Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden is DEAD :Shootout, no surrender and carried away on foot after U.S. chopper broke down:

By David Gardner
-Luxury compound was only 60 miles from Pakistan capital Islamabad
-40 minute shootout put an end to decade long hunt for terror chief
-Bin Laden refused to surrender and was eventually shot in the head
-Body had to be carried away on foot after U.S. helicopter broke down

Almost ten years after the horror of 9/11, Osama bin Laden must have thought he was safe.
He had moved from the remote, barren mountains on Afghanistan’s inhospitable border to a comfortable $1million mansion in one of Pakistan’s most picturesque and affluent cities.
Abbottabad - named after James Abbott, the British major who founded the town in 1853 - has such a pleasant climate that it is a major hub for tourists visiting the region.
And the former home of the Gurkhas is still a major military base so locals have no reason to feel threatened.

Behind the walls of his sprawling compound about 60 miles north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, Bin Laden had every reason to believe he was way beyond the searching eyes of the Americans he had taunted for so long.

His family was with him and a parade of couriers would bring him everything he needed from the city outside of more than a million people.
So confident was he that the huge three-storey house he was living in was eight times larger than most other homes in the area, hardly a low-profile hideaway for the most wanted man in the world.

But, according to U.S. intelligence sources, Bin Laden was taken completely by surprise by the special forces who had spent the best part of a decade stalking him.
He had, after all, survived two wars launched with the aim of capturing him and his followers.

The last time the Americans and the British got as close - a few months after the attacks on New York and Washington - Bin Laden managed to elude them on horseback through the caves and gullies in the White Mountains of eastern Afghanistan.

For most of the past ten years, Bin Laden lived up to the nickname of 'Elvis' he had been given by the CIA because there had been so many bogus and fanciful sightings.
But as long ago as last August, President Obama was told in an intelligence briefing that there was a possible lead that Bin Laden was hiding in plain sight in Abbottabad.

It took eight months for U.S. and Pakistani agents to confirm for certain that the information was accurate.
Mr Obama and his national security chiefs wanted to be absolutely sure because the tip seemed so implausible.

After so many dead end enquiries, it was hard to believe that the elusive Al Qaeda chief would be so brazen as to live in a town favoured as a retirement spot for Pakistan’s military and society elite.

The ten-foot walls and heavy security surrounding the compound made verification all the more difficult.
But a week ago, Mr Obama was given concrete photographic proof that Bin Laden was there.
After several run-throughs and the diplomatic blessing of the Pakistani

Osama bin Laden:dead
government, a small special forces team of U.S. Navy Seals landed in the compound grounds yesterday with the explicit instruction - get Osama bin Laden, dead or alive.

The raid on the compound, which was just 100 yards from a Pakistani military academy, was launched at about 1.15am in the morning, according to witnesses.

Four U.S. helicopters took off from the Ghazi air base    in northwest Pakistan.
Bin Laden's guards opened fire from the roof and one of the helicopters crashed.
During an operation that took just 40 minutes from start to finish, Bin Laden was shot in the head in a firefight as he tried to evade capture. Three of his men were also killed along with a woman they tried to use as a human shield.One of Bin Laden's eleven sons was said to be among the dead.
No Americans were hurt in the mission, but it didn’t go without a hitch.
The helicopter they used to breach the mansion walls suffered a mechanical
breakdown and couldn’t fly the soldiers out.
The Seals burned the helicopter and had to carry Bin Laden’s body out on foot, an ignominious ending for the terrorist chief after one of history’s biggest manhunts.
It was also a major triumph for a special CIA and special forces team of up to 100 whose mission since September 11 has been to find and kill Bin Laden.
For years, they have had to brave the jibes aimed at both the Bush and Obama administrations over the failure to track down the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.
They worked closely with the ISI, the Pakistani intelligence service for whom many CIA officials have a deep mistrust because of the agency’s traditional ties with the Pashtuns of Waziristan, who were believed to have harboured Bin Laden for some of his years on the run.
After he evaded capture in mid-December 1991, there were precious few credible leads of his wherebouts.
But about four years ago, CIA agents managed to identify one of his most trusted couriers after a detainee at Guantanamo Bay gave them his nickname.
It took another two years for them to discover the area where the courier and his brother were operating.
By January this year, they found out that the courier and his brother were living in a mansion that appeared to be much larger than anything they could afford.
Suspicions were raised further by the thick walls around the compound.
While other homes in the area put rubbish out to be collected, the trash
was burned in the ground of the mansion, which did not have a telephone or internet service.

By February, U.S. intelligence officials were confident that Bin Laden and his family were living there and by March, Mr Obama was convening top secret meeting with his senior security staff.

The CIA believe that for many years before settling in Abbottabad, Bin Laden moved from village to village in Waziristan. He communicated only about once a month and never used a telephone.

When he reached a village with his bodyguards he would request a meeting with the local tribal leader and a substantial bribe would be paid.
Bin Laden would then be the guest of the village, where under Pashtun custom, he must be protected.

The main obstacle in finding him was that even if someone wanted to betray him and collect the $25 million reward - there was no one to turn to.
The local police would know Bin Laden was there and if anyone tried to report his presence they would quite likely be killed.

One local mullah from Waziristan agreed to send information about Bin Laden’s movements and his beheaded body was found several weeks later with a message that his was the fate of spies.

While Operation Enduring Freedom was successful in liberating Afghanistan from Taliban control after 9/11, there was no doubt that the real prize was Bin Laden himself.
But the Al Qaeda chief had chosen his first redoubt with care. For several years before 2001, he had developed an intricate network of caves and dwellings 14,000ft up in the settlement known as Tora Bora.

The impenetrable mountains not only made it difficult for anybody to track him, they were also just a few miles from Pakistan, allowing him to escape easily as western troops moved in.

The commander of one U.S. military force told the ’60 Minutes’ news show how soldiers under his command found Bin Laden - but let him slip through their fingers.
The commander, calling himself Dalton Fury, expressed his frustration at having known where Bin Laden was, but feeling he was powerless to do anything.
At one point, he said, his forces were closing in on Bin Laden's men - but he decided to abort the mission because he did not have support from Afghan troops.
And in another incident Delta soldiers actually saw a tall man dressed in
camouflage that they believed was Bin Laden - only to have the Al Qaeda leader escape their bombing campaign in the mountains.

Fury talked about a book he has written entitled 'Kill Bin Laden', detailing his memories of the campaign in Tora Bora in 2001.
'Our job was to go find him, capture or kill him, and we knew the writing on the wall was to kill him because nobody wanted to bring Osama bin Laden back to stand trial in the United States somewhere,' the mission commander told his interviewer.
He said the administration's strategy was to let Afghans do most of the fighting, however.

Using radio intercepts and other intelligence, he said, the CIA pinpointed Bin Laden's location in the Tora Bora mountains near Pakistan.

Fury's Delta team joined the CIA and Afghan fighters and piled into pick-up trucks. He claimed their orders were to kill Bin Laden and leave the body with the Afghans, keeping an Afghan face on the war.
However an audacious plan to come at Bin Laden from the back door was vetoed higher-up - Fury claimed he was never sure who.

And a second plan to drop hundreds of landmines over any escape route into
Pakistan was also vetoed, with Fury claiming he had no idea why.
The only option left was a frontal assault. Fury said he had 50 men in Delta force up against Bin Laden's 1,000 - support from the Afghan forces was needed.
But, he claimed, many of the Afghan soldiers were not on board - seeing Bin Laden as a hero.

One night - alone without his Afghan allies - Fury said he was told Bin Laden was two kilometres away. Faced with overwhelming odds, he elected to stay away.
But the decision always nagged him. He wrote in his book: 'My decision to abort that effort to kill or capture Bin Laden when we might have been within 2,000 metres of him, about 2,000 yards, still bothers me.

'It leaves me with a feeling of somehow letting down our nation at a critical time.' But, he added, it wasn't worth the risk.

Fury had a second chance: Later, a Delta force named Jackal radioed they had Bin Laden in sight.

He wrote: 'The operation Jackal team observed 50 men moving into a cave that they hadn't seen before. The mujahideen said they saw an individual, a taller fellow, wearing a camouflage jacket. Everybody put two and two together, "okay, that's got to be Osama bin Laden egressing from the battlefield".
'They called up every available bomb in the air, took control of the airspace.
And they dropped several hours of bombs on the cave he went into.
'We believe, it was our opinion at the time, that he died inside that cave.'
Later, however, he was proven wrong, when American forces were unable to find Bin
Laden's body and the Al Qaeda leader began releasing radio and video footage again.
Fury told 60 Minutes he believes he knows what happened.

He said Bin Laden was wounded in the shoulder by shrapnel from an American bomb, and was then hidden a town next to the Al Qaeda cemetery.

'We believe a gentleman brought him in - a gentleman, him and his family were supporting Al Qaeda during the battle. They were providing food, ammo, water. 'We think he went to that house, received medical attention for a few days then, and then we believe they put him in a vehicle and moved him back across the pass,' he was quoted as saying.
Courtesy:Mail online                             

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