The full extraordinary story of the assassination of Osama Bin Laden has been revealed for the first time by a member of the elite team that killed the arch terrorist in his secret lair in Pakistan.
Bin Laden was shot in the head by a ‘point man’ from the crack US Navy Seals unit as the Al Qaeda leader peered out through his narrowly-opened bedroom door.
Bursting into his room, the Seals then fired more rounds into his body as he lay on the floor in his death throes and as two of his wives wailed beside him.
The gruesome last moments of the 9/11 mastermind are revealed in a book by retired Seal Matt Bissonnette who took part in the raid and made sure Bin Laden was dead.
But the minute-by-minute account of the heart-stopping, top-secret raid has infuriated Pentagon lawyers who are demanding that its launch next week is cancelled.
Bissonnette, 36 – who uses the pen-name Mark Owen – is accused of breaching a secrecy commitment that he signed when he left active duty last April. And it has incensed Islamic fundamentalists, who have posted online death threats against the author.
Owen’s detailed account in his book, No Easy Day, tells how, on a moonless night on May 1, 2011, 24 US Navy Seals left their base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, for Bin Laden’s one-acre walled compound in Abbottabad.
The Seals, who were to operate in teams of three, travelled in two Black Hawk helicopters.
They knew that, as well as the terror chief, they could expect to find at the compound Khalid, one of Bin Laden’s sons, and Ahmed al-Kuwaiti and his brother Abrar al-Kuwaiti, who had acted as couriers for Bin Laden.
Owen tells how the mission soon hit difficulties when the plan to ‘fast-rope’ the Seals from one of the helicopters into the compound had to be rapidly revised when one of the Black Hawks – with Owen inside – crash landed inside the courtyard.