Navy seal who shot and killed Osama bin Laden said ‘he knew he was going to die’
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The Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden said that he was convinced he would die in the mission to take out the terrorist leader.
Rob O'Neill participated in Operation Neptune Spear, which saw the US's elite Seal Team Six successfully locating and killing the founder and first leader of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda.
Bin Laden was fatally shot at his compound in the city of Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 2, 2011.
O'Neill has frequently spoken about the mission to find bin Laden, and had previously admitted that he'd felt emotional repercussions due to the event.
But he also admitted that he didn't think he was going to come out of it alive.
The 46-year-old said on the Full Send Podcast last year: "We were actually calling ourselves the martyr's brigade.
"We knew we were going to die. Shot down on the way in, immediate fight when we get there.
"We were going to run out of fuel and end our short lives in a Pakistani prison."
Discussing the mission further with fellow podcast guest, Donald Trump Jr, O'Neill said: "There's nowhere to go. We had nothing. But we accepted this.
"I had a guy say to me 'If we're going to die, I need to know why we're going', which is fair."
When posed with this question, O'Neill had a moving answer which linked back to the tragic attacks of September 11, for which bin Laden was deemed responsible.
O'Neill said: "We said 'We're not going after bin Laden for the fame or for the money.
"We're going after Osama bin Laden for the single mom who dropped her kids off at elementary school on a Tuesday and then 45 minutes later, she jumped to her death out of a skyscraper because that's a better alternative than whatever the hell was going on inside the 2000 degree Fahrenheit.
"And her last gesture of human decency was to hold her skirt down as she killed herself.
"She was never supposed to be in the fight. We're supposed to be in the fight."
Reflecting on the certain death that was facing him and his team, O'Neill still seemed fearless.
He said: "There was no fear involved with this mission.
"You accept death. This is what we came to do."
Speaking of the moment he came face to face with bin Laden, O'Neill says that he recognised him straight away.
O'Neill explained: "I recognised his nose, his beard, how tall he was, how skinny he was.
"He's not surrendering, he's a threat. So I got to take him down.
"And when you're dealing with a suicide bomber - which he should have been - you shoot them in the face.
"I shot him in the face twice then once more on the ground."