Hero Navy SEALs back in U.S. after raid
The clandestine team of Navy SEALs that took down Osama bin Laden are back the U.S., reports CBS News national security correspondent David Martin. Meanwhile their commander, Vice Adm. William McRaven briefed Congressional committees behind closed doors Wednesday on what sounds like 40 minutes of pure violence.When the SEALs tried to burst through a door at bin Laden's compound, they found a brick wall behind it and had to blast their way through it. On the first floor they found two couriers and a woman, all of whom were killed in a hail of gunfire.
"The SEALs clearly were taking fire throughout the course of the building that they had entered," said Republican House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers. "There were barricades along the way to prevent them to getting to where bin Laden was."
There were more obstacles on the stairs going up to where bin Laden and his family lived. When the SEALs found them, children ran out of the room. Bin Laden's wife rushed at the lead SEAL who shot her in the leg. That left the man who once boasted he would never be taken alive standing alone in the middle of the room. The lead SEAL shot him in the chest and a second seal finished him off with a shot to the head. Bin Laden was unarmed but the SEALs later found a pistol and an AK-47 in the room.
"He made no indication he was going to give up in any way," Rogers said. "Lots of movement in the room. It's dark. It's confusing. They've been taking fire. I think it was absolutely the prudent and right thing to do by that special forces officer."
The second bullet struck bin Laden just above his left eye. It blew the eye out of socket and tore away a piece of the skull, leaving his brain exposed.
Photos of some of the dead the SEALs left behind at the compound have surfaced, and they are graphic. They include the courier who unwittingly led U.S. intelligence to the hideout and one of bin Laden's sons.
- David Martin
David Martin is CBS News' National Security Correspondent.
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