Washington: Al Qaeda emir Osama bin Laden, who all his life boasted that he would go down fighting and would ask his bodyguards to shoot him if ever he came near Americans, offered no resistance when US commandos cornered him in his Abbottabad hideout a year ago, claims a new book.
"For all his bluster that he would go down fighting and his bodyguards would shoot him if he were ever found by the Americans, when the moment finally came, bin Laden went out not with a bang but with a whimper," wrote Peter Bergen, author of the `Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden - from 9/11 to Abbottabad` that hit the bookstores this week.
Director of New America Foundation, a Washington-based think-tank and national security analyst of the CNN, Bergen in his new book provides fresh insight into the last few hours of bin Laden and the successful American operation that killed the most wanted terrorist of the world on May 02 last year.
"The 54-four-year-old bin Laden may have grown complacent or tired during his decade on the run; he had no real escape plan, and there was no secret passageway out of his house. Perhaps he expected some kind of warning that never came. Or perhaps he knew that a firefight inside the enclosed spaces of his house would likely end up killing some of his wives and children," Bergan wrote in his book giving a detailed account of what happened when US commandos entered his safe house.
"On a shelf in his bedroom were the AK-47 and Makarov machine pistol that were bin Laden`s constant companions, but he didn`t reach for them. Instead, he opened a metal gate, which blocked all access to his room and could be opened only from the inside, and quickly poked his head out to see what the commotion was. He was immediately spotted by the SEALs, who bounded up the next flight of stairs," he wrote.
"At this point, unless bin Laden walked out of his bedroom with his hands up and said, `I surrender`, there was no chance that he would be taken alive. Retreating inside, bin Laden made the fatal error of not locking this gate behind him, allowing the SEALs to run past it into a short hallway. They then turned right into his bedroom," Bergen said.
"Hearing the sounds of strange men rushing into their room, Amal (one of Laden`s wife) screamed something in Arabic and threw herself in front of her husband. The first SEAL who charged into the room shoved her aside, concerned she might be wearing a suicide bomb vest. Amal was then shot in the calf by another of the SEALs and collapsed unconscious onto the simple double mattress she shared with bin Laden," he wrote.
"Bin Laden was offering no resistance when he was dispatched with a `double tap` of shots to the chest and his left eye. It was a grisly scene: his brains spattered on the ceiling above him and poured out of his eye socket. The floor near the bed was smeared with bin Laden`s blood," he said.
US President Barack Obama, who along with his national security team were in the Situation Room of the White House quietly said, "We got him, we got him," when he was told the code word `Geronimo EKIA.`