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Thursday, August 30, 2012

New view of Bin Laden's death

According to a new book, trigger fingers were very twitchy

A firsthand account of the commando raid by United States Navy SEALs that killed Osama bin Laden contradicts previous accounts by administration officials, raising questions as to whether the terror mastermind presented a clear threat when SEALs first fired upon him.

Bin Laden apparently was shot in the head when he looked out of his bedroom door into the top-floor hallway of his compound as SEALs rushed up a narrow stairwell in his direction, according to former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen in No Easy Day. The book is to be published next week by Penguin Group (USA)'s Dutton imprint.

Bissonnette says he was directly behind a point man going up the stairs in the pitch black hallway. Near the top, he said, he heard two shots, but the book doesn't make clear who fired them. He wrote that the point man had seen a man peeking out of a door on the right side of the hallway.

The author writes that the man ducked back into his bedroom and the SEALs followed, only to find the man crumpled on the floor in a pool of blood with a hole visible on the right side of his head and two women wailing over his body. Once they wiped the blood off, they were certain it was bin Laden.

Bissonnette says the point man pulled the two women out of the way. He and the other SEALs trained their guns' laser sights on bin Laden's still-twitching body, shooting him several times until he lay motionless. The SEALs later found two weapons stored by the doorway, untouched, the author said.

AAP report by Kimberly Dozier

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