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Shortly before the U.S. presidential election on October 29, 2004, Arab television network Al Jazeera broadcast an 18-minute video tape of Osama bin Laden, addressed to citizens of the United States. According to the English translation distributed by the BBC and other media outlets, he tells viewers he personally directed the 19 hijackers behind the 9/11 attack on the U.S. Bin Laden claimed he was inspired to destroy the World Trade Center after watching the destruction of towers in Lebanon by Israel during the 1982 Lebanon War.

 

Al Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden, 2001, responsible for countless deaths of innocents, is now dead. (1957-2011)

 

Provided by the Dept of Defense, this map shows the location of the compound in Abbottabad where Osama Bin Laden was killed. (U.S. Department of Defense)

 

With heavy cloud rolling in over the town of Abbottabad, Pakistan, conditions were perfect for the raid to take out Osama bin Laden after ten years on the run. The previous night, the operation had been cancelled because the weather was clear and the U.S. aircraft would have been spotted from a distance. 

But at approximately 3:30 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 2, 2011,  the sleeping citizens were awoken by the clatter of four military helicopters thought to be two Black Hawks and two Chinooks

Task Force 1-508th members on Chinook helicopter, Afghanistan

 

Black Hawk helicopter

 

They contained more than 100 elite commandos who had been training intensively for days at their airbase, Bagram in Afghanistan, using a detailed mock-up of Bin Laden’s hideaway constructed by the CIA. After dummy runs on April 7 and April 13, they flew to the Tarbela Ghazi airbase in north-west Pakistan, which the CIA has permission to use. 

From there they swooped into Abbottabad, skimming over the tops of houses in the darkness with their lights off. 

Bin Laden's Hideout in Pakistan

 

As soon as they realised what was happening, Bin Laden’s guards opened fire from the rooftop with rocket-propelled grenades and apparently managed to shoot down one of the Black Hawks. 

Torn off tail section of destroyed Black Hawk next to wall of bin Laden's Pakistan compound

 

Burned-out wreckage of what remains of the downed American Black Hawk helicopter in bin Laden's Pakistan compound

 

As terrified townsfolk emerged from their homes to see what was going on, Pashto-speaking CIA agents told them to go back in and shut the doors. 

Two dozen U.S. Navy Seals – special forces – wearing night-vision goggles dropped into the high-walled compound by sliding down ropes from Chinooks. 

Chinook helicopter

 

See a detailed map of the ambush and read more at the Daily Mail (UK).

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