BOSTON (CBS) – The precision of the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden and all the planning that went into it have many intrigued.
But, there’s a good chance we’ll never hear from the Navy SEALs who actually carried out the mission. The SEAL team is highly-trained and very secretive.
So, how was the mission carried out?
WBZ-TV’s Lisa Hughes reports.
“They’re SEALs who have been selected from the SEAL teams to do these special types of operations,” said Don Tocci of Burlington.
Tocci served with the Navy SEALs in Vietnam. He said the SEAL Team 6 that raided bin Laden’s compound is the best of the best.
Their training is legendary. Most cadets never make it through Hell Week, which is six days of around-the-clock training.
But, those who do endure build a powerful bond that helps them survive the battlefield.
“When he’s breathing, you can hear him breathe, and you know he’s shooting here, the other guy’s shooting someplace else,” said Tocci.
The military had eight months to prepare for the raid, which allowed the seals to train in a replica compound built at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Tocci said that is crucial to avoid any nasty surprises.
“If I said to you, ‘Are you gonna come to my house and you’re going to take me out,’ well you better know my whole house before you try to do that, especially if I’m armed,” said Tocci.
The SEALs encountered a problem early on: one of the helicopters had to make a hard landing because of the hot weather.
When the SEALs moved into the compound, they used zip ties to secure everyone inside as they searched room by room for bin Laden.
Once they found their target, who was code-named “Geronimo,” bin Laden’s wife rushed one of the soldiers. She was shot in the leg. Bin Laden was killed during the raid.
Tocci said the fight was likely over almost as soon as it had begun.
“I’m sure in the first ten minutes, they did the job that they had to do. Initially, go in, and get bin Laden,a nd then now scour the place for intelligence,” said Tocci.
Although the mission was secret, there were some people in the loop. One high-ranking member of Congress revealed Tuesday that she was told about the compound back in December.