Thursday, May 5, 2011

The operation ended with Geronimo

So said the CIA director, Leon Panetta, the U.S. government the death of Geronimo, the code name of Osama bin Laden, "enemy killed in action" ("Enemy Killed In Action ', in English). And so it has 'The New York Times', which reflects in detail the details of the operation. According to the newspaper account, for years, the hunt for bin Laden was as intense as ineffective.

Until last July, when Pakistani serving the CIA chased a white Suzuki among the bustling streets near Peshawar, and noted the registration. The man who was riding in the vehicle was the most trusted messenger of Bin Laden, and during the following months, the CIA did not lose the track.

Finally, explain the Times' sources of U.S. government, followed him into a complex that extended to the end of a long dirt road, surrounded by high fences in a village rich behindist situated just 50 kilometers from Islamabad , the nation's capital. Eight months later, on a moonless night, a U.S.

command aboard four helicopters dropped to the complex. Shots were heard. One of the helicopters crashed and did not take off. Among the fatalities, a tall, bearded, his face bloodied and a bullet through his head. A member of the Navy Seals took a picture with his camera and sent it to the analysts and experts in facial recognition.

And that was how it ended the most extensive manhunt, expensive and exasperating in history. The dead body of Osama bin Laden, public enemy number one in the U.S., was transferred by helicopter to be 'buried' at sea. The nation, who spent a decade plagued by its inability to capture taken responsibility for 3,000 deaths on September 11, 2001, finally closed its most difficult chapter.

The operation divided U.S. government officials including betting on launch, those who believed it was better to wait and watch until you are completely sure that Bin Laden was there, and those who advocated bombing the enclave. Finally, Obama dismissed the bombing, which would prevent really know if Bin Laden had been reached, and sent the command.

The two helicopters overhead were escorted by two as a 'backup' that would intervene in case of problems. On 1 May in the afternoon, as the helicopters penetrated into Pakistani territory, the president and his advisers met in the Situation Room of the White House to monitor real-time operation.

Continued through a screen, Leon E. Panetta, director of the CIA, while narrating from the agency headquarters what was happening in Pakistan. The silence peopled the room most of the time. They say Obama's face "looked like stone" during the pendency of Geronimo, the code name for bin Laden.

The vice president, Joseph R. Biden, rested his fingers on a rosary. "The minutes seemed days," says John O. Brennan, head of the White House against terrorism. Already in 2005, many in the CIA took for granted that the hunt for bin Laden had gone into a tailspin. The agency ordered a review of counterterrorist operations, and the result was Operation Cannonball, a bureaucratic reorganization that put more officers of the CIA on the ground in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

And so, with more agents and finally the U.S. intelligence gave the name of the messenger of the family. Was key to the investigation, and that since then the National Security Agency began to intercept all phone calls and emails between the man's family and anyone in Pakistan. That got his full name.

It was last July when Pakistani agents in the service of the CIA saw him driving his vehicle near Peshawar. When, after weeks of surveillance, the tracks led them to the resort of Abbottabad, U.S. intelligence agents felt they were in something big, perhaps even to bin Laden himself. His hiding place had nothing to do with the spartan cave in the mountains of Tora Bora.

It was a three-story house surrounded by concrete walls 12 meters high, topped with barbed wire and guarded by two security fences. In Washington, Panetta met with Obama and his top national security advisers, including Biden, Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The secrecy of the meeting was such that some attendees were unaware of the agenda. That day, Panetta spoke at length of Bin Laden and his alleged hideout. There was speculation over whether bin Laden was actually inside the house. Then came weeks of tense meetings between Panetta and his subordinates, to agree on what to do.

While Panetta called for an aggressive strategy to confirm the presence of Bin Laden, undercover agents of the CIA feared the most promising operation in years to come down if the bodyguard of the leader of Al Qaeda suspected the house was being watched. For weeks, spy satellites took pictures in detail, and worked to intercept communications from the house.

It was not easy: the complex had no phone line or Internet access. And the garbage was incinerated. In February, Panetta briefed Admiral William McRaven, head of Special Operations Command at the Pentagon. This worked for weeks with the CIA to prepare the operation, and offered three alternatives: a helicopter assault with a command board, a bombing that destroyed the compound, or an operation in collaboration with Pakistani intelligence, which would be alerted of plans hours before the assault.

When in March Panetta presented their plans to the White House, there was no evidence that Bin Laden was in the house. In discussions about what to do is sneak a concern for Raymond Davis, who worked for the CIA and was arrested for shooting two Pakistanis in the streets of Lahore. U.S.

feared that the capture of Bin Laden could incur the wrath of the Pakistani government, and Davis ended up in prison. His release on March 16, would clear the way for the operation. Finally, imposing the choice of the assault helicopter. All that remained was the order. After a period of deliberation, Obama finally decides to act.

Specifically, on Saturday 30 April. However, the clouds that rose on the complex led to postpone the operation until Sunday. From Jalalabad's Afghan base, the command crossed the border with Pakistan. The aim was to arrive before the Pakistani authorities detected the incursion into its territory could trying to prevent violence.

Past midnight, the Seals broke into the compound and opened fire. A man used a woman as a shield. Both were hit by gunfire. Two other men were killed and two women were injured. U.S. officials later determined that one of the men killed was Hamza, a son of bin Laden, and the other two, the mail and his brother.

The command met Bin Laden on the third floor, dressed in a tunic and trousers known as "shalwar kameez". According to officials, offered resistance before being shot in the left eye, which would end a 40-minute firefight. Officials insist they have captured Bin Laden if he had not resisting arrest, according to Brennan says.

A wife of Bin Laden identified the body. The software revealed that the photo taken by the SEAL 95% belonged to Bin Laden. Later, the DNA matching would recognize at 99.9%. Then Bin Laden's body was washed and dressed according to Islamic tradition mark, says the U.S. government. And then it was 'buried' at sea, to prevent his tomb became a place of pilgrimage for his followers.

Just a few people witnessed the dumping at sea of the body's most wanted man on earth.

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