London: An ex-Navy SEAL, who is the author of a controversial book on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, has recounted the gruesome last moments of the 9/11 mastermind in the first-hand account.
Matt Bissonnette, 36, who took part in the raid and made sure bin Laden was dead has written about the raid that took place in May 2011, in his book "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden", using the pen-name Mark Owen.
The Seals, who were to operate in teams of three, travelled in two Black Hawk helicopters, the Daily Mail reported.
After killing the accomplices of the 54-year-old bin Laden they moved to the third level of his Abbottabad hideout to kill the most wanted terrorist in the world.
Bissonnette wrote that he and his team slowly ascended the narrow stairwell, his ears strained to hear footsteps or the sound of a round being chambered. He was less than five steps from the top of the staircase when he heard shots.
"BOP. BOP. The point man had seen a man peeking out of the door on the right side of the hallway about ten feet in front of him. I couldn't tell from my position if the rounds hit the target or not. The man disappeared into the dark room," he wrote.
When they reached the room, Bissonnette and another Seal shot more rounds into his chest until he was motionless.
"The man's face was mangled from at least one bullet wound and covered in blood. A hole in his forehead collapsed the right side of his skull. His chest was torn up from where the bullets had entered his body," the account said.
A young girl in the room testified that the identity of the man killed was Osama bin Laden after his wives refused to name the dreaded terrorist.
"Pulling his beard to the right and then the left, I shot several profile pictures," Bissonnette writes.
Meanwhile other Seals were collected computers, videos and notebooks and a team was preparing to blow up a Black Hawk that had crashed in the courtyard of the compound while landing.
Bissonnette said a comrade, 'Walt', took DNA samples by dipping a swab in bin Laden's blood and used another to swab his mouth.
Searching the tiny bathroom, Bissonnette found a box of Just For Men hair dye, which he assumed was what Bin Laden used on his beard.
He discovered a rifle and a pistol, neither of them loaded. Bissonnette writes about his surprise that bin Laden "hadn't even prepared a defence".
In the Black Hawk, one of the Seals had to sit on Bin Laden's body which lay at Bissonnette's feet in the centre of the cabin.
Pentagon has threatened to take legal action against the ex-Navy SEAL for leaking classified information, a charge Bissonnette has denied.
First Published: Sunday, September 02, 2012, 21:53