Osama bin Laden: “Crankshaft,” DEVGRU and a dog named Cairo
The world knows about the U.S. Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May, the mission has been shrouded in operational secrecy--until now.
Reconstruction published Monday by the New Yorker, reporter Nicholas Schmidle, deep inside the planning and execution of the May 1 raid. The scope of specificity and suspense in Schmidle's tick-tock makes for a powerful read.
Nine years, seven months, and twenty days after September 11th, an American was a trigger pull from ending bin Laden's life.
The first round, a 5.56-mm. bullet, struck bin Laden in the chest. As he fell backward, the SEAL fired a second round into his head, just above his left eye. On his radio, he reported, 'For God and country—Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo.' After a pause, he added.
The team: 25 SEALs, a Pakistani-American translator, and a dog named Cairo
According to Schmidle, there were 25 Navy SEALS aboard the two MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters that raided bin Laden's Abbottabad compound. The SEALs were from Team Six, "which is officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DEVGRU," he writes.
A Pakistani-American translator and a Belgian Malinois dog named Cairo.
"Outside the compound's walls, Ahmed, the translator, patrolled the dirt road in front of bin Laden's house, as if he were a plainclothes Pakistani police officer. He looked the part, wearing a shalwar kameez atop a flak jacket. He, the dog Cairo, and four SEALs were responsible for closing off the perimeter of the house while James and six other SEALs—the contingent that was supposed to have dropped onto the roof—moved inside."
Bin Laden's code name was 'Crankshaft'
Obama did not ask who pulled the trigger on bin Laden
Cairo got to meet Obama
A Defense Department officer described the nighttime raid to Schmidle as "mowing the lawn."
After the Navy SEAL team leader 'James' mentioned the dog's role in the raid, Obama interrupted:
"There was a dog?”... James nodded and said that Cairo was in an adjoining room, muzzled, at the request of the Secret Service.
"I want to meet that dog," Obama said.
"If you want to meet the dog, Mr. President, I advise you to bring treats," James joked. Obama went over to pet Cairo.