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Bin Laden raid ‘was always shoot to kill’ as new details emerge

The most detailed account of the bin Laden raid in May is published in this week’s New Yorker.

Osama bin Laden or 'Geronimo' as he was known to the Navy SEALS.
Osama bin Laden or 'Geronimo' as he was known to the Navy SEALS.
Image: Associated Press Photo

IT HAS EMERGED that the Navy SEALS who carried out the raid on the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was in hiding always intended to kill the former Al Qaeda leader.

In a fascinating account by Nicholas Schmidle in this week’s New Yorker magazine, a special operations officer said there was “never any question” that bin Laden would be captured alive.

This conflicts with previous claims that the Obama administration would have allowed bin Laden to live had he surrendered.

The riveting account details the weeks leading up to the raid as the crack Navy SEAL team prepared for the mission and gives the greatest detail yet to the night of 1 May when bin Laden’s compound was raided and the terrorist leader was shot dead.

As the still unidentified SEAL shot bin Laden, referred to by the codename ‘Geronimo’, he was heard to say on his radio: “For God and country – Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo.”

He then added: “Geronomio E.K.I.A (enemy killed in action).” The identity of the SEAL who made the kill shot has not come to light. Even US president Barack Obama did not want to know who it was when he met the team a few days later.

Read Nicholas Schmidle’s full account in The New Yorker >

Read: Meet the ‘Seal Team 6′, the crackshots who killed Bin Laden >

Read: Porn found at Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan >

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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