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Bin Laden Shielded by His Wife

UPDATE 10:05 pm ET: Reuters is reporting that Brennan is mistaken and the woman killed was not Bin Laden’s wife, and that she was not being used as a shield. Bin Laden’s wife was injured, though.

Osama Bin Laden was shielded by his wife as he sought to fight off U.S. attackers, who killed her and then her husband, the terrorist mastermind, according to White House Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Chief John Brennan.

Brennan, who provided reporters with fascinating new details this afternoon about the raid that killed Bin Laden, said it was unclear whether she was placed in the line of fire or moved into it willingly.

Brennan said he did not know whether Bin Laden himself got off any rounds against U.S. forces.

The United States has proof that Bin Laden was killed but has not determined yet what information, including photos, will be made available, he said.

Brennan described a tense atmosphere in the Situation Room, as President Obama and his advisers monitored the raid in real time. Though Brennan didn’t acknowledge it directly, it is clear that Obama and his aides were watching video of the operation as it unfolded.

It was probably one of the most anxiety-filled periods of time, I think, in the lives of the people who were assembled here yesterday.

The minutes passed like days, and the president was very concerned about the security of our personnel. That was what was on his — his mind throughout and we wanted to make sure that we were able to get through this and accomplish the mission.

But it was clearly very tense, a lot of people holding their breath, and there was a fair degree of silence as it progressed as we would get the updates. And when we finally were informed that those individuals who were able to go in that compound and found an individual that they believe was Bin Laden, it was a tremendous sigh of relief that what we believed and who we believed was in that compound actually was in that compound and was found.

One particularly excrutiating moment was when one of the helicopters failed. Brennan said the commandos moved to a “plan B” and executed it flawlessly, getting everyone out of the compound on the other choppers.

U.S. special forces got Bin Laden even though they were not 100 percent sure where they would find him, Brennan suggested. Obama acted on strong circumstantial evidence, Brennan said. There was no irrefutable evidence that Osama was at the compound that was assaulted.

Analysts had made a determination where the Bin Laden family was likely to be found in the compound, assuming he was there. Brennan did not push back against a suggestion that the commandos practiced extensively on a full scale model of the compound.

The U.S. special forces were also able to seize documents which may shed light on future al Qaeda operations.

While there is elevated concern about a potential terrorist attack in the wake of Bin Laden’s killing, Brennan noted that the overall threat level has not been raised because we do not have the type of specific information that would point to an attack.

29 thoughts on “Bin Laden Shielded by His Wife”

  1. Coward that he was, I wouldn’t doubt that Osama pushed a woman in front of himself.

    I’m hearing that one of the three waterboarded detainees gave up information on the Osama courier way back in 2005. It was President Bush who authorized enhanced interrogation, and it was our fantastic CIA and military who painstakingly put together all the puzzle pieces that led to Osama’s location. Mr. Obama should really be ashamed of himself–taking credit for another man’s work.

  2. “The was no irrefutable evidence that Obama was at the compound that was assaulted.”
    Was that a Freudian Slip, Keith?
    This was an excellent operation – except for the burial at sea part. Why confuse the monumental moment? Muslim ‘clerics’ are already bitching about the ocean and Islam.
    But Hell yes, UBL caught one (a few) in the pumpkin.

    1. Brett:
      Saw that same “oops.” Been a long day added to a late night. Keith was having a Teddy Kennedy moment with the two very similar names. Geraldo Rivera did the same thing last night, on-air, live, saying he was glad Obama [sic] was dead.

    2. Oh boy – I type Obama all day long and I’m going on no sleep! Still, bad one. And we know the president could not have been there because he was golfing just moments before.

      1. I have the luxury of sleeping to noon after I pull an all nighter like last night. While I sleep my husband is in the situation room or as we call it the 9th hole.

      2. And a nice bit of reporting, Keith
        (tip o’ the hat)
        I think that’s why they’re resurrecting the pre-911 spelling of “Usama” lest there be any unfortunate word association next year.
        You did great, Keith – you’re our Honest Guy on the inside.

  3. A bad guy bites the dust and that’s good. but..
    As someone who has had helos overhead and knows what it sounds (and feels) like, how in the heck did they sneak in four helos up/over BinLaden?
    The sound and vibrations alone would have alerted even the soundest sleepers.

    Can we believe that he didn’t have a ‘safe’ room, an escape tunnel, armed guards, steel doors, an alarm system or anything at all that every gang-banger’s crack house would use for security? The attack team must have known what room he was in, who was with him and what level of security they would have to breach.

  4. Typo above: The was no irrefutable evidence that Obama was at the compound that was assaulted.

    You clearly mean Osama or Bin Laden.

  5. I want pictures and video.
    I don’t care how “graphic” they are.
    9-11 was pretty graphic.
    DC Snipers were pretty graphic.
    The USS Cole was graphic.
    I demand pictures and video.

    1. That is way toooo much of patting yourself on the back.
      hmmm. will the Muslims who want to build a mosque there be attending MrO’s celebration of BinLaden’s death, too?

    2. Why is he going to Ground Zero and he didn’t go to NC after the devastating storms? Ground Zero is an easy photo op. He really doesn’t have to DO anything but show up. When people have been killed and homes lost from tornadoes, the survivors are anticipating some kind of help. Not just words. And if you say you’re going to do something, you had better follow through. Especially when you’re POTUS. Follow through… perhaps that’s why he golfs so much. He’s working on his follow through.

  6. I think they are giving serious thoughts about releasing photos. Remember what happen when the preacher in Florida burned the Koran.

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