Four helicopters carried members of US Navy special forces in to conduct the operation, one of which crashed due to mechanical failure and was destroyed by the US forces. The helicopter crash itself created news stories before the true story of the operation emerged later Sunday night.
Bin Laden, one of his sons, and two of his couriers were killed in the ground operation at the compound which intelligence had identified as his hideout. The compound was near hospitals, a college and a police station, and reportedly had massive walls and a large building. Abbottabad is only about 60 miles from Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. Along with the bin Ladens and his henchmen, a woman whom bin Laden used as a human shield was also killed. Osama bin Laden, a mass murderer, died a coward. Other women were wounded in the battle, but none of the Americans were injured. Once the battle was concluded, US forces secured the corpse.
The operation is said to have taken about 40 minutes on the ground.
Update: CNN reports that the SEALS flew in from Afghanistan to conduct the strike, and the US did not notify the Pakistanis beforehand. If that’s true, it probably explains why the raid was a success. If President Obama made that call, he obviously made the right one and deserves some credit for it.
The fact that Osama bin Laden was apparently living just about 60 miles from Islamabad in a major city, and in a large compound just a few blocks from a police station, raises all kinds of questions (many of which have been asked repeatedly over the years) about the Pakistanis and whose side they are really on.