Osama Bin Laden report: Details revealed of 36-minute raid by US under the noses of Pakistan's miltary

 

US aircraft patrolling over Afghanistan are watching the skies to warn Black Hawk helicopters of any Pakistani military response as they close in on Bin Laden’s compound. There is no response, however, as the Pakistani air force is on “peacetime” deployment.

* The Afghan presence is spotted by the Pakistanis, but not the attack helicopters. Just over an hour after taking off from Jalalabad, the Black Hawks arrive in Abbottabad. The Seals rappel down, with Urdu and Pashto speakers forming a cordon to keep locals out. Bin Laden and his third wife, 29-year-old Yemeni national Amal Ahmad Abdul Fattah al-Sadah, are with their three-year-old son on the second floor. Hearing noise ‘like a storm’ outside, they go to the balcony but the night is moonless and can see nothing. Sadah goes to see her other five children downstairs; Bin Laden is joined by his daughters Mariam, 21, and Sumayya, 20, upstairs.

* The Seals hit an annexe first, shooting Ibrahim al-Kuwaiti, Bin Laden’s Pakistani bodyguard, through a window. His wife, Maryam, is hit in the shoulder. A soldier demands, in Arabic, that she open the door. She does, and is put under guard outside with her children. 

* In the main building, Maryam goes to the balcony with her children to see what is happening. Bin Laden reaches for his gun. They hear an explosion (possibly the sound of one of the Black Hawks crashing) and footsteps on the stairs. A soldier on the landing fixes Bin Laden with a red laser sight; Sadah throws herself in front of her husband and is shot in the knee. Bin Laden is then killed.

* Sumayya says Bin Laden is shot in the forehead. The soldiers ask her and Maryam to identify the body and lead them away. Sharifa Siham Sabar, Bin Laden’s second of three wives, is in her room on the second floor with her son, Khalid, who rushes with his gun to Bin Laden’s side. Khalid is killed, as is Abrar al-Kuwaiti, a guard/courier and brother of Ibrahim, and Abrar’s wife, Bushra. Sharifa and Bin Laden’s eldest wife, Khairiyyah, are led away by soldiers.

* The Seals leave by helicopter, destroying the downed Black Hawk with explosives. The raid takes 36 minutes. Local police only arrive on the scene after spotting the flaming helicopter at 1.06am. Senior officials eventually enter the site and find four bodies – Ibrahim and Abrar al-Kuwaiti, Khalid and Bushra. Bin Laden’s body is not among them. The Pakistani army’s Quick Response Force receives information about the raid at 12.40am. By the time officers arrive at 1.20am, the US forces have left. Pakistani F16s are not scrambled until 2.50am, three and a half hours after the raid began – and 24 minutes after the last US helicopter had left Pakistani airspace. The US calls the Pakistani military at 5am. President Zardari is informed at 6.45am.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: SAGE Bookkeeper & PA to Directors

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map