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Will SEAL book debunk official story of Osama killing?

August 30, 2012 00:58 IST

In a contradiction of the official version of Osama bin Laden's killing, a firsthand blow-by-blow account claims that the al Qaeda leader was shot in the head by a SEAL bullet when he looked out of his bedroom door into the hallway, and not killed inside the room.

The new version in the book 'No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden' put out by a former navy SEAL, who was part of the team which eliminated Osama in Abbottabad in Pakistan last year, debunks the official version of the White House.

British newspaper Daily Mail reported that according to the account written under the pseudonym Mark Owen, bin Laden was hit in the head by a SEAL when he looked out of his bedroom door into the top-floor hallway while other operators were rushing up a narrow stairwell in his direction.

'Owen' writes in the book that the mission was quite unlike the popular version of what really went on at the house in Abbottabad.

He says a member of the elite squad saw the terror leader as he ducked into his bedroom, and the soldiers, who were climbing stairs to the third floor, followed. "We were less than five steps from getting to the top when I heard suppressed shots. BOP. BOP. I couldn't tell from my position if the rounds hit the target or not. The man disappeared into the dark room," he writes.

The account given by the US administration after the raid in May, 2011 claimed that the SEALs shot Osama only after they entered his bedroom and assumed he may be reaching for a weapon when they saw him duck. The former SEAL has been identified by various media reports as Mark Bissonnette.

While various media outlets reported that Osama was armed and showed no intention of going quietly, the special forces man writes that the notorious terror boss was already gasping in his last breath when the soldiers stumbled upon him.

Owen said as Osama lay dying, he and another commando 'trained our lasers on his chest and fired several rounds. The bullets tore into him, slamming his body into the floor until he was motionless'.

The book described Osama as wearing a white t-shirt, loose-fitting tan pants and a tunic. While photographing the terror leader's body, two guns were found in the room, but neither was loaded.

Owen wrote, "He hadn't even prepared a defence. He had no intention of fighting. He asked his followers for decades to wear suicide vests or fly planes into buildings, but didn't even pick up his weapon.

"In all of my deployments, we routinely saw this phenomenon. The higher up the food chain the targeted individual was, the bigger p**** he was."

The book was originally slated to hit book stores on September 11 but will now come out seven days earlier. It has already stirred a considerable amount of controversy as it was revealed that the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and even the White House appeared to have no idea that the book was being written, the report said.

PTI
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