‘I treated him as if he were a suicide bomber, which I assumed he was, and I shot him’
WASHINGTON: Former US Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill, who claims to have killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, has said that he considered the raid in Abottabad to be a “one-way mission” and bought farewell gifts for his children.
“I wasn’t afraid. I was just focussed… We were preparing to not come home,” said the former Navy SEAL. He also mentioned his “last conversation” with his father ahead of the raid in Pakistan.
“My father, he and I talked. We would talk before a lot of missions. He would joke, ‘I wish I could go with you’. I would say, ‘I know dad. I wish you could too,'” said Mr O’Neill recollecting last conversation with his father ahead of the raid in Pakistan.
“I said I am with some great guys. That was the last conversation,” he added.
However, the ex-navy SEAL and the author of “The Operator: Firing the Shots, that Killed Bin Laden”, does not consider the Abbottabad raid as among the most difficult targets we’ve been on.
“They selected a group of combat veteran navy SEALs. We had all done it hundreds and hundreds of times. It was the best team I’ve ever been a part of,” Mr O’Neill said.
“We were given the most time to prepare for this mission. So, we knew the outside of the compound very well,” he added.
“I saw bin Laden, and he was a threat, he was not surrendering… I treated him as if he were a suicide bomber, which I assumed he was, and I shot him,” the former navy SEAL further said.