May 3, 2011 7:56 pm
Narrative of Events
Osama Bin Laden Compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan
On orders of the President, a small U.S. team assaulted a secure compound in an affluent suburb of Islamabad to capture or kill Osama bin Laden.
The raid was conducted with U.S. military personnel assaulting on two helicopters. The team methodically cleared the compound moving from room to room in an operation lasting nearly 40 minutes. They were engaged in a firefight throughout the operation and Osama Bin Laden was killed by the assaulting force.
In addition to the bin Laden family, two other families resided in the compound: one family on the first floor of the bin Laden building and one family in a second building. One team began the operation on the first floor of the bin Laden house and worked their way to the third floor; a second team cleared the separate building.
On the first floor of bin Laden’s building, two Al Qaeda couriers were killed along with a woman who was killed in cross-fire. Bin Laden and his family were found on the second and third floor of the building.
There was concern that bin Laden would oppose the capture operation and indeed he resisted.
In the room with bin Laden, a women – bin Laden’s wife – rushed the U.S. assaulter and was shot in the leg but not killed. Bin Laden was then shot and killed. He was not armed.
Following the firefight, the non-combatants were moved to a safe location as the damaged helicopter was detonated.
The team departed the scene via helicopter to the USS Carl Vinson in the North Arabian Sea.
Aboard the USS Carl Vinson, the burial of bin Laden was done in conformance with Islamic precepts and practices. The deceased’s body was washed and then placed in a white sheet. The body was placed in a weighted bag; a military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up, and the deceased body eased into the sea.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.