Osama bin Laden's killer remains a mystery

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 28, 2013 08:45 hrs

Washington: The identity of the man who really killed former al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden remains a mystery even after the lengthy profile published by Esquire magazine earlier in February.

The story- "The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden" - did not identify the killer by his real name, and referred to him only as "the Shooter". However, another member of the secretive SEAL Team 6, which executed the bin Laden raid, claimed that the story of the Shooter as presented in Esquire is false, reports the CNN. 

SEAL Team 6 operators are now in "serious lockdown" when it comes to "talking to anybody" about the bin Laden raid and say they have been frustrated to see what they consider to be the inaccurate story in Esquire receive considerable play without a response. 

Twenty-three SEALs and their interpreter raided the compound of bin Laden just after midnight on the morning of May 2, 2011. They shot and killed bin Laden's two bodyguards, one of bin Laden's sons and the wife of one of the bodyguards and they also wounded two other women. 

The first three SEALs to make it to the top floor of bin Laden's compound where he was believed to be living were "the point man", "the Shooter" profiled by Esquire, and Matt Bissonette, the SEAL who wrote "No Easy Day" under the pseudonym Mark Owen . 

What actually happened the night of the raid, according to the SEAL Team 6 operator is that the "point man" ran up the stairs to the top floor and shot bin Laden in the head when he saw what looked like bin Laden poking his head out his bedroom door. The shot gravely wounded al Qaeda's leader. Two more SEALs then entered bin Laden's bedroom and, seeing that al Qaeda's leader was lying mortally wounded on the floor, finished him off with shots to the chest. 

This account of bin Laden's demise is considerably less heroic than how the Shooter is presented in Esquire, in which he says he shot bin Laden while he was standing up and only after he saw that al Qaeda's leader had a gun within reach. 

According to present and former members of SEAL Team 6, the "point man" who fired the shot that likely mortally wounded bin Laden will never "in a million years" speak publicly about his role in the raid. 

It is possible the Abbottabad Commission, a panel that was appointed by the Pakistani government to look into the raid, could shed some light on this question should its findings ever be publicly released. 

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