walk around

Pakistani Army soldiers secure the compound where Osama Bin Laden was killed in Abbotabad, Pakistan

Pakistani Army soldiers secure the compound where Osama Bin Laden was killed in Abbotabad, Pakistan

Confirmation that the Seals had found their quarry was greeted with a ‘tremendous sigh of relief’, said Mr Brennan. There was silence in the room. ‘We got him,’ said Mr Obama.

   

But the ordeal was not over. Another stomach-lurching moment came when the Pakistanis scrambled jets after discovering the unauthorised helicopters in their airspace. Fortunately, the troops were over the border before there was any military contact.

   

Andy Card, the chief of staff to George Bush who was the first to tell him about the 9/11 attacks, spoke of the extreme tension his successors would have been under in that room.

  

‘You try to plan for every contingency,’ he told the BBC yesterday.

  
‘It’s easy to plan for optimism. I would always try to make sure there were some sceptics in the room to ask challenging questions of those that were making the plans.’

  

‘But then you watch with bated breath as the plan is implemented. I am sure there were some quiet prayers that this would go well -- there were a lot of things that could have gone wrong in this raid.’

  

He added: ‘There’s a lot of tension and ultimately the President’s decision is a lonely decision.’

    

Osama Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1383279/Osama-Bin-Laden-dead-Picture-Obama-US-security-team-hes-shot.html#ixzz1LNz3bCuT

 

Details Of Raid -- Shootout, No Surrender
David Gardner is reporting that almost ten years after the horror of 9/11, Osama bin Laden must have thought he was safe.  He had moved from the remote, barren mountains on Afghanistan’s inhospitable border to a comfortable $1 million mansion in one of Pakistan’s most picturesque and affluent cities, Abbottabad -- named after James Abbott, the British major who founded the town in 1853 -- has such a pleasant climate that it is a major hub for tourists visiting the region.  And the former home of the Gurkhas is still a major military base, so locals have no reason to feel threatened.

Behind the walls of his sprawling compound about 60 miles north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, Bin Laden had every reason to believe he was way beyond the searching eyes of the Americans he had taunted for so long.  His family was with him and a parade of couriers would bring him everything he needed from the city outside of more than a million people.  So confident was he that the huge three-storey house he was living in was eight times larger than most other homes in the area, hardly a low-profile hideaway for the most wanted man in the world.

But, according to U.S. intelligence sources, Bin Laden was taken completely by surprise by the special forces who had spent the best part of a decade stalking him.  He had, after all, survived two wars launched with the aim of capturing him and his followers.

The last time the Americans and the British got as close -- a few months after the attacks on New York and Washington -- Bin Laden managed to elude them on horseback through the caves and gullies in the White Mountains of eastern Afghanistan.

For most of the past ten years, Bin Laden lived up to the nickname of "Elvis" he had been given by the CIA because there had been so many bogus and fanciful sightings.  But as long ago as last August, Obama was told in an intelligence briefing that there was a possible lead that Bin Laden was hiding in plain sight in Abbottabad.
    
It took eight months for U.S. and Pakistani agents to confirm for certain that the information was accurate.

      

After several run-throughs and the diplomatic blessing of the Pakistani government, a small special forces team of U.S. Navy Seals landed in the compound grounds yesterday with the explicit instruction -- get Osama bin Laden, dead or alive.

      

Continue reading here -- with recent photos . . .

Osama Bin-Laden Dead
Kimbrly Dozier and David Espo are reporting that Osama bin Laden, the face of global terrorism and architect of the September 11, 2001, attacks, was killed in a firefight with elite American forces Monday, then quickly buried at sea in a stunning finale to a furtive decade on the run.

Long believed to be hiding in caves, bin Laden was tracked down in a costly, custom-built hideout not far from a Pakistani military academy.

"Justice has been done," Barack Obama said in a dramatic announcement at the White House while a crowd cheered outside and hundreds more gathered at ground zero in Manhattan to celebrate the news.

The military operation took mere minutes.

U.S. helicopters ferrying elite counter-terrorism troops -- Navy SEALS -- into the compound identified by the CIA as bin Laden's hideout -- and back out again in less than 40 minutes.  Bin Laden was shot in the head, officials said, after he and his bodyguards resisted the assault.

Three adult males were also killed in the raid, including one of bin Laden's sons, whom officials did not name.  One of bin Laden's sons, Hamza, is a senior member of al-Qaida.  U.S. officials also said one woman was killed when she was used as a shield by a male combatant, and two other women were injured.

The U.S. official who disclosed the burial at sea said it would have been difficult to find a country willing to accept the remains.  Obama said the remains had been handled in accordance with Islamic custom, which requires speedy burial.
    
    
"I heard a thundering sound, followed by heavy firing.  Then firing suddenly stopped.  Then more thundering, then a big blast," said Mohammad Haroon Rasheed, a resident of Abbottobad, Pakistan, after the choppers had swooped in and then out again.

Continue reading here . . .

Related:  6 Children, two wives of Bin Laden arrested in Pakistan
Senior Military/Intelligence Officials Overrule Obama
Ulsterman says Obama was ultimately overridden by senior military and intelligence officials to finally take out terrorist Osama Bin Laden.

Newsflavor Note:  This communication came from our long time D.C. Insider and details previous and ongoing conflicts surrounding the decision to assassinate terrorist Osama Bin Laden.  This has been reproduced here as originally communicated to us.
    

Please get this out ASAP.  Want specific people to know we know.

RE Osama Bin Laden.  Significant push to take him out months ago.  Senior WH staff resisted.  This was cause of much strain between Hillary Clinton (HC) and Obama/Jarrett.  HC and Leon Panetta (LP) were in constant communication over matter -- both attempted to convince administration to act.  Administration feared failure and resulting negative impact on president.  Intel disgusted over politics over national security.  Staff resigned/left.  Check timeline to corroborate.

Now Intel already leaking to media facts surrounding how info obtained.  Namely from enhanced interrogation efforts via GITMO prisoners.  Obama administration placed in corner on this.  Some media aware of danger to president RE this and attempting protection.  Others looking for further investigation.  We are pushing for them to follow through and already meeting with some access.

Point of determination made FOR Obama not BY Obama.  Will clarify as details become more clear.  Very clear divide between Military and WH.  Jarrett marginalized 100% on decision to take out OBL.  She played no part.  Bill Daley (BD) worked with LP and HC to form coalition to force Commander in Chief (CiC) to engage.

IMPORTANT SPECIFIC:  When 48 hour go order issued, CiC was told, not requested.  Administration scrambled to abort.  That order was overruled.  This order did not originate from CiC.  Repeat -- this order did not originate from CiC.  He complied, but did not originate.

Independent military contacts have confirmed.  Stories corroborate one another.  This is legit.

The killing of Osama Bin Laden was in fact a Coup within Obama WH.

Speaking with additional contacts RE info.

Stay safe.

    
Update:  Just released photo of the white house "war room" during the Osama bin Laden assassination operation showing a seemingly angry Barack Obama still wearing his golf attire and Bill Daley, Hillary Clinton, and Robert Gates on opposite side of room.  This photo appears to further support the description of that day’s events by insider.
    
    
Taiwanese View
  

      
Phone Call By Kuwaiti Courier Led To Bin Laden
Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo are reporting that when one of Osama bin Laden's most trusted aides picked up the phone last year, he unknowingly led U.S. pursuers to the doorstep of his boss, the world's most wanted terrorist.

That monitored phone call, recounted Monday by a U.S. official, ended a years-long search for bin Laden's personal courier, the key break in a worldwide manhunt.  The courier, in turn, led U.S. intelligence to a walled compound in northeast Pakistan, where a team of Navy SEALs shot bin Laden to death.
    

SEAL Team Sixs
 
    
The violent final minutes were the culmination of years of intelligence work.  Inside the CIA team hunting bin Laden, it always was clear that bin Laden's vulnerability was his couriers.  He was too smart to let al-Qaida foot soldiers, or even his senior commanders, know his hideout.  But if he wanted to get his messages out, somebody had to carry them, someone bin Laden trusted with his life.

Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, detainees in the CIA's secret prison network told interrogators about an important courier with the nom de guerre Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti who was close to bin Laden.  After the CIA captured al-Qaida's No. 3 leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he confirmed knowing al-Kuwaiti but denied he had anything to do with al-Qaida.

Then in 2004, top al-Qaida operative Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq.  Ghul told the CIA that al-Kuwaiti was a courier, someone crucial to the terrorist organization.  In particular, Ghul said, the courier was close to Faraj al-Libi, who replaced Mohammed as al-Qaida's operational commander.  It was a key break in the hunt for in bin Laden's personal courier.

"Hassan Ghul was the linchpin," a U.S. official said.

Finally, in May 2005, al-Libi was captured. Under CIA interrogation, al-Libi admitted that when he was promoted to succeed Mohammed, he received the word through a courier.  But he made up a name for the courier and denied knowing al-Kuwaiti, a denial that was so adamant and unbelievable that the CIA took it as confirmation that he and Mohammed were protecting the courier.  It only reinforced the idea that al-Kuwaiti was very important to al-Qaida.

If they could find the man known as al-Kuwaiti, they'd find bin Laden.

The revelation that intelligence gleaned from the CIA's so-called black sites helped kill bin Laden was seen as vindication for many intelligence officials who have been repeatedly investigated and criticized for their involvement in a program that involved the harshest interrogation methods in U.S. history.

"We got beat up for it, but those efforts led to this great day," said Marty Martin, a retired CIA officer who for years led the hunt for bin Laden.

Mohammed did not discuss al-Kuwaiti while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said.  He acknowledged knowing him many months later under standard interrogation, they said, leaving it once again up for debate as to whether the harsh technique was a valuable tool or an unnecessarily violent tactic.

It took years of work before the CIA identified the courier's real name: Sheikh Abu Ahmed, a Pakistani man born in Kuwait.  When they did identify him, he was nowhere to be found.  The CIA's sources didn't know where he was hiding.  Bin Laden was famously insistent that no phones or computers be used near him, so the eavesdroppers at the National Security Agency kept coming up cold.

Continue reading
here . . .
    
    
Related:  Meet "Seal Team 6" -- The Bad-Asses Who Killed Osama Bin Laden

Related: 
ABC News Photos Inside the Compound Where Osama Bin Laden Was Killed

Related: 
Obama Knew OBL’s Location Since August… Voted Present Until May

Related: 
EU official hopes bin Laden killing will help Obama get re-elected
We All Went To The Rest Room
  
    
But that's not what Brennan said in his Monday presser, and he was in the Situation Room with Team Obama:
    

"We were able to monitor in a real-time basis the progress of the operation from its commencement to its time on target to the extraction of the remains and to then the egress off of the target...  We were able to monitor the situation in real time and were able to have regular updates and to ensure that we had real-time visibility into the progress of the operation.  I’m not going to go into details about what type of visuals we had or what type of feeds that were there, but it was -- it gave us the ability to actually track it on an ongoing basis."

    
Doesn't sound like Panetta's version of 25 minutes of not knowing what was going on inside the compound.

Related:  The video footage captured by the "helmet cams" of the Navy SEALS who conducted the kill operation on Osama bin Laden may be released, a source told ABC News.
Let Me Sleep On That
The Daily Mail is reporting that Barack Obama kept military commanders hanging by declaring he would "sleep on it" before taking 16 hours to give the go-ahead to raid Bin Laden's compound.

Hit squads of specialist Navy Seals -- who were not even told who they were preparing to capture -- had practiced the mission at two reconstructions of the terror chiefs sprawling compound.

The mission looked set to be given the all clear last Thursday when analysts confirmed beyond doubt that Bin Laden was in busy town of Abbottabad in northern Pakistan.

But Obama stunned officials when he told a national security meeting that he wanted more time to think -- and disappeared out of the room.

"I'm not going to tell you what my decision is now -- I'm going to go back and think about it some more," said Obama, according to the New York Times.  He then added "I'm going to make a decision soon."

The head of the CIA and other senior intelligence officers who were keen to proceed were left tense as they waited for Obama's decision.

But the next morning after 16 hours, Obama summoned four top aides to the White House Diplomatic Room.  Before they could speak, Obama said it was a go.

Another view here . . .
Obama Hesitated
Ulsterman has another message from the White House Insider: Obama Hesitated -- Panetta issued order to kill Osama Bin Laden.

Note:  This update comes some 24 hours after our longtime Washington D.C. Insider first outlined shocking details of an Obama administration having been "overruled" by senior military and intelligence officials leading up to the successful attack against terrorist Osama Bin Laden.  What follows is further clarification of Insider’s insights surrounding that event.
    

Q: You stated that Obama was "overruled" by military/intelligence officials regarding the decision to send in military specialists into the Osama Bin Laden compound.  Was that accurate?
  
A: I was told -- in these exact terms, "we overruled him."  (Obama) I have since followed up and received further details on exactly what that meant, as well as the specifics of how Leon Panetta worked around Obama’s "persistent hesitation to act."  There appears NOT to have been an outright overruling of any specific position by Obama, simply because there was no specific position from him to do so.  Obama was, in this case, as in all others, working as an absentee president.

    
    
I was correct in stating there had been a push to invade the compound for several weeks if not months, primarily led by Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, David Petraeus, and Jim Clapper.  The primary opposition to this plan originated from Valerie Jarrett, and it was her opposition that was enough to create uncertainty within Obama.  Obama would meet with various components of the pro-invasion faction, almost always with Jarrett present, and then often fail to indicate his position.  This situation continued for some time, though the division between Jarrett/Obama and the rest intensified more recently, most notably from Hillary Clinton.  She was livid over Obama’s failure to act, and her office began a campaign of anonymous leaks to the media indicating such.  As for Jarrett, her concern rested on two primary fronts.  One, that the military action could fail and harm Obama’s already weakened standing with both the American public and the world.  Second, that the attack would be viewed as an act of aggression against Muslims, and further destabilize conditions in the Middle East.
    

Q:  What changed Obama’s position and enabled the attack against Osama Bin Laden to proceed?

A:  Nothing changed with Obama’s opinion -- he continued to avoid having one.  Every time military and intelligence officials appeared to make progress in forming a position, Jarrett would intervene and the stalling would begin again.  Hillary started the ball really rolling as far as pressuring Obama began, but it was Panetta and Petraeus who ultimately pushed Obama to finally act -- sort of.

    
Continue reading here . . .
"Osama Bin Laden Was Not A Muslim Leader"
Zip reports the White House Propaganda Minister said at yesterday's briefing, "Osama bin Laden Was Not A Muslim Leader."
    
    
Jay Carney said:
    

"Osama bin Laden was not a Muslim leader.  He he was a mass murderer.  A mass murderer of people around the world, including Muslims."

    
And to prove it Obama had an U.S. Navy imam give Osama, who was known as "Shiek," a "strict" 40-minute Islamic funeral . . . no, wait?
   

Sheikh or sheik, sometimes rendered conservatively as shaykh, is a word or honorific term in the Arabic language that literally means "elder."  It is commonly used to designate an elder of a tribe, a revered wise man, or an Islamic scholar.

    
Osama wasn't a Muslim leader.  Islam is a religion of peace.  Maj. Nidal Hasan wasn't a "Soldier of Allah."  I am not a Muslim.
Please, Release Me!
    
    
Zip is reporting Obama told 60 Minutes that he will not release the photos of Osama bin Laden after he was killed.  Said Obama:
    

"The risks of release outweigh the benefits.  Conspiracy theorists around the world will just claim the photos are doctored anyway, and there is a real risk that releasing the photos will only serve to inflame public opinion in the Middle East."

    
He added: "Imagine how the American people would react if Al Qaida killed one of our troops or military leaders, and put photos of the body on the internet [imagine].  Osama bin Laden is not a trophy -- he is dead and let’s now focus on continuing the fight until Al Qaida has been eliminated."

The real dead guys -- click "volgende foto" to image 4, 5 and 6.  Photos 1 through 3 are of the secret helicopter component left behind.  The concern is that the Pakis will sell the parts to the Chinese.
From Guys That Were There
Sources involved in the operation that took down Usama bin Laden told Fox News the terrorist leader acted "scared" and "completely confused" in his final moments, "shoving his wife" at the Navy SEAL who ultimately shot him.

The information helps clarify the conflicting details about what exactly happened toward the end of the 40-minute raid on bin Laden's northern Pakistan compound.  Sources, who were part of the mission, said bin Laden acted in a "cowardly manner" when confronted.  Fox News has also learned that while bin Laden was unarmed, he was standing near the door within reach of two weapons -- an AK-47 and a Makarov handgun -- both are now in U.S. custody.  The handgun is a 9mm semi-automatic Russian pistol, standard issue in the Russian military until 1991.

A senior U.S. official also told Fox News that only one of the five people killed in the raid was carrying a weapon and firing.  The detail seemed at first to diverge from White House accounts claiming the Navy SEALs encountered resistance throughout the raid and were engaged in a firefight during much of the 40-minute operation.  However, the scene was described as chaotic, with U.S. forces encountering barricades and women in the compound screaming and attacking the men.

Another U.S. official said there were "at least a half-dozen weapons" found at the compound.  The first person the SEALs encountered at the guest house "immediately opened fire" before being killed, the official said.  As the SEALs moved through the compound, bin Laden's son Khaled rushed down from the third floor to the second floor and confronted the SEALs, who killed him.

The U.S. team, in their training, had anticipated that bin Laden had a suicide vest and that the house was rigged.  The official bristled at the notion that the compound was somehow an easy target with reports that only one person was armed.

"He was the one guy shot who had a gun in his hand and was firing when he was shot -- other weapons were at the scene," the official said.  "When the SEALs reached the third floor, after resistance and physical barricades, Usama bin Laden did not immediately surrender.  When someone like UBL who has said he wants to kill as many Americans as possible, doesn't 150 percent surrender, you have to assess as a threat."

Another source familiar with the operation said the first shot fired at bin Laden, when he poked his head out of his bedroom, missed.  That detail was first revealed by Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., based on information he got during a classified briefing to members of Congress.  Afterward, two different SEALs fired on bin Laden, one hitting his chest and one hitting his forehead.

By Fox News' Jennifer Griffin, Justin Fishel and Catherine Herridge
Stop Digging!  Please!
John Hinderaker says someone needs to explain the First Rule of Holes to the Obama administration.  Military and intelligence professionals executed an important mission brilliantly, carrying out their assigned task of killing Osama bin Laden and dumping his body into the ocean.  Ever since, the administration has undercut the professionals' achievement with a succession of now-inoperative accounts of the raid's climactic moments.
    
    
First we had John Brennan spinning a tale about bin Laden blazing away at the SEALs while using his wife -- now deceased -- as a human shield.  Many details of that story turned out to be false.  Then the administration claimed that it looked as though Osama was reaching for a gun, so the SEALs had to shoot him.  Next, the theory was that Osama was clothed, not naked, so he could have had a bomb under his clothes and had to be shot.  Another iteration emerged this afternoon, as an administration official told AFP that guns were found in the room where Obama was shot, so he was a threat to the SEALs:
    

US Navy SEALs who led a raid on Osama bin Laden's compound found an AK-47 and a pistol in his room, a US official told AFP Thursday, offering more details about the operation.

"He had weapons in his room, more than one," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.  "He was not compliant.  He did not surrender," the official said. ...

Given the possible threats, the gunfire from the courier and Bin Laden's reputation, "the team made the right decision."

    
All of these narratives -- apart from the disadvantage, in some instances, of being untrue -- share a common defect.  They assume that the SEALs are in the dock as accused murderers, and need to be seen as acting in self-defense.  This is ridiculous.  The SEALs may have acted in "national self defense," the doctrine that Eric Holder articulated to the Senate Judiciary Committee.  But in the immediate context of the raid on bin Laden's compound, the SEALs were not defending themselves.  They were on the attack, as they needed to be to carry out their orders.  Whether bin Laden was shooting at them, reaching for a gun, clothed or naked, or in the same room with a weapon is irrelevant.  The SEALs went into Pakistan to kill bin Laden, and succeeded brilliantly.  The administration needs to forget about self-defense and stand behind the orders it gave the military.
Team Obama Releases Version 29 Of Osama Raid
Jim Hoft says, Good Grief! We now have 29 different versions of the Osama Bin Laden raid in Abbottabad by the Obama Administration.

1 through 26 are here.  28 is here.

This was number 27... The head of the CIA admitted this week that there was no live video footage of the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound as further doubts emerged about the US version of events.

The White House released this photo of the security team watching the raid on the Osama compound in Abbottabad.  Now we know the feed was not working.
    
    
But now, days later, Bob Woodward of Cheney assassination squad fame claims that the cameras were rolling the whole time.  That makes version 29.

What incompetence.
Justice For Osama
  

     
Osama Bin Laden Not Buried At Sea

RT.com is reporting that the body of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was not buried at sea, according to leaked emails of intelligence firm Stratfor, as revealed by WikiLeaks.
 

Stratfor’s vice-president for intelligence, Fred Burton, believes the body was “bound for Dover, [Delaware] on [a] CIA plane” and then “onward to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda [Maryland],” an email says.
 

The official version is that the body of Al-Qaeda’s top man, who was killed by a US raid in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, was buried at an undisclosed location at sea in a proper Muslim ceremony.
 

"If body dumped at sea, which I doubt, the touch is very Adolph Eichman like. The Tribe did the same thing with the Nazi's ashes," Burton commented in another email. Eichman was one of the masterminds of the Holocaust by Nazi Germany. He was captured by Mossad agents in Argentina and, tried in Israel, found guilty and executed in 1962. His body was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea over the Mediterranean.
 

"Eichmann was seen alive for many months on trial before being sentenced to death and executed. No one wanted a monument to him so they cremated him. But i dont know anyone who claimed he wasnt eicjhman [sic]. No comparison with suddenly burying him at sea without any chance to view him which i doubt happened [sic]," Stratfor CEO George Friedman replied.
 

"The US Govt needs to make body pics available like the MX's do, with OBL's pants pulled down, to shout down the lunatics like Alex Jones and Glenn Beck," Burton says in another message.
 

In another missive Burton says Osama’s body “is a crime scene and I don’t see the FBI nor DOJ letting that happen.”

WikiLeaks began publishing Stratfor emails in late February. The archive was obtained by the hacker group Anonymous, which successfully attacked one of the firm’s servers. More than 5 million emails were apparently stolen.
 

Stratfor is a US-based intelligence firm called the “shadow CIA” by some media. Among its clients are several US agencies and many big companies. The company relies on paid tips from informants placed in high circles of business, government and security all around the world.

The Team That Got Bin Laden
    
    
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