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More on Osama: How a brave pilot saved raid

Last updated on: May 6, 2011 16:11 IST

How a brave pilot saved raid

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An elite Army unit called the Task Force 160 is being credited with effectively flying in and flying out the Navy Seals team 6 that was involved in the killing of Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

In particular, one Black Hawk helicopter pilot may have been the difference between success and failure, CBS News reports.

Coverage: US hunts down Osama bin Laden

The Seals were about to fast rope into the courtyard in front of bin Laden's house when the Black Hawk lost lift. Imagine what would have happened if it had crashed into the courtyard with all Seals still aboard.

An ex-soldier Chris Marvin has said the pilot had the talent and skill to land the aircraft safely and let everybody off without injuries.

The pilot nudged the Blackhawk forward into a controlled crash, but sheered off its tail section. The Seals were able to continue with their mission and, before they left, blew up as much of the Blackhawk as they could but had to leave the tail section intact.

Click on NEXT to read more SHORT TAKES surrounding the daring raid...


Image: Part of a damaged helicopter is seen lying near the compound after US Navy SEAL commandos killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad
Photographs: Reuters
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Osama shoved his wife towards the Navy Seal who ultimately shot him

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Osama bin Laden was 'scared' and 'completely confused' in his final moments, sources involved in last Sunday's Navy Seals operation have revealed.

He was actually "shoving his wife" in the direction of a Navy Seal who ultimately shot him.

The information helps clarify the conflicting details about what exactly happened during the 40-minute raid in Abbottabad. Fox News quoted the sources as saying that bin Laden acted in a "cowardly manner" when confronted.

Bin Laden was unarmed, but was standing near the door within reach of two weapons -- an AK-47 and a Makarov handgun that are now in US custody. The handgun is a 9mm semi-automatic Russian pistol, standard issue in the Russian military until 1991.

A senior US official also told Fox News that only one of the five people killed in the raid was carrying a weapon and firing. The overall scene was described as chaotic, with US forces encountering barricades and women in the compound screaming and attacking the men.


Image: A frame grab obtained from ABC News shows the interior bedroom in the mansion where Osama Bin Laden was killed

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20 questions for Osama's wives

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Pakistani intelligence agents are interrogating three women -- all wives of Osama bin Laden.

According to ABC News, the wives were living with bin Laden inside the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

According to one of the women, bin Laden confined himself to two rooms in the house, including the bedroom where he was killed. He never left those rooms for the five years he was hiding there, she claimed.

The three wives are in custody in Islamabad, and are facing firm but non-violent questioning, a former intelligence official said.

They have been handed a questionnaire, with 20 questions, the order of which is changed every three or four days. Investigators then look for any differences in the answers. US officials have requested for access to the wives, but this has been denied.



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The $25 million secret

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It is unclear if anyone will receive any of the $25 million reward for Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's capture due to the confidentiality of the Rewards for Justice Programme, an interagency program administered by the United States State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

"Given the importance of confidentiality to the Rewards for Justice Programme, we can't comment on whether anyone has been nominated for a reward or in this or in any given case," ABC News quoted Harry Edwards, a spokesperson for the State Department, as saying.

According to the Rewards for Justice website, since its beginning, the programme has paid out over $100 million to over 60 people with information that "prevented international terrorist attacks or helped bring to justice those involved in prior acts".

The law that started the program, the 1984 Act to Combat International Terrorism, states that "no reward may exceed $25,000,000 except as personally authorised by the Secretary of State".



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Life carries on as usual for Osama's kin

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As news of Osama Bin Laden's death spreads worldwide, life carries on as usual for some of his clan members.

Osama's half-brother, Yeslam Bin Laden, 60, who has lived in Switzerland for many years and has become a citizen of that country, is the most westernised of the lot, the Daily Mail reported. But he is not quite as freethinking as one of his daughters, Wafah Dufour, who was born in California, of a Swiss-Iranian mother. Wafah was studying at Columbia Law School in New York when her uncle's operatives hit the Twin Towers.

Since then she has posed in lingerie in GQ magazine and is pursuing a singing career. Of the Bin Ladens, she seems the least affected by Osama's radicalism. Other third-generation Bin Ladens present contrasting figures.

Among the more high profile recently has been Osama's fourth son, Omar, who as a child lived with his father in Al Qaeda camps in Sudan and Afghanistan. He has now renounced Al Qaeda and has married a British interior designer called Zaina, who is 25 years his senior.

But that match has not been enough to persuade the UK authorities that he is worthy of a visa. The couple now divide their time between Saudi Arabia and Qatar


Image: Wafah Dufour, daughter of Osama's half-brother Yeslam Bin Laden

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Osama's million dollar mansion to be razed

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Pakistan will soon demolish Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's hideout in Abbottabad, so that it does not become a "sacred building for the jihadis," a Pakistani security agency source has revealed.

The luxury compound, in which bin Laden had been hiding for the last five years, has been confiscated by the Pakistan Army to gather any information Americans have left. 

"Like we have done in the past, we will also raze to the ground this building, so that it should not become sacred building for the jihadis", The News quoted the source, as saying.

The source pointed out that the security agencies had demolished Jamia Hafsa in Islamabad in 2007 to avoid 'any bitter situation'. 

The source also confided that it has not been decided so far that whether media persons would be allowed to enter the compound, adding that however, there was nothing left in the compound for the security agencies, and that a decision to demolish it would be taken soon.



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Source: ANI