Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

WASH­ING­TON: Robert James O’Neil, a US Navy SEAL 6 com­mando, is claim­ing he killed Osama bin Laden. He first told his story as The Shooter in 2013. Now he has iden­ti­fied him­self.

But his claim, made in in­ter­views to Wash­ing­ton Post and Fox News, has run into trou­ble with for­mer fel­low SEALS and of­fi­cials telling other me­dia out­lets in­sist­ing it was not him.

The com­mando who was lead­ing the as­sault on the third floor of bin Laden’s Ab­bot­tabad fortress — called the point man — took the first shot, killing the ter­ror­ist. O’Neil and oth­ers — another SEAL, Matt Bis­son­nette, who wrote a book about the en­counter — fired “in­surance shots”, ac­cord­ing to this ac­count, to make sure bin Laden was dead.

Ac­cord­ing to O’Neil, the point man did in­deed take the first shot, but prob­a­bly missed. “I rolled past him into the room, just inside the door­way,” O’Neill told the Post. “There was bin Laden, stand­ing there. He had his hands on a woman’s shoul­ders push­ing her ahead. … In that sec­ond I shot him, two times in the fore­head,” he said. “Bap! Bap! The sec­ond time, as he is go­ing down. He crum­bled to the floor in front of his bed and I hit him again.”

Bis­son­nette wrote in his book that the point man shot bin Laden in the head and then he and oth­ers fol­lowed up. “In his death throes, he was still twitch­ing and con­vuls­ing. Another as­saulter and I trained our lasers on his chest and fired sev­eral rounds.” O’Neil is also get­ting grief from his for­mer col­leagues for breach­ing the se­crecy rule.


Who’s the real shooter? Robert James O’Neil (L) and Matt Bis­son­nette.

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