Former U.S. Navy Seal Robert O’Neill Describes The Moment He ‘Shot Dead Osama Bin Laden’
Over a 15-year span, it is believed that Osama bin Laden cost the United States $3 trillion. That included his attacks on the United States, damage to the U.S. economy, the wars, and the hunt for the founder of al-Qaeda. But bin Laden’s reign of terror ended around 1:00 a.m. on May 2, 2011, when he was shot dead during a U.S. special forces operation code-named Operation Neptune Spear. Now the man who shot dead the mastermind behind 9/11 is telling his story of that historic night.
Osama bin Laden was in Abbottabad, Pakistan when a team of elite U.S. Navy SEALs raided the compound. One of the members of SEAL Team Six was Robert O’Neill. and he wrote a book about the infamous raid. The Mirror published a dramatic excerpt from his new book, “The Operator,” about the infamous mission that took down the most wanted man on the planet.
The copter door opened. We were two minutes out, looking out at a city which had no idea we were coming. The compound came into view. It was dark, as if the power was out, and I had a fleeting thought that maybe our Agency guys had made that happen somehow.
The door opened. As we entered, it was all dawning on me: “Holy shit, we’re here, that’s Bin Laden’s house. This is so cool. We’re probably not going to live, but this is historic and I’m going to savor this.”
I could hear gunfire. I came around the corner to see one of our guys in the aftermath of a gunfight in front of the main house. He shot through a window, and a man and woman were down inside.
Osama’s son Khalid, the al-Qaeda leader’s last line of defense.
As we made our way up the stairs, I was five or six guys back. The woman intel analyst had told us we should expect Khalid bin Laden, Osama’s 23-year-old son, to be there, armed and ready, his father’s last line of defense.
“If you find Khalid,” she told us, “Osama’s on the next floor.”
A figure popped out just above us on the half landing between the first and second floor. We saw him for just an instant before he darted back behind a banister. He was armed with an AK-47.
The point man thought it through beautifully – Khalid knew somebody was nearby but he didn’t know we were Americans for sure. In no more than a whisper, my guy uttered a phrase he had learned before the mission began, in both of the languages Bin Laden’s son spoke, Arabic and Urdu – “Khalid, come here”.
Khalid, confused by hearing his name called, poked his head around the banister and said: “What?”
That was his final word. The point man shot him in the face. The bullet entered above the chin and exited out the back of his head. Khalid dropped. The train started moving up the stairs to the second floor, with me in the back. Everybody except the point man started clearing rooms on the second floor.