Inside the compound where Bin Laden was found



President Barack Obama says the al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden has been killed by US forces in Pakistan.
Bin Laden is believed to be the mastermind of the attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September 2001 and a number of others.
He was killed in a ground operation at the compound where he was hiding, in the town of Abbottabad.
Footage from inside the building showed scenes of disarray, and bloodstains on the floor. Steve Kingstone reports.




BBC News – A look at Osama Bin Laden’s compound


US President Barack Obama says al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden has been killed by US forces in Pakistan.
Bin Laden was killed in a ground operation outside Islamabad based on US intelligence. Mr Obama said US forces took possession of Bin Laden’s body after “a firefight” at a compound in Abbotabad.
Adam Brookes reports.


BBC News – A look at Osama Bin Laden’s compound

BBC News – Bin Laden raid eyewitness ‘heard heavy gunfire’

A man who unknowingly lived in the same town as Osama Bin Laden has said he heard “heavy gunfire followed by a huge blast”, as US forces attacked his compound.
Syed Riaz Hussain from Abbottabad in Pakistan, told the BBC he had no idea the most wanted man in the world was living in his town.



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Osama Bin Laden Death Confirmed By DNA Testing: Reports


WASHINGTON — The U.S. used multiple means to confirm the identity of Osama bin Laden during and after the firefight in which he was killed, before placing his body in the North Arabian Sea from aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier, senior U.S. officials said Monday.
The al-Qaida leader was identified by name by a woman believed to be one of his wives – bin Laden had several – who was present at his Pakistan compound at the time of the U.S. raid. He also was visually identified by members of the U.S. raid squad, a senior intelligence official told reporters at a Pentagon briefing. Under ground rules set by the Pentagon, the intelligence official and two senior defense officials could not be identified by name.
The intelligence official also said quite a bit of unspecified material was collected by U.S. forces during the raid. Without describing the material, the official said it is being analyzed by a team of people at the CIA.
The officials said bin Laden was killed toward the end of the firefight, which took place overnight Monday in a building at a compound north of Islamabad, the Pakistani capital. His body was put aboard the USS Carl Vinson and placed into the North Arabian Sea.
Traditional Islamic procedures for handling the remains were followed, the officials said, including washing the corpse, placing it in a white sheet. Preparations for at-sea burial began at 1:10 a.m. EDT Monday and were completed at 2 a.m. EDT, one official said.
The intelligence official said the DNA match, using DNA from several family members, provided virtual certainty that it was bin Laden’s body.
Officials did not immediately say where or how the testing was done but the test explains why President Barack Obama was confident to announce the death to the world Sunday night. Obama provided no details on the identification process.
The U.S. is believed to have collected DNA samples from bin Laden family members in the years since the 9/11 attacks that triggered the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. It was unclear whether the U.S. also had fingerprints or some other means to identify the body on site.
Bin Laden was shot in the head during the firefight with members of an elite American counter-terrorism unit that launched a helicopter-borne raid on the al-Qaida leader’s compound, U.S. officials said. Officials said the U.S. special forces who stormed the compound came face to face with their prey.
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U.S. officials also said bin Laden was identified through “facial recognition,” a reference to technology for mapping unique facial characteristics, but it was not clear exactly how the Navy SEAL troops performed the comparison.
The body was photographed before being buried at sea, although no images have been released by the Obama administration.
The U.S. official who disclosed the burial at sea said it would have been difficult to find a country willing to accept the remains. Obama said the remains had been handled in accordance with Islamic custom, which requires speedy burial.
Positive identification of the remains is considered a critically important part of the U.S. operation, given the symbolic importance of bin Laden’s leadership of the Islamic extremist movement that was based in Afghanistan until the U.S. invaded in October 2001.
When al-Qaida’s leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in June 2006, DNA tests were performed by the FBI to positively identify the remains. The U.S. military also performed an autopsy, in part to dispel allegations in the immediate aftermath of the airstrike that the terrorist leader had been beaten or shot by U.S. soldiers while in American custody.
It was not clear Monday whether the Obama administration intended to release its photos of bin Laden’s body.
In July 2003, when U.S. forces killed Saddam Hussein’s sons, Odai and Qusai, in a gunbattle in northern Iraq, the U.S. military released graphic after-death photographs in an effort to prove to Iraqis that they were dead. Two of the photos showed the first man, identified as Qusai, with bruises and blood spots around his eyes. That face was far more intact than the other, identified as Odai; the mouth was open with the teeth showing.

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Topics: dead, killed, Osama bin Laden, Pakistan, play by play, step by step, terrorism, us, war on terror, world


CIA led U.S. special forces mission against Osama bin Laden,0,6466214.story


The operation that killed Osama bin Laden was led by the CIA, although most of those conducting the raid were military special operations troops, a U.S. official said today. CIA Director Leon Panetta gave the go-order about midday Sunday, after President Obama had signed off on it.

Panetta and other CIA officials monitored the raid via live video on the 7th floor of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. When an operator was overheard confirming that bin Laden was killed, cheers erupted.

Photo gallery: Reactions to Osama bin Laden death

Bin Laden was shot while shooting back, the official reported. Contrary to some reports, the operation was intended to kill or capture bin Laden, although all involved thought capture was unlikely.

“This wasn’t an execution,” the official said.”The assessment going in to it was that it’s highly unlikely that’s he’s going to be taken alive, but if he decided to lay down his arms, he would have been taken captive.”

Crucial information about the trusted courier who owned the compound came years ago from CIA interrogations of 9-11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohamed, the official said. This is significant, because the Al Qaeda mastermind was subject to waterboarding and other brutal interrogation methods.

“We were able to get pieces of information from detainees,” the official said. “That took years and these guys don’t give it up all willingly.”

An option to bomb the compound was rejected in favor of a surgical raid, in part to make sure there was proof Bin Laden was there, and in part to spare the lives of more than a dozen non-combatants living in the compound.

The CIA and other agencies had been watching the compound since August, so they knew a lot about it, the official said.  Mock-ups had been constructed and rehearsals of the raid held while senior officials watched.

The town is not in the area where U.S. Predator drones regularly fly over the tribal areas of Pakistan, so other methods had to be used to gather intelligence on the layout, the official said. The National Security Agency, which has satellites that can eavesdrop on conversations, and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, which can map buildings and terrain via satellite and other technology, were both involved. The technology is such that the CIA was aware of where people were in the compound during the early morning hours when the raid occurred, the official said.

A tense moment during the raid came when one of the helicopters malfunctioned, but no one was injured and the copter was destroyed.

The official would not say where the body was buried at sea, but said, “We treated him with more respect than he treated a lot of Americans.”


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