Step by Step: The Bold Special Operations Raid that Killed Bin Laden

Yahoo Contributor Network

The CIA and a Navy Seal team that killed Osama bin Laden at $1 million compound in Pakistan were working from an inspired movie script. Only this film wasn't made up by a Hollywood script writer. It was written by American military intelligence officials and was as real as the bullets which struck criminal mastermind bin Laden as he faced the special operations team which ended his life.

The intelligence that spawned the capture-kill mission which ended bin Laden's reign of terror was obtained through the CIA's "rendering" or "enhanced interrogation "program at CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.

Under interrogation, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and Faraj Al-Libi both gave up the name of a trusted bin Laden courier. The courier's nom de guerre was provide by Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and matched with information obtained from Abu Faraj Al-Lib. Both men are currently Guantanamo detainees.

After many months of intelligence gathering, CIA officials were finally able to associate the name with a location in Pakistan. The big breakthrough came in August. Since then, President Barack Obama conducted several meetings with intelligence and military officials with the object of developing plans to capture or kill Bin Laden.

The $1 million mansion where bin laden lived was built more than five years ago, and was owned by two brothers, one of whom was the courier initially sought by the CIA. The courier was a former protege of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.

The courier was eventually tracked to the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. U.S. intelligence began monitoring the address many months ago to obtain strategic information that would assist in training and enabling the assault. From March through April, the president had security consultations with his national security team.

President Obama signed off on mission on Friday, but the operation was cancelled due to unfavorable weather conditions. The attack took place the next night when the moon shone dimly, enabling the helicopters to slip into Pakistan undetected.

In order to maintain secrecy, four helicopters departed from Afghanistan to launch the kill-capture mission. To maintain absolute secrecy, neither the Pakistanis nor other countries were privy to the intelligence information regarding the planned assault. A Blackhawk helicopter developed mechanical troubles at the compound and was destroyed by U.S. operators at the Abbottabad mansion.

According to an ABC report, one Blackhawk attack helicopter came in firing. Another troop carrying helicopters hovered over the luxury compound as troops rappelled down commando-style and engaged UBL's protectors in a gunfight. Bin Laden was pointed out by his wife to a Navy Seal operative who shot him dead when he resisted.

In addition to bin Laden, three other men and a woman used as a human shield were killed at the compound. All the U.S. troops made it out safely, and they brought bin Laden's body with them.

The raid was carried out at 3 p.m. EDT. Early identification was made through facial recognition techniques, and later identification of the body was made by DNA analysis.

President Obama received informal verification at 4 p.m., and went on television at 10:50 p.m. to announce the success of the mission. UBL was flown back to Afghanistan before being buried at sea at 2 a.m. EDT.

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