Posted: May 2, 2011 8:14 AM by CBS News
Updated: May 2, 2011 12:56 PM
Early Sunday afternoon, President Obama ordered the "surgical" U.S. helicopter raid on the compound in Abbottabad, a small northwestern town a day's drive from the Afghan border and an hour's drive north of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.
The operation to kill or capture bin Laden was planned as an elite strike by a small Navy SEAL team to minimize any collateral damage or death in the area.
CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports the team of about two dozen went in aboard two Blackhawk helicopters. They were operating under the authority of Leon Panetta, the CIA director, since the U.S. military does not have authority to operate in Pakistan. A second team of about two dozen orbited out of sight in case they were needed. One of the U.S. helicopters had mechanical failure before leaving the raid and was destroyed.
The operation was conducted under the CIA's Title 50 charter, but carried out by Navy Seal Team 6, reports CBS News senior foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan. The ground commander was a Seal squadron commander. There were CIA agents present, says Logan, but it was a military operation.
U.S. troops were at the compound for less than 40 minutes. In addition to bin Laden, three adult males were killed, including bin Laden's adult son and two couriers.
Bin Laden did not go peacefully, according to officials. He resisted arrest and was killed in a firefight as U.S. troops entered the compound. One woman was killed when she was used as a human shield, U.S. officials say, and two women were injured in the raid.
None of the specific intelligence resulting in the raid was shared with another country. Only a "very small group of people" inside the U.S. government knew it was to happen. Officials say Pakistan's government was notified after the fact.
The officials, all of whom spoke to CBS News on condition they remain anonymous, said care was being take to ensure bin Laden's body was handled in an "appropriate manner" according to Islamic custom.
Muslim practice calls for the body to be buried within 24 hours. An assumption is that Saudi Arabia, where his family lives, won't accept the body. U.S. officials said bin Laden was buried at sea.
This discovery and subsequent death of bin Laden doesn't bode well for the Pakistan government. According to Martin, it will be hard for the Pakistanis to explain how bin Ladin could have been living in a huge compound located in a densely populated suburb filled with retired military unnoticed.