While pursuing Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, a trusted aid, they were lead to a compound in Abbottabad. It was then that they finally discovered his real name, Ibrahim Saeed Ahmed. The compound was built very stealthy; tall walls, barbed wire, metal gates and very limited actions going in and out. Intel led them to believe that this compound not only housed several families but also a strange “pacer” that was very careful of his movements and never left. Officials believed “the pacer” was indeed Osama bin Laden.
When this information was received by the president he was very intrigued because this was the best lead since Tora Bora. He asked Director of the C.I.A Leon Panetta to start preparing a plan for action. Panetta and the head of the C.I.A’s bin Laden team Michael Morell came up with several plan options. Some of the options discussed were bombing the entire compound, a raid on the compound, as well as using a drone armed with a small missile.
By early March the C.I.A. had determined that there was definitely someone of importance living in the compound based on the continued surveillance that had been set in place. However there was a team assigned to “poke holes” in this intel about the person of importance being Osama bin Laden. Advisors were asked their opinions along with the certainty of whether or not they believed it was bin Laden. Obama would go on to say that it was a “50-50” chance that it truly was bin Laden, and that is what he used to base his decision for action.
The decision was made to go fourth with a raid on the compound by Seal Team 6. Joint Special Forces Operations and former Seal Admiral Bill McRaven would oversee the operation. Rehearsals started on April 9th at Fort Bragg. They then went to Nevada to simulate the conditions in Abbottabad. Simultaneously other options were being tested, such as a “magic bullet” which had never been used in combat. President Obama asked all his advisors of their opinions one last time on April 28th. All parties involved except for two people would agree with the raid. One of those two would change his mind…