In 2010, CIA Director Leon Panetta told the US Secretary of Defense that intelligence agency analysts had located one of the most dangerous terrorists of all time, Osama bin Laden.
According to US intelligence, the founder of Al Qaeda (an organization banned in Russia), which has been the main target since the September 11, 2001 attacks, was in Abbottabad, Pakistan. It was assumed that he lived in a constantly guarded low building not far from the military academy. However, there was no evidence at that time.
“Some analysts were confident we were on target. The rest, especially those who survived failed reconnaissance missions, were suspicious. Sharing data and a joint raid with the Pakistanis was suggested, among other things. But I and others felt we couldn’t trust Pakistan. At the time, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, ” The president immediately rejected that option,” he said.
As a result, although the chances of success and failure were equal, the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, ordered the operation to be carried out.
The American services say that they began to develop an operation to capture or eliminate Osama bin Laden, which is called the “Spear of Neptune” in honor of the image of the same name on the emblem of the main tactical unit of the US Navy Special Operations Forces SEAL. Sydyp Baldruev, historian and RANEPA graduate student.
“Bin Laden was given the codename “Geronimo” and needed to be identified to prevent doubles or other fraudsters from being exposed. Intelligence services considered three options for the mission – attacking the house with the aid of a controlled drone, conducting an airstrike or conducting a ground operation – flying from helicopters, ”says the expert.
The first two options were immediately rejected. Baldruev explains that since the residential facility is located inside the urban area, an air strike of the “seals” could cover the population with a wave, causing unnecessary casualties. The drone could not guarantee the elimination of Osama bin Laden.
Therefore, despite the risk, there was no choice but to conduct a ground operation with the forces of the special forces detachment. As Clinton noted, such actions could result in a direct military confrontation between the American “fur seals” and the Pakistani military.
It was decided that the attack would take place in the spring of 2011. Under conditions of extreme secrecy, SEALs and US Army Special Forces Night Hunters began training on full-scale models of the houses where Osama bin Laden was hiding. He also started training with a special-purpose team.
operation on the verge
Initially, the history of the operation “Spear of Neptune” was supposed to coincide with the annual meeting of politicians and officials with journalists in the White House. To avoid arousing suspicion, the event has not been cancelled.
“I participated in many absurd conversations, but this was already too much. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but someone in the media quoted me using a four-letter word referring to this reporter’s meal. I didn’t even demand a withdrawal,” Hillary Clinton said later, describing the tensions that reigned in the government on the day when special forces were supposed to take out “terrorist number one.”
At the same time, just before his meeting with reporters, Barack Obama decided to leave the event earlier if necessary, citing stomach pains. But this was not necessary. The operation was delayed the next day due to bad weather: landing was a great risk due to heavy fog.
On the night of May 2, the CIA director allowed the military personnel to leave, but this time, too, not everything went according to plan. When he arrived at the scene, one of the helicopters flying overhead over bin Laden’s house began to lose altitude.
“The sound of the engines changed. I waited until we got to the landing site to lay the cables. But the helicopter was moving from side to side and it was clear that the pilot could only hold it in place with great difficulty,” he said.
It turned out that the helicopter crashed into the swirl ring and lay on its side, with the crew not seriously injured. Special forces did not stop: the remaining teams were tied up and continued the offensive.
The operation was videotaped by the president and the US National Security Group.
The US National Security Team met in the White House Situation Room to oversee the operation.
“Armed and won’t give up”
After landing on the ground, the soldiers cleared the area around bin Laden’s home for 15 minutes and broke into the house at about one o’clock in the morning, tearing down the walls of the shelter with explosives. Between the team’s entry and exit from the house, 38 minutes passed, taking into account the “neutralization of the defenders”, the search and seizure of documents and electronic media, which were then sent for analysis.
According to the official version, Bin Laden was armed and did not want to give up, when the special forces entered one of the rooms on the third floor, the terrorist put his wife in front of him.
“I shot him twice in the forehead at the same time. Bam bam! The second time he was already falling. He collapsed on the floor in front of the bed and I shot him again. Marine Robert O’Neill, who shot Bin Laden, later saw him take his last breath,” he said.
Around 1:00 am local time (4:00 pm in Washington), the al-Qaeda leader died. In addition to him, bin Laden’s adult son, the courier, the courier’s brother and wife were killed in action.
Also during the special operation, the “seals” tied up several women and children before the attack was over and eventually handed them over to the Pakistani army.
The news of Osama bin Laden’s death cheered the public, as the Americans shouted “USA!” in front of the White House. The operation sparked rumors among conspiracy theorists. The reason for this was the “details” leaked to the press.
For example, some media wrote anonymously that a certain representative of the special services involved in the operation agreed that the mission was originally the main task of “eliminating” a terrorist, and not his capture and delivery to court.
The press also expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s refusal to publish photos of the dead terrorist, meaning there was no direct evidence of his death. Journalists were also embarrassed by the very rapid DNA analysis that confirmed Osama bin Laden’s identity and the haste in his burial. At the time, doubts were expressed about both the staging of the operation and the death of the al-Qaeda leader.
Also, to date, Pakistan’s meddling in the terrorist’s hideout raises questions, because the terrorist’s hideout was at the entrance street and apparently stood out from other houses. Opinions were expressed in the press that Pakistan was deliberately harboring bin Laden.