Thursday, May 23, 2019

'He was a human tape measure': Ex-Navy SEAL Who Killed Bin Laden Says They Confirmed His Identity By Asking A 6'2' Sniper To Lay Down Next To His Body Because They Knew How Tall The 9/11 Mastermind Was

Ariel Zilber at the Daily Mail offers a piece on how the Navy SEALs confirmed that they killed bin Laden.

The former Navy SEAL credited with killing Osama Bin Laden said that his commander asked a fellow sniper who was nearly as tall as the 6ft5in Al Qaeda leader to lie down next to his corpse in order to make sure they got the right guy.

Rob O’Neill (seen in the above photo), the decorated special forces soldier who shot Bin Laden during the raid on his Abottabad, Pakistan compound in May 2011, confirmed on Wednesday the account first given on Tuesday by Navy Admiral William McRaven (Ret.) (seen in the below photo).

During an appearance on Fox Business Network on Tuesday, McRaven recalled the immediate aftermath of the Bin Laden raid.

‘The SEALs had come back over the border from Pakistan [to Afghanistan] and I was on a video conference with the president (Barack Obama),’ McRaven said.

Navy SEALs asked a 6ft2in soldier in their unit to lie down next to the corpse of Osama Bin Laden (left) after the May 2011 raid on his Pakistan compound, Rob O'Neill (right), the SEAL who shot and killed the al Qaida leader, said.

It was O'Neill's commander, Navy Admiral William McRaven (Ret.), who used a tall Navy SEAL to confirm Bin Laden's identity.

‘The president asked me, “Are you certain it’s Bin Laden?”

‘I said, “No, sir, I need to go personally identify the body.”

‘So my command post was just a minute or two away from the air field. So I drove to the airfield.

‘The SEALs were just arriving. They brought the body bag in.

‘I unzipped the body bag and took a look at the remains. He obviously didn’t look too well.

‘He had taken a couple rounds. The beard was a little shorter than we expected, but I knew he was about 6ft4in.

‘So I looked around and saw some young SEAL. I said, “Son, how tall are you?”

‘He said: “Well, sir, I’m 6ft2in.”

‘“Come here. I need you to lie down.”

‘First he had a kinda funny look on his face, but he quickly understood and, of course, the remains were a couple of inches taller.

McRaven said he told then-President Barack Obama about how he tried to make certain the SEALs got the right guy. 

Obama jokingly told McRaven at the time: 'So let me get this straight, Bill. We had $60million for a helicopter, and you didn’t have $10 for a tape measure?'

 ‘And the president says, and, again, it had been a serious night with serious implications, but it was a lighthearted moment…

‘He said: “So let me get this straight, Bill. We had $60 million for a helicopter, and you didn’t have $10 for a tape measure?”

O’Neill appeared on Fox Business Network on Wednesday and corroborated McRaven’s account.

… ‘When I saw him standing up on two feet I recognized his nose… his beard was shorter and white.

‘But no doubt in my mind when I saw him about four seconds later that we just got Osama Bin Laden.’

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

You can also read my Counterterrorism magazine Q&A with Robert O’Neill via the below link: 

And you can read my Washington Times review of Admiral McRaven’s book, Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations via the below link: 

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