He's Dead (updated)


We finally got him. U.S. special operators killed Osama Bin Laden following a firefight at a mansion near the Pakistani town of Abbottabad roughly 30 miles outside of Islamabad and home of the Pakistani Military Academy.

So yes, he was hiding out in the very town, named after a British army officer, that hosts Pakistan's version of West Point not in some remote tribal village along the border with Afghanistan. It's not yet clear how the special ops team was inserted or how much Pakistani forces knew about the operation. About 24 operators from what until recently was known as Naval Special Warfare Development Group (and SEAL Team Six before that) were inserted via helicopter into a heavily fortified compound where they killed Bin Laden with a shot to his left eye. The SEALs were backed up by CIA Special Activities Division trigger pullers and analysts brought in to ID Bin Laden's body and bring home any intelligence-related materials found in the compound. All told, about 40 men. The operators took Bin Laden's body from the compound where it's DNA was compared to his dead sister's. He was then buried at sea. Apparently, no other nations where informed of the operation despite the fact that President Obama said last night that the mission was executed with the cooperation of Pakistani officials. At least two helicopters and one MQ-1 Predator (or was it an RQ-170?) drone are reported to have the supported the raid. One chopper linked to the raid may have crashed inside Pakistan due to mechanical problems. It's wreckage was reportedly destroyed by U.S. forces.

Interestingly, the helos used are reported to have been Army MH-60 Black Hawks and MH-47 Chinooks not Air Force Special Operations Command CV-22 Ospreys. Who knows why this is. It may simply be a matter of aircraft availability. The Ospreys may have been already in use on a separate mission or the MH-60 and MH-47s flown by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment may have been requested by mission planners due to the unit's long history of work on just this type of mission.

U.S. intelligence operatives had suspected for months the $1 million compound, with its 16 foot-high walls yet no Internet connection, was home to a very, very high value terrorist leader.

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