Bin Laden Not Killed in Firefight, Was Unarmed
United Press International
May 03, 2011
U.S. officials now say Osama bin Laden was not killed in a firefight, and was not armed when he died.
The officials backed away from a number of claims made about the Pakistan raid by U.S. SEALs that killed the al-Qaida founder and leader Sunday night.
Politico reported Tuesday that during an off-camera briefing late Monday officials confirmed a woman was among the five people killed in the raid, but said she was not bin Laden’s wife and bin Laden had not used her as a human shield.
John Brennan, deputy national security adviser, told reporters during a televised new conference Monday that bin Laden was part of the firefight during the 40-minute operation at the Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound.
And at a Pentagon briefing earlier in the day, a senior official said bin Laden was using the woman as a shield so he could fire off rounds — “He was firing behind her” — Politico reported. In another background briefing earlier Monday, an official said bin Laden was killed participating in the firefight.
However, Politico reported, a senior White House official said during the off-camera briefing later Monday that bin Laden was not armed when he was killed. A second official confirmed that fact to Politico.
A third official told Politico, “The bottom line is the team that entered that room was met with resistance and took appropriate action.”
Though Monday night the White House refused to give details, an official confirmed bin Laden was shot twice, once in the head and once in the chest, the newspaper said.
Yet another official familiar with the operation said no woman was used as a human shield, but one woman was killed and one injured in the crossfire. Neither was bin Laden’s wife.
At Monday’s on-camera news conference, Brennan said bin Laden’s son Khalid was killed, but the official White House transcript had another bin Laden son, Hamza, as killed, Politico reported.
The White House did not explain the discrepancy, the newspaper said.
Listen as White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that Osama bin Laden was not armed when a Navy SEAL raiding party confronted him during an assault on his compound in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence teams were pouring over computers and data discovered during the raid in which al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was killed, officials said.