Osama Bin Laden, the founder of Al Qaeda, a fundamentalist Islamic leader, main convict of 1998 bombings of US embassies in East Africa and the mastermind of 9/11 attacks on the WTC and the pentagon. All these adjectives are more than enough to describe this controversial person that is considered as a godly figure by some and hideous face of terrorism by others. Below are some interesting facts about Osama’s death whose call for jihad, or holy war, was heeded by many like-minded Muslims.
Osama Bin Laden had been in Pakistan’s custody since 2006 after leaving the Hindu Kush Mountains but the ISI bribed some tribesman to get information about his hideout.
2. Spies and their awards
In August 2010, a Pakistani intelligence officer provided information about Laden’s whereabouts to CIA for a $20 million award while another Pakistani former Major worked as a CIA spy (for $5 million award) during his stay in Pakistan to attend to Osama’s health. All this helped America gain knowledge about the exact location of Laden and plan a precise encounter without any complications.
Source: wikipedia, image:
3. Pakistan government’s original plan
The Pakistan government originally wanted a cover up story of bin Laden dying due to a drone attack in the Hindu Kush Mountains, but it was after 5 months they finally agreed supporting America and guiding them all the way through out the mission.
4. Pakistan’s assistance
When the American soldiers landed on the location for the encounter, the ISI solders themselves left the area so that Laden would not be left with any weapons to defend himself.
5. No surety about Osama’s presence
Although America took help from the spies and ISI to know about Laden’s presence, still, even after months of investigations, the US army had no conclusive proof of his actual location in the ground. Due to this, the operation began to go wrong during the initial stages as soon as the raiders appeared over his house.
Source: wikipedia, image: wikimedia.org
6. Of people in the house
Bin Laden was living with his 4 wives, 14 children and few others including brothers and friends when the house was attacked by the army people.
7. The secret encounter
Although the operation by US took months to be conceived and planned, the actual mission just took 40 minutes to complete. Only the senior officials of US President Obama and a few military officials knew of the planned raid. On May 2, 2011, In the dead of night, the team of US Special Forces “The Seals” flew from Afghanistan to Laden’s hiding place in 120 miles inside Pakistan and killed him in an easy mission.
8. Live tweets during the encounter
Although the mission was a secret from the rest of the world, however, within seconds of arrival of the helicopters in Abbottabad, the place where Laden was hiding, tweets started coming around from local people in the area. An IT engineer who lived about 3km from the area tweeted about ‘helicopters hovering above Abbottabad and praying that nothing nasty happens.’
Source: wbbc.com, image: cnn.com
9. The code name
It is suggested that the code name for bin Laden was kept “Geronimo” by the US officials, but they have indicated that the name actually referred to that stage during the operation when the Al-Qaeda leader were killed. After the shootings, one of the soldiers had radioed his commander yelling “Geronimo EKIA”.
10. He was last to die
4 people, Al-Kuwaiti, his brother, Laden’s brother, his adult son, and his wife were killed along with the leader in the mission. Osama was the last one to die after being shot in the head.
11. His identification
It is said that Osama’s body was identified by one of his wives. The face recognition technology was also used by the American army to make sure that the body shot was his.
12. No burial at sea
Contrary to the popular beliefs and news, Osama Bin Laden’s body was never actually buried at the sea. It was rather cut into pieces, tossed into a body bag and discarded over the Hindu Kush Mountains though a helicopter.
Source: voicesofliberty.com, image: csmonitor.com
13. Pakistan’s unwillingness to tell the truth
In actual, the Pakistan Government wanted no trace of the body and thus had planned to spread the news of Laden’s death through a drone strike, but as soon as the mission completed, the American President declared that Osama bin Laden had been killed. This further complicated the matter and thus, to cover up the question of where the body was, Obama narrated that it had been buried at the sea by the Navy officers.
14. No photographs released
Although America claims to have killed Osama Bin Laden in a super secret mission and burying his body at the sea, still, to this date, no photographs of the body of Al-Qaeda Leader have been released officially citing security risks.
15. Exact circumstances of death unknown
The decision of blocking the release of photos taken during the encounter was taken 2 days after the encounter was done. Thus, the exact circumstances of the leader’s death remain unclear and have raised questions about the reality and legitimacy of the killing. The American president has been facing questions from the critics ever since for failing to provide a solid proof of Osama’s death.