Reports: Former Navy SEAL who claims to have killed Osama bin Laden identified by media ahead of Fox News interview; Naval Special Warfare Command spokesman says they will respond after interview airs - @NavyTimes
Osama bin Laden, the founder and head of the Islamist group Al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1:00 am PKT (20:00 UTC, May 1) by United States Navy SEALs of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as DEVGRU or SEAL Team Six). The operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, was carried out in a Central Intelligence Agency-led operation. In addition to DEVGRU, participating units included the United States Army Special Operations Command's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) and CIA operatives. The raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, was launched from Afghanistan. U.S. military officials said that after the raid, U.S. forces took bin Laden's body to Afghanistan for identification, then buried him at sea within 24 hours of his death in accordance with Islamic tradition. According to a Pakistani official, the United States had direct evidence that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, knew of bin Laden's presence in Abbottabad.
Al-Qaeda confirmed the death on May 6 with posts made on militant websites, vowing to avenge the killing. Other Pakistani militant groups, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, also vowed retaliation against the U.S. and against Pakistan for not preventing the operation. The raid was supported by over 90% of the American public, was welcomed by the United Nations, NATO, the European Union, and a large number of governments, but was condemned by others, including two-thirds of the Pakistani public. Legal and ethical aspects of the killing, such as his not being taken alive despite being unarmed, were questioned by others, including Amnesty International. Also controversial was the decision to not release any photographic or DNA evidence of bin Laden's death to the public. The Pakistani Abbottabad Commission Report was leaked to Al Jazeera on July 8, 2013.