Death of Osama bin Laden Fast Facts

Here are some facts about the death of Osama bin Laden.

On May 2, 2011, Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is killed by US Special Forces during an early morning (approximately mid-afternoon on May 1 in the United States) raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Some facts about the compound:
– Built in approximately 2006.
– Significantly larger than other homes in the area, and worth a reported $1 million.
– Lacked telephone and Internet service.
– The residents burned their trash rather than having it picked up.
– Approximately 24 people lived at the house.
– Surrounded by 12- to 18-foot walls topped by barbed wire.
– Had two security gates.
– Bin Laden and his family’s living quarters were on the second and third levels.
– The third floor terrace had a seven-foot privacy wall.
– Located only about a mile from the Pakistan Military Academy.

US forces retrieved numerous items from bin Laden’s compound, including 10 hard drives, five computers and more than 100 storage devices, such as disks, DVDs and thumb drives, according to a senior US official.

2007 (approx.) – US intelligence uncovers the name of one of bin Laden’s most trusted couriers.

2009 (approx.) – Intelligence sources identify the area of Pakistan where the courier and his brother live.

August 2010 – US intelligence sources identify the Abbottabad compound as the home of the courier and his brother, men who have no obvious means of affording a $1 million home.

September 2010 – The CIA informs President Barack Obama that bin Laden may be living in the Abbottabad compound. They base this on the size and price tag of the compound as well as the elaborate security.

February 2011 – The intelligence on the Abbottabad compound is considered strong enough to begin planning action.

March 14, 2011 – President Obama chairs the first of five National Security Council meetings to discuss an operation to raid bin Laden’s compound and killing or capturing bin Laden.

March 29, 2011 – Second National Security meeting.

April 12, 2011 – Third meeting.

April 19, 2011 – Fourth meeting.

April 28, 2011 – Last of the National Security Council meetings on the bin Laden raid.

April 29, 2011 – At 8:20 a.m. EDT, President Obama gives the order to raid bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

May 2, 2011 – In the early morning hours (approximately mid-afternoon on May 1 in the United States), a group of 25 Navy Seals raid the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
– They arrive outside the compound in two Black Hawk helicopters.
– The operation takes 40 minutes total.
– US Special Forces must breach the outer walls of the compound before fighting their way through the ground floor of the three-story building where bin Laden lived.
– The firefight then moves to the second and third floors where the bin Laden family lives.
– In the last 5-10 minutes of the firefight, bin Laden is killed by a gunshot wound to the head, above the left eye.
– Three men, including a son of bin Laden, are killed as well as one woman.
– Bin Laden’s body is identified by one of his wives. Facial recognition is used also.

May 2, 2011 – Osama bin Laden is buried at sea off the deck of the USS Carl Vinson in the Arabian Sea.
– He is buried within 24 hours according to Islamic law.
– The hour-long ceremony aboard the USS Carl Vinson is conducted according to Islamic law.

May 2, 2011 – A DNA test is done on a sample from the body, confirming that it is bin Laden.

May 3, 2011 – Attorney General Eric Holder declares the raid “lawful, legitimate and appropriate in every way.”

May 3, 2011 – White House Press Secretary Jay Carney offers new details on the raid. He clarifies that the woman killed was on the first floor, not with bin Laden, and was killed in the crossfire. Carney also says that bin Laden was not armed but did put up resistance. Carney also says that a woman in the room with bin Laden, believed to be his wife, was shot in the leg when she rushed at US forces.

May 3, 2011 – A congressional source tells CNN that bin Laden had approximately $745 and two telephone numbers sewn into his clothing.

May 3, 2011 – Two sources tell CNN that, during a briefing, CIA Director Leon Panetta said that Pakistani officials either “were involved or incompetent. Neither place is a good place to be.”

May 3, 2011 – Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mojahed releases a statement, “Obama has not got any strong evidence that can prove his claim over killing of the Sheikh Osama bin Laden… And secondly, the closest sources for Sheikh Osama bin Laden have not confirmed” the death.

May 4, 2011 – White House Press Secretary Carney announces that President Obama has decided not to release photos of bin Laden’s body.

May 4, 2011 – A Pakistani intelligence source tells CNN that there were five fatalities during the raid, all men: Osama bin Laden, bin Laden’s son and three other men. This conflicts with the White House statement that a woman died during the raid.

May 6, 2011 – Al Qaeda confirms bin Laden’s death, in a statement on jihadist forums.

May 12, 2011 – US officials offer further proof of their belief that bin Laden grew complacent living in Pakistan and believed he would not be caught. They point out that they have found no evidence that he had an escape plan and that his security in the compound consisted of only three other men.

May 12, 2011 – US officials confirm to CNN that US authorities have interviewed three of bin Laden’s wives.

May 12, 2011 – Retired US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens says in a speech that the killing of bin Laden was legally justified.

May 13, 2011 – It is revealed that a large amount of pornography was seized from the Abbottabad compound during the raid. It is unclear to whom it belonged.

May 13, 2011 – A US military official tells CNN the Navy Seal team who carried out the bin Laden raid wore helmet-mounted digital cameras that recorded the mission.

May 17, 2011 – Senator John Kerry announces that Pakistan will return the tail of the US helicopter damaged during the raid.

May 18, 2011 – Admiral Mike Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates tell reporters there is no evidence that the senior Pakistani leadership knew of Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan.

May 26, 2011 – A team of CIA forensic specialists is granted permission by the Pakistani government to examine the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

June 15, 2011 – Pakistan’s intelligence agency arrests several people suspected of assisting the CIA before the raid.

June 17, 2011 – The US Justice Dept. formally drops terrorism-related criminal charges against bin Laden.

July 11, 2011 – Pakistani security forces detain a doctor suspected of helping the CIA attempt to collect the DNA of bin Laden’s family members through a vaccination drive.

October 6, 2011 – Pakistan’s information ministry says the doctor suspected of helping the CIA target Osama bin Laden will be charged with treason. Also, bin Laden’s compound will be turned over to city officials.

February 2012 – Pakistani authorities begin to demolish the compound that Osama bin Laden used as a hideout.

May 9, 2012 – Citing that it is of national security interest, a federal judge has denied Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information request regarding the release of bin Laden death photos.

May 23, 2012 – Shakeel Afridi, the Pakistani doctor accused of helping the CIA track down Osama bin Laden, is fined $3,500 for spying for the United States and sentenced to 33 years in prison for treason by a tribal court.

September 4, 2012 – Publication of the memoir “No Easy Day” by former US Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, written under the name Mark Owen. The Department of Defense is considering pursuing legal action because the book violates Bissonnette’s non-disclosure agreement.

February 11, 2013 – Conflicting information about which Navy SEAL killed bin Laden appears when Esquire magazine reports on an unnamed former Navy SEAL who says he fired the kill shot, not the point man as told in Bissonette’s book “No Easy Day.”

May 21, 2013 – A three-judge federal appeals court panel rejects an appeal from a conservative legal group, ruling that the release of post-mortem images of Osama bin Laden’s body could result in attacks on Americans.

October 31, 2014 – Adm. Brian Losey, head of the Naval Warfare Special Command, releases an open letter warning Navy SEALs against betraying their promise of secrecy. This is in advance of two upcoming interviews from SEALs involved in the Osama bin Laden mission.

November 7, 2014 – Former Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill says in an interview with The Washington Post that he was the one who fired the final shot to kill Osama bin Laden in 2011.

May 10, 2015 – In a published report, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh contends the Obama Adminstration lied about the circumstances surrounding the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden. The White House later dismisses the report as “baseless.”

May 20, 2015 – The Office of the Director of National Intelligence begins releasing and declassifying documents recovered in the raid in May 2011.

March 1, 2016 – A second batch of recovered documents is released by the DNI. Included in the recently declassified materials are bin Laden’s personal letters and will.

August 2016 – Bissonnette agrees to pay the US government all past and future proceeds of the book “No Easy Day,” settling a lawsuit by the government for “breach of contract” by violating a non-disclosure agreement.

November 1, 2017 – The CIA announces the release of thousands of files it said came from the Osama bin Laden raid in 2011. Among them: the deceased al Qaeda founder’s personal journal.