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India - New Details: Getting Bin Laden, What Happened That Night in Abbottabad

Published on: August 1, 2011 03:13 PM
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Residents surround the compound where U.S. Navy SEAL commandos killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad May 5, 2011. Residents surround the compound where U.S. Navy SEAL commandos killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad May 5, 2011.

India - Shortly after eleven o’clock on the night of May 1st, two MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters lifted off from Jalalabad Air Field, in eastern Afghanistan, and embarked on a covert mission into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden. Inside the aircraft were twenty-three Navy SEALs from Team Six, which is officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DEVGRU. A Pakistani-American translator, whom I will call Ahmed, and a dog named Cairo—a Belgian Malinois—were also aboard. It was a moonless evening, and the helicopters’ pilots, wearing night-vision goggles, flew without lights over mountains that straddle the border with Pakistan. Radio communications were kept to a minimum, and an eerie calm settled inside the aircraft.

Fifteen minutes later, the helicopters ducked into an alpine valley and slipped, undetected, into Pakistani airspace. For more than sixty years, Pakistan’s military has maintained a state of high alert against its eastern neighbor, India. Because of this obsession, Pakistan’s “principal air defenses are all pointing east,” Shuja Nawaz, an expert on the Pakistani Army and the author of “Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within,” told me. Senior defense and Administration officials concur with this assessment, but a Pakistani senior military official, whom I reached at his office, in Rawalpindi, disagreed. “No one leaves their borders unattended,” he said. Though he declined to elaborate on the location or orientation of Pakistan’s radars—“It’s not where the radars are or aren’t”—he said that the American infiltration was the result of “technological gaps we have vis-à-vis the U.S.” The Black Hawks, each of which had two pilots and a crewman from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, or the Night Stalkers, had been modified to mask heat, noise, and movement; the copters’ exteriors had sharp, flat angles and were covered with radar-dampening “skin.”


The SEALs’ destination was a house in the small city of Abbottabad, which is about a hundred and twenty miles across the Pakistan border. Situated north of Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, Abbottabad is in the foothills of the Pir Panjal Range, and is popular in the summertime with families seeking relief from the blistering heat farther south. Founded in 1853 by a British major named James Abbott, the city became the home of a prestigious military academy after the creation of Pakistan, in 1947. According to information gathered by the Central Intelligence Agency, bin Laden was holed up on the third floor of a house in a one-acre compound just off Kakul Road in Bilal Town, a middle-class neighborhood less than a mile from the entrance to the academy. If all went according to plan, the SEALs would drop from the helicopters into the compound, overpower bin Laden’s guards, shoot and kill him at close range, and then take the corpse back to Afghanistan.

Read full report at New Yorker Magazine 

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Read Comments (11)  —  Post Yours »


 Aug 01, 2011 at 05:36 PM Liepa Says:

Unbelievable read...............


 Aug 01, 2011 at 05:33 PM Nobama Says:

Every few weeks one more details to make Obama look like a super hero... All Obama did was build on existing programs the bush put in place, if Obama was the decision maker to start with we would have never had these programs in place... But dont forget Obama is a SUPER HERO!


 Aug 01, 2011 at 06:07 PM whererurbrains Says:

What do we know now more than yesterday ?

Oh, that the helicopters came from afghanistan


 Aug 01, 2011 at 07:31 PM AlbertEinstein Says:

All the important nuggets are missing from the article, and will never be reported, Baruch Hashem.


 Aug 01, 2011 at 07:28 PM Suisse Says:

So basically the mission was to kill him and not capture him alive.


 Aug 01, 2011 at 08:55 PM Tzi_Bar_David Says:

Imagine the circus if Bin Laden were captured alive? Hostages would be taken all over the world in attempt to barter his freedom; the UN Kangaroo Hague court would be demanding jurisdiction; high profile lawyers in the US would be soiling themselves in a frenzy to defend him (and make a name for themselves) ... and to be evenhanded ... the "facts" embarrassing to the US/Saudi governments about their earlier dealings in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation.

All in all, the SEAL who took him out said it best, "For G-d and country, Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo!"


 Aug 01, 2011 at 09:48 PM Nissim613 Says:

Seriously.. sounds more like a novel than a report of the mission


 Aug 01, 2011 at 09:49 PM Nissim613 Says:

Seriously... sounds more like a novel then a report of a mission


 Aug 01, 2011 at 10:09 PM paltibenlayish Says:

Great read! Thanks for posting this article, it reads like a novel.


 Aug 01, 2011 at 11:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
whererurbrains Says:

What do we know now more than yesterday ?

Oh, that the helicopters came from afghanistan

1) That the mission was to kill not capture.

2) that one Muslim guy from the US (in this article he is named "Ahmed") acted as a plain clothed Pakistani police officer on the ground after jumping out from one of our choppers!!

He came from Afghanistan together with the Navy Seals.


 Aug 02, 2011 at 01:23 PM BuckyinWisconsin Says:

"For G-d and Country, Geronimo." I almost teared up reading that line. It is as classic as "One small step for man..."
May Hashem continue to bless this country in its war on Sonei yisrael throughout the world.

Just as an aside, interesting and nauseating to hear that all the Muslims "clerics" have porn all over thier computers. Very holy men, no doubt. I have heard that it is actually predominantly child pornography as well. Nice.

May the Enemies of Israel be soon destroyed for "He will crush skulls over a wide area...He will drink from the stream on the way"


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