A mission almost impossible, a raid which demanded the investment of months of planning and execution of minutes, the action plan that again proved the might of the USA - The mission to kill Osama Bin Laden that took place on May 2, 2011.
In the dead of night, 192 km inside Pakistan a team of US special forces flew from Afghanistan to Bin Laden's hiding place and swooped down on the compound in stealth helicopters. It swept through the buildings within the high-walled enclosure and shot dead a total of five people including Bin Laden.
The most controversial news that changed the course and face of terrorism and world politics, however, had a few lesser known stories to be narrated. Here they are:
The mission was a well-kept secret of a few close officials at the White House and the then Mr. President Obama. The use of high-tech machines was supposed to make the moves of the US team untraceable. However, within seconds of their entry in Abbottabad their presence was suspected and reported on Twitter by Sohaib Athar, an IT engineer who lives about 3km (two miles) from the compound.
"Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1 am (is a rare event). A huge window-shaking bang here in Abbottabad. I hope it's not the start of something nasty."
Indeed some people could smell the smoke before the fire!
The trusted courier of Bin Laden
The breakthrough that led to the raid was actually an intercept of a phone call by Bin Laden to a trusted courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti in August 2010.The US had learned of his identity from interrogations of detainees in Guantanamo. Armed with the mobile phone number, the forces were able to track him to the compound in Abbottabad.
The extra efforts
Osama and his associates took the extra efforts to remain undetected. According to the information given by the officials in an interview, "whenever Kuwaiti or others left to make a call, they drove for 90 minutes before placing a battery in a mobile phone."
The curious case of the canine
There was a DOG involved in the mission! Along with the superior technology used by the tea, there were two specially adapted Black Hawk Helicopters and on board were 23 seals, a translator and a tracking dog called Cairo. Three of the Seals were specifically tasked to seek out Bin Laden.
Bin Laden was found on the top floor within 20 minutes of the drill. The trio of Seals shot him in head and in chest and killed him in his bedroom.
This proud moment was radioed by one of the soldiers as GERONIMO EKIA to his superiors. You might get chills to know that EKIA stands for Enemy Killed In Action in military jargon and Geronimo referred to the stage in the operation in which Bin Laden was either captured or killed.
And the glue that held the pieces together, the officials at the White House and President Obama were delivered the news as "WE GOT HIM".
Title image: cnn