The Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden broke his silence, recounting in an interview the night he shot the al-Qaeda leader three times and the financial anxiety he now faces as an unemployed civilian.
Report by AFP
The commando kept his identity secret in the Esquire magazine profile, but revealed his role in the daring May 2011 raid for the first time, as well as the worries he has for his family’s security.
“He looked confused. And way taller than I was expecting,” the SEAL says of Bin Laden.
When the commandos came upon Bin Laden in the dark on the third floor of his Pakistani hideout, the al-Qaeda mastermind had his hands on his youngest wife’s shoulders, “pushing her ahead” and there was an AK-47 nearby.
“I don’t know if she’s got a vest and she’s being pushed to martyr them both. He’s got a gun within reach. He’s a threat. I need to get a head shot so he won’t have a chance to clack himself off (blow himself up),” the commando says.
“In that second, I shot him, two times in the forehead. Bap! Bap! The second time as he’s going down. He crumpled onto the floor in front of his bed and I hit him again, Bap! same place,” he says. “He was dead. Not moving. His tongue was out.”
The Esquire article, which refers to the unnamed commando as “the Shooter”, focuses on the Navy SEAL’s plight as an anonymous hero without a pension, health insurance or extra security for his family, with the title: “The man who killed Osama bin Laden … is screwed”.
The lengthy magazine profile comes after another Navy SEAL who took part in the raid, Matt Bissonnette, published a book last year No Easy Day, which drew the ire of Pentagon officials who allege he broke a pledge not to disclose classified information.
The Esquire article confirms earlier accounts, including one in No Easy Day, describing how once Bin Laden was mortally wounded and collapsed on the floor, other SEALs shot him repeatedly in the chest and legs.