Although they say bin Laden did not go out without a fight, here are the details on how President Obama split ole boy’s wig:
Senior administration officials tell CBS News that the operation to find and kill al Qaeda boss Osama bin Laden began in earnest when the CIA learned the world’s most wanted terrorist was in a specific compound in Pakistan. The president ordered the raid by a small, elite Navy SEAL team, which found bin Laden in a home on a fortified compound in Abbottabad, near Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital.
Intelligence agents believed there was a “high probability” bin Laden was hiding at the compound. U.S. officials say inside information was key to the successful operation. The CIA has for decades tried to gain the confidence of people close to the al Qaeda boss. Terror detainees “flagged to us people who were providing direct support” to bin Laden. A lone courier in particular, an associate of other senior al Qaeda members, proved crucial in the end.
According to senior administration officials, Mr. Obama met with his national security team at least 9 meetings prior to the operation that ended bin Laden’s life. The president’s top national security officials met five times themselves, and their deputies seven times. In addition, Mr. Obama has frequent consultations between the NSC, CIA, DoD and other agencies on the bin Laden hunt. The president made the decision to undertake the operation at 8:20am ET on April 29th in the Diplomatic Room, prior to going to Alabama to view the tornado damage. On May 1, the national security staff and others worked out final details for the operation.
Following is more of the timeline:
2:00pm Mr. Obama met with the principals to review final preparations.
3:32pm Mr. Obama returned to the Situation Room for an additional briefing.
3:50pm Mr. Obama first learns that bin Laden was tentatively identified.
7:01pm Mr. Obama learns that there’s a “high probability” bin Laden has been identified.
8:30pm Mr. Obama receives a further briefings.
11:30pm Mr. Obama tells nation Osama bin Laden is dead.
CBS News was told that the courier was “trusted” by bin Laden. “We identified areas where this courier and his brother operated, but they had extensive operational security,” said the official — and those elaborate security procedures made the U.S. even more suspicious of whom they were catering to. U.S. troops were at the compound for less than 40 minutes. In addition to bin Laden, three adult males were killed, including bin Laden’s adult son and two couriers.
Bin Laden did not go peacefully, according to officials. He resisted arrest and was killed in a firefight as U.S. troops entered the compound.
Details have also emerged on the al Qaeda leader’s burial:
Osama bin Laden, the long-time figurehead of the al Qaeda terrorist network, has been buried at sea after being killed in a U.S. raid in Pakistan. U.S. officials told CBS News that bin Laden’s body would be handled in accordance with Muslim traditions, which include strict rules on burial taking place within 24 hours after death.
Sources confirmed to CBS News national security correspondent David Martin that his body was released into the sea from a U.S. Navy vessel on Monday, likely into the Indian Ocean. Bin Laden was a Saudi national, but officials tell CBS News that the Kingdom was unwilling to have his remains repatriated.
SMH. Why did they bury dude so fast???