|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Apr 11, 2017 06:04 AM EDT|
(Photo : US Navy) Operators of SEAL Team Six in training.
A new book by the SEAL Team Six operator who claims he fired the shots that killed Osama bin Laden reveals why the Pentagon continues to resist efforts to release photos showing the body of the slain al-Qaeda terrorist leader who masterminded the infamous attacks of September 11, 2011 on the Twin Towers in New York City that slaughtered 2,996 people.
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The SEAL operators were known to have taken photos of bin Laden's body immediately after the shooting, which was the climax of a bold raid on the compound housing bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
That CIA-led operation, codenamed Operation Neptune Spear, saw operators of SEAL Team Six kill bin laden on May 1, 2011 at 20:00 UTC. Bin Laden's body was flown by helicopter to the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), and buried at the Arabian Sea on May 2 at an unspecified location.
The ex-SEAL who claims he killed bin Laden -- Robert O'Neill -- now explains in a new book, "The Operator," why no photos of bin Laden's body were ever made public.
Bin Laden's body was so thoroughly mangled by bullet wounds to his face and body it was a sickening sight to behold.
By his own admission in his new book, O'Neill first shot bin Laden twice in the head as the Saudi Arabian terrorist cowered behind his young wife, who he used as a human shield. After bin Laden crumpled to the floor dead, O'Neill shot him one more time in the head to make sure he was dead.
"In less than a second, I aimed above the woman's right shoulder and pulled the trigger twice," he wrote. "Bin Laden's head split open, and he dropped. I put another bullet in his head. Insurance."
O'Neill used a Heckler & Koch HK416 assault rifle to kill bin Laden.
O'Neill's shots "canoed" the head of bin Laden, meaning the bullets split open bin Laden's forehead into a V shape. Operators then had to press both halves of bin Laden's head back together to take identifying photos.
O'Neill's new book, however, confirms grisly details of what other operators of SEAL Team Six did to bin Laden's body. Several SEALs entered the room and riddled bin Laden's body with round after round. Bin Laden's body was shot more than 100 times, according to an account in SOFREP, a special-operations news website, published in 2016.
Tearing-up bin-Laden's body that way was described as "beyond excessive" by Jack Murphy of SOFREP.
"The picture itself would likely cause an international scandal, and investigations would be conducted which could uncover other operations, activities which many will do anything to keep buried," said Murphy.
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