by the men who participated in it, was very different from what the Obama administration told us last May, even from the account they gave after they had supposedly cleared up their initial contradictory accounts and gave us the supposedly correct story. As I said at the time, the raid was very well done, but the moment the raid was over and the White House people began gassing about it, they turned everything about the event into a mess. The story is from yesterday’s
Real story of SEAL Team 6’s mission to kill bin Laden
By SUSANNAH CAHALAN
November 6, 2011
It was 1 a.m. on May 2 in Abbottabad, Pakistan, when Osama bin Laden felt his house shake.
The terror boss—the man who had killed thousands and proudly masterminded the 9/11 attacks—jumped from under his comfortable blankets in a panic and struggled through a sleepy haze to figure out what was going on.
He had a $25 million bounty on his head. But this compound—with its stark, dirty rooms and grandmother’s-house odor—had been a safe haven for years.
That was all about to end. The Navy SEALS had come for him.
AUTHOR SHOOTS HOLES IN OFFICIAL ACCOUNT
“He had 90 seconds to live,” writes Chuck Pfarrer, a former SEAL Team Six commander in his new book, “Seal Target Geronimo,” which provides a never-before-seen look into the inner workings of the mission to take out Osama bin Laden.
The accounts in the book—which differ from the official government version in many details—come from the very SEALS who were on the mission, to whom Pfarrer had special access.
“This book is for the amazing guys who deserve better and the American people who deserve to know better,” the author, who claims he was involved in SEAL preparations leading up to the raid, told The Post.
Operation Neptune’s Spear began on a dusty base in Afghanistan at about 10 p.m. on May 1—when two ultra-silent Stealth Hawk helicopters took off and headed across the Pakistani frontier to the compound 120 miles inside the border.
The crafts, named Razor 1 and Razor 2, took three hours to make the trip. They were shielded from Pakistani radar by jamming equipment on an EA-6 Prowler.
They glided across fields and orchards outside the town of Abbottabad at altitudes as low at 20 feet.
Finally, they touched down.
Contrary to the official story, Razor 1 didn’t crash before the SEAL team entered the building. It balanced on the roof of the main house, while Razor 2 hovered above the apex of the compound’s triangular perimeter.
“As Razor 1 hovered, the down blast of it rotors poured a hurricane into the narrow space of [bin Laden’s] terrace, hurling a pair of plastic chairs against the windows,” Pfarrer wrote. “A violent gust of air hammered the sliding glass doors … The curtains next to the open door flailed into the room pulling the curtain rods out of the wall as they fell.”
This arrival apparently had a terrifying effect on bin Laden.
“Osama threw back the blanket from his bed. He tried to put his feet on the floor, and he could feel the house shake.”
In another deviation from the official story, Pfarrer told The Post that his sources are adamant that the SEALs entered via the third floor, from the roof, and did not conduct the raid from the ground up.
Also, in yet another contradiction, there was no pitched fire fight before they found the terror leader. They faced very little opposition.
In just seconds, the SEALS jumped a few feet down from their helicopter and made their way across the roof to bin Laden’s terrace.
They went through glass doors and saw his third wife, Khairah, in the hallway.
Moments later, they saw bin Laden—whom the SEALs code named “Crankshaft” and sometimes “Burt”—pop his head out into the hall and “loudly” slam his bedroom door shut.
They had him.
“One of the operators hit his inter-squad radio and called out, ‘Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo,’ indicating that he had ‘eyes on’ [bin Laden],” Pfarrer wrote.
Before the SEALs could get into the his room, his son Khalid bin Laden ran to the top of the stairs and encountered the SEALS.
As he approached them, he saw a green aiming laser sweep toward him. Instead of running for his life, he continued toward the SEALs. Two shots were fired.
“Khalid was struck in the chest just below his throat,” Pfarrer wrote. “He twisted forward, landing on his right side with his arm tucked under his head.”
Moments later, it was time to begin the endgame.
The first SEAL reached bin Laden’s door and kneeled down. He waited two seconds, until he felt another SEAL move in behind him for backup. Then he kicked in the door and both entered.
Pfarrer wrote that when SEALs enter a room they go into a state of “Zen consciousness.” Seconds feel like minutes, and events seem to unfold as slowly as a slide show.
“Time dilates,” he wrote. “All of a SEAL’s senses are magnified; the smallest sound, the slightest smells, the textures of the floor and the wall, all are burned into his consciousness.”
As they entered the room, the blinding lights of their weapons illuminated two figures—bin Laden and the youngest of his four wives, Amal.
The woman was shouting, “No, no, don’t do this … It’s not him!”
Contrary to a May 3 statement from the White House—which said bin Laden was not armed—he did have a gun, Pfarrer writes. He was not carrying it, however; it was lying by the headboard.
When he saw the SEALs, he lunged to grab it.
He used his wife as a human shield, by shoving her at the SEALs. Then he scampered across the bed where the AKSU machine pistol was lying.
“The man was moving toward the bed, just reaching it, diving across it—but all of this seemed to be unfolding like a slide show: click, click, click,” the book says.
Then four shots were fired: two rounds and two rounds.
“The first round sailed past Osama’s face and thudded into the mattress. Osama shoved Amal as he clawed across the bed. A second bullet, aimed at Osama’s head, grazed Amal in the calf,” the book says.
As his wife crouched, wounded, bin Laden continued to reach for his gun. He never made it.
“Two US Navy M855 5.56mm Predator bullets slammed into him. One struck him next to his breastbone, blowing apart his aorta. The last bullet went through his skull, killing him instantly,” the book says.
“Geronimo Geronimo Geronimo third deck” came over their headsets.
According to Pfarrer, the phrase “For God and country,” which generated controversy when it appeared in a New Yorker magazine account of the raid, was never uttered by a SEAL.
The whole takedown took between 90 and 120 seconds.
Meanwhile, Razor 2, on the roof the guest house, created a down blast that caused cows and chickens in the back yard to scurry away. Someone inside awoke.
“A shadow moved in front of one window and then another, and then a door opened,” Pfarrer writes. “Two people crowded the doorway; one carried an AK-47 assault rifle.”
It was bin Laden’s courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, the man whose frequent trips to and from the compound aroused the suspicions of intelligence officers and led to Osama being located.
Later, they would find that bin Laden’s right-hand man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who they referred to as “Ernie,” made the courier system purposely obvious, writes Pfarrer. He wanted to wrest power from bin Laden. So he gave the Americans a signal to his whereabouts. It seemed his scheme worked; Zawahiri became the head of al Qaeda in June.
Kuwaiti raised the gun and shot bullets out into the darkness.
“Bust him,” one of the men ordered.
A sniper aboard the helicopter fired.
“Kuwaiti was blown off his feet. His AK-47 spun in a half-circle up and out of his hands. Two of the bullets passed through his chest and killed the person standing behind him. It was his wife.”
President Obama and his senior advisers watched the raid in the White House situation room from a video feed provided by a drone 15,000 feet above the compound.
When Obama heard the words, “Geronimo, E, enemy. Killed in action,” he told his staff, “We got him.”
They couldn’t see bin Laden being shot, but they could see the incident at the end of the raid, when Razor 1 went down with team members still inside.
The famous photograph of various leaders in the situation room watching in horror—and Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton holding her hand over her mouth—captures this moment.
Razor 1 had experienced technical difficulties with its flight instruments, although exactly why the high-tech chopper crashed is still not known.
Team members took a DNA sample from bin Laden’s corpse, but the book does not detail how.
A third chopper, the command Chinook, soon landed, and the mission’s leader—a composite character in the book named Scott Kerr, because the real leader cannot be identified—entered bin Laden’s bedroom and asked, “What happened?”
He got this reply from the lead SEAL on the scene: “Easy day. We got to the roof. No one heard us approach. In five seconds we were on the terrace. We were in the hallway in 30. Crankshaft stuck his head out, saw us, and slammed the door. We kicked it in, and we were on him.”