Michael's Dispatches

Death of a Terrorist

47 Comments

02 May 2011

Our people have hunted down and killed Osama bin Laden.  Thank you to all the military and other good people who tracked him down to his own sanctuary.  We can only hope that the materials captured at his hiding place will lead to more terrorists, and that they will meet similar ends.

Today I received a message from the office of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates: “Secretary Gates is enormously proud of everyone involved in making yesterday’s operation a success.  It was an extraordinary achievement.”  It certainly was.  America is today extremely proud of our secret warriors and the considerable organizations that facilitate their work.

The wounds inflicted upon humanity by the death cult that is al Qaeda have been enormous.  We should remember the tears of the innocent as we continue the hunt in the pursuit of justice and self-defense.

Six years ago today, an apparent al Qaeda suicide bomber killed a little girl named Farah.  Maybe it was in the name of justice that Osama bin Laden’s dead body was dumped anonymously at sea on the same day, on the anniversary of Farah’s loss.


Little Girl

First Published May 14, 2005

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Mosul

Major Mark Bieger found this little girl after the car bomb that attacked our guys while kids were crowding around. The soldiers here have been angry and sad for two days. They are angry because the terrorists could just as easily have waited a block or two and attacked the patrol away from the kids. Instead, the suicide bomber drove his car and hit the Stryker when about twenty children were jumping up and down and waving at the soldiers. Major Bieger, I had seen him help rescue some of our guys a week earlier during another big attack, took some of our soldiers and rushed this little girl to our hospital. He wanted her to have American surgeons and not to go to the Iraqi hospital. She didn’t make it. I snapped this picture when Major Bieger ran to take her away. He kept stopping to talk with her and hug her.

The soldiers went back to that neighborhood the next day to ask what they could do. The people were very warm and welcomed us into their homes, and many kids were actually running up to say hello and to ask soldiers to shake hands.

Eventually, some insurgents must have realized we were back and started shooting at us. The American soldiers and Iraqi police started engaging the enemy and there was a running gun battle. I saw at least one IP who was shot, but he looked okay and actually smiled at me despite the big bullet hole in his leg. I smiled back.

One thing seems certain; the people in that neighborhood share our feelings about the terrorists. We are going to go back there, and if any terrorists come out, the soldiers hope to find them. Everybody is still very angry that the insurgents attacked us when the kids were around. Their day will come.

[Post Script]
The reaction to my photo of Major Bieger cradling Farah, the little girl who died in his arms, provoked a flood of messages and heartfelt responses from caring people around the world. I have spent the last several days trying to read every message, and respond to as many as possible, but the flow has finally outpaced me, much as the swiftness of a river will finally defeat even the most determined swimmer.

This morning there was a banging on my door. It was “Q,” loaded for battle, weapon in hand, wearing the military radio headphones with the microphone that wrapped around his face. Bang, Bang, Bang! Q hit my door.

“Mike! Where are you?!”
“Hold on,” I said, opening the door.
“Why aren’t you ready! Grab your gear . . . we’re going!” My worn-out boots sat empty in the corner.
“I can’t go today,” I said, glancing in the direction of my laptop.
“What?”
“Just tell them I can’t go today.”
“Okay!” And Q trotted off back to his Stryker, leaving me behind. The soldiers rolled out on their mission without me.

And now I sit here, answering a few final emails, while the men of Deuce Four patrol in Mosul. My hands may be here, but my head and heart are on the streets in the struggle. I’ve been riding the wave of interest and feedback from that photo, but I need to get back to what I seem best equipped to do–posting dispatches about what is happening here in Iraq. I will continue to read every message, and I offer my sincere thanks in advance for everyone who takes the time to send one, but, alas, with this dispatch, I must swim to shore.

Michael

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Steve Gough · 7 years ago
    DEVGRU or whatever they go by these days? Can you confirm?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Peter · 7 years ago
    Michael,
    you helped. You did. You kept us informed. We kept the home "fires"--pressure burning. Bless you. Keep it up. Stay safe for us.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Harry Letaw · 7 years ago
    Hi, Michael -- Wanted to let you know that one of our grandsons, Adam Crown, is deploying to Iraq, supposedly on 5/22. He is a brand new soldier posted to 1-1 Cav, 2BrgTeam, 1 Arm Div. He thinks he will be doing dismount guard duty on a oil field. Thanks for your great service, Harry
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Patrick Halloran · 7 years ago
    Mike, what's the story on the Inferno book? Vigilanti has closed his publishing office and cannot be reached either by phone or e-mail. I paid him last Sept for a copy of the book but haven't seen it yet.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John -Capt in ANG · 7 years ago
    Thank you SEAL Team 6 for a smile on my face that won't go away. May the fish enjoy their meal today.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bill · 7 years ago
    Good post, Michael. We are friends with a couple whose son died in the Pentagon on 9/11 - hard to find anyone who was not touched by the attacks in NYC, PA and DC at least indirectly - and feel empathy each time something occurs to remind us of a dark day almost a decade ago.
    Thanks for doing what you do so effectively.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Joel · 7 years ago
    Pardon my skepticism......I am not convinced this is actually Bin Laden. We now have to take it on faith that those who examined the body give us a 99.6% positive I'D and now, conveniently, the body was committed to the ocean due to some BS Islamic code that the body needs to be buried within 24 hrs.....and all this on the heels of an election year!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Gina · 7 years ago
    I thought the US has his body and is taking care of it, to have it as proof (to his supporters) that he is, in fact, dead. (???)
    I never heard that they dumped it in the ocean somewhere. Why would they do that?
    Can you confirm?
    Thanks for all that you do!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Don · 7 years ago
    Michael, you deserve a CIB for all you do in the thick of it. I struggle to read writings, as so often it brings back the memories and bring up the tears.

    Thanks for all you do
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rebecca · 7 years ago
    Yes, I am rejoicing in the death of another human being, in the death of Osama Bin Laden, because he was evil. I even hope he suffered. It is fitting that he became fish food on the anniversary of the day that Farah
    died. He played a large part in leading men to believe they should blow up children to get their way.

    I read the story of Farah and Major Bieger on the day it was first published, and it has never ceased to break my heart. Farah is gone, but I pray for Major Bieger, because I believe he carries Farah still, and will carry her until they day he joins her in Heaven. I hope she is light in his arms now. God bless Major Bieger, God bless you, Michael, and God bless all our troops, and those they protect.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Lonnie McCarron · 7 years ago
    I am not as eloquent as Mr. Yon. I will simply say this: Osama Bin Laden has been sent to a meeting with his Maker. It will not go well.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon · 7 years ago
    Patrick,

    I was unaware that Vigilante may have closed his office. He emails so I never call. We've had a lot of issues getting this book off the ground. Looks like still around one month out. Was fielding a couple emails today re production. It's done from my end though one final review now is taking place. My deep apologies for the delay. If you had any idea of the problems this has caused me... Several times I was ready to scuttle the book, and sometimes wish I had. On the other hand, it looks very good. The product itself is tops.

    Steve Gough, I hear it was SEAL Team 6 but am not chasing that. Will watch it unfold. I've got to be back into Afghanistan.

    Thank you, Peter.

    Harry, give my best to your son!

    Good night, and Good luck.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Steve E. · 7 years ago
    Congratulations to the US armed forces, President Obama and our American cousins.

    The celebrations over this side of the pond have been extensive and heartfelt.

    Semper Fi!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    D Angulo · 7 years ago
    Thank you for honoring Farah on this day that we celebrate the death of OBL, may he writhe eternally!

    I'm still looking for your Inferno book, also.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mark · 7 years ago
    Right, Ahman Al-Zawahiri next I think!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Claudia · 7 years ago
    Rest in Peace sweet little Farah ..... it is your day ! You are not gone as long we remember .....
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jbadgph04 · 7 years ago
    In Oct. 2001 I stood on the platform at Ground Zero where Bush gave his speech. On the railings were written messages from children saying goodbye to their parents. Tough, damm tough, to look at.

    Today Justice was served for those children, those who rode to the sound of the guns that day and all the other victims.

    I hope the crabs enjoy the feast.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Graeme · 7 years ago
    God bless you Mr Yon. A very poetic epitath to a monster and memoriam to an innocent child that American soldiers tried to save.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Janelle Cruea · 7 years ago
    I'm so thankful to our military and to you Michael for bringing home their sdtories.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rod Rodriguez · 7 years ago
    My grandson, Sgt. Christopher A. Sanders, KIA Jan 9,2008 in Sinsil, Iraq, was with the Deuce Four on his first tour to Iraq. The Duece Four was retired after his tour became the 3-2 and moved to Germany. Have you done any follow up on the 2-4 soilders?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    George · 7 years ago
    That photo still makes me well up. So sad that OBL and his sick henchman have caused so much suffering. Good riddance.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Endlessheart · 7 years ago
    [quote name="Joel"]Pardon my skepticism......I am not convinced this is actually Bin Laden. We now have to take it on faith that those who examined the body give us a 99.6% positive I'D and now, conveniently, the body was committed to the ocean due to some BS Islamic code that the body needs to be buried within 24 hrs.....and all this on the heels of an election year![/quote]



    Joel .... I completely agree! This is much to obvious..the whole thing about his body being thrown into the ocean..how convenient, now nobody can attest to his death, not really - they will get "govt. officials" to "confirm" it, ...yeah, right...Osama Bin Laden was not that stupid! But people will WANT it to be him, so, that's what they'll believe....and that's the first thing I thought of too....an election year!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    W. M. Treadway · 7 years ago
    Glad we still have that 180 grain dosage of justice. Hope they emptied a bag of pork rinds in the body bag before they dumped his nasty butt.
    Well Done.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Evin · 7 years ago
    Hope there is a special place prepared for him in gehenna.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tammy · 7 years ago
    Major Mark Bieger will forever be a hero.
    Rest In Peace, sweet child. Thank you, Michael.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Linda Herbeck · 7 years ago
    I am the Aunt of S.M. Prosser whom Mr. Yon has meant I could not be prouder of our men and women in uniform for all they have done together to bring this monster to his knees well done.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Shawn · 7 years ago
    It Is What It Is

    Whether or not Usama died a few nights ago, or a few years ago this remains:

    1) We are bleeding are freedoms

    2) Terrorists will be martyred

    It Is What It Is
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Soretoe · 7 years ago
    He was dumped into the sea so that others like him could not make a shrine out of the area. One of the stories I heard over the radio discussed how he was properly weighted so that he would not eventually bob to the surface after the gas buildup in his body. God bless all of our special ops troops, we will never know all that they have done for our freedom.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Barb · 7 years ago
    I see Jihad works both ways. Brace for danger ahead, folks. This ramps things up big time. A twinge of closure for The Cole, Kobar Towers, 9/11 and so many more evil acts may have been felt by many in the death of OBL. I hope so for those in their grief. I know for some their grief will lift & turn to just sadness, which is just as hard to bear. I feel like we became Americans united again last night. Time will tell. "Americans: Everybody hates us, but they all want to be us." Operation Enduring Freedom goes on & has just become so much more dangerous. My son will step into it this month. It's impossible to explain how that feels to me. Thanks, Michael, for everything you do to bring us some truth and information. Stay strong, be safe and keep it coming. Your photos...
    OH! MY! GOSH!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dee · 7 years ago
    Islamic code? Not hardly. It flies in the face of the way they should be buried IN THE GROUND within 24 hours NOT the sea. Only sea burials r 4 deaths @ sea where they can't get to land and/or if they think body would be dug up and messed with. Body has to be washed no less than times but an odd # of times covered in a piece kafan for men and the left hand on chest w/ rt over that in prayerful pose. Buried in ground by men only w/ head toward Mecca.

    Not the ideal way 2 create a conspiracy/cover up.

    Dumping him at sea even if they covered him & said prayers over him was a fitting disposal of a thoroughly evil man. He's now fish food dumped at sea like the trash he was.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bruce Strang · 7 years ago
    Great job DevGru! It's heartening to know the last image bin Laden saw was that of an American...unless it was the back of that woman apparently used as a "human shield".
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bill · 7 years ago
    [quote name="Joel"]Pardon my skepticism......I am not convinced this is actually Bin Laden. We now have to take it on faith that those who examined the body give us a 99.6% positive I'D and now, conveniently, the body was committed to the ocean due to some BS Islamic code that the body needs to be buried within 24 hrs.....and all this on the heels of an election year![/quote]

    For the skeptics in the crowd, do you honestly believe Navy Seals would be party to a hoax?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    David · 7 years ago
    At least wait for the dust to settle before dishonouring those who have put their careers and lives on the line with this story.

    From what I know, (and it comes from a very good intel source), it all went exatly as advertised, although apparently the package sent in was a lot larger than has been mentioned with various other "higher flying" assets in use.

    I remember Zaqawi and Saddam were both dumped at sea also. This is intentional to avoid a physical location that can become a place of worship to those who would do such a thing.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon · 7 years ago
    Note:

    Firstly, I do believe the 'package' would have been much larger than was advertised.

    Slight corrections: Zarqawi was buried at a secret location. Saddam was returned by Blackhawk from Baghdad to Tikrit area, and he was given back to his people.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Sean · 7 years ago
    Anyone know of a way to send beer money to whoever it was that pulled this operation off? You know, the Navy Seals that went in there and took Osama out? Or even letters of thanks of some sort, some way to tell them just how thankful we are that the made it out alive and finally brought Osama to justice.

    There has to be a way to send it to the Navy or something and have them make sure it gets to whoever it is that deserves it. I just can't sit here and have no way to thank whoever it was that did this, they have earned much more than any of us can really hope to repay.

    Anyone from the Seals to the CIA guys that developed the intel. They deserve much more than a pat on the back.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Anthony · 7 years ago
    Agreed, BS. Aside frm the 10mm round coring a hole in his noggin, his last sight was a bad-ass American warrior, getting a good sight picture in the trijicon and pulling a double tap. He started it, we finished him. Mess with best, die like the rest.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Gregg · 7 years ago
    If you really want to send letters and thank yous to the men and women who got Osama bin Laden send them to "Seal Team 6", Naval Special Warfare Command, 2000 Trident Way, Building No. 613, San Diego, CA 92155-5599. They will forward your letters to the right people.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    kate · 7 years ago
    Bin Laden was just a part of Al-Qaeda which is just a part of the Islamic terrorist effort which is just a part of the Islamist movement, so the announcement of his death today by the U.S. government makes little operational difference. The war on terror has not fundamentally changed, much less been won. :lol: https://www.facebook.com/osamaisdeadonmayday
  • This commment is unpublished.
    JD · 7 years ago
    My understanding is that the deed was completed some time after noon Pacific time on May first. That would make it some time after midnight May second Pakistani time. They appear to have died on the same day.

    One was a loss to be mourned that showed ever so clearly our soldiers have hearts bigger than the world. The other had earned his death many times over with his pure evil.

    {^_^}
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Violette · 7 years ago
    OBL poluting the Sea's bottom...

    Little Farah may you be smelling the roses in your Paradise !
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mike Waldrop · 7 years ago
    Joel: You're a idiot. Let's bury him in a place so these fools can turn it into a mecca for their "martyr". Do you really think the US would do all this as a hoax???
    If we hadn't proceeded with Islamic tradition, all the radical muslims would be protesting, inciting riots and burning crap.
    Again Joel: YOU-ARE-A-IDIOT
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Steve Gough · 7 years ago
    [quote name="Patrick Halloran"]Mike, what's the story on the Inferno book? Vigilanti has closed his publishing office and cannot be reached either by phone or e-mail. I paid him last Sept for a copy of the book but haven't seen it yet.[/quote]

    I'm in the same boat, tried to contact but no response, is there anything yo can tell us Michael?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Steve Gough · 7 years ago
    [quote name="Michael Yon"]Patrick,

    Steve Gough, I hear it was SEAL Team 6 but am not chasing that. Will watch it unfold. I've got to be back into Afghanistan.

    [/quote]

    The reason I asked was that Team Six was disbanded years ago and replaced by DEVGRU which itself was disbanded and replaced by another designation that is classified, I just used the last known des. Yesterday I confirmed with someone from Teams that it was who we think it is along with assets from other "groups".

    I'm not sure who used "Six" first in describing the op, a journalist, a politician or mil but if it was mil then I suspect they did it for OPSEC reasons and used a term that the public were familiar with. Not that it matters too much because we do know that SEAL's were involved and I'm hoping that the 160th SOAR guys got to do their thing as well, at least a little payback for Redwings...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ted Hannegan · 7 years ago
    MIKE
    You are the messenger. THANKS
    Ted
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Josh Ebert · 7 years ago
    Michael,

    Why wasn't Delta force used as well? Aren't they the primary anti terror force? Thanks for all your great work!

    Josh Ebert, Chicago
  • This commment is unpublished.
    shirley · 7 years ago
    Micheal, I have been following your posts ever since you meet my son-in-law's A-10 group on his first deployment. I could always count on the truth from your FB comments and followed them until he was safely home.

    Again he deployed, and just returned home again from Afganistan. Being a father who got to hold his baby boy for the first time and his precious two year old daughter after missing two Christmas holidays with her.

    This time was different for me, OBL is dead! I am not celebrating in the streets as it means that we will suffer at the hands of evil again. I am happy that he has meet his Maker. I am concerned for our troops and our country, if we do not change the road we are being lead down by the leadership of this country.

    Carry on Michael. God bless you and keep you safe.

    PS My friend says OBL swims with the fishies, I say I hope he swam with the sharks!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    joseph · 6 years ago
    We Don't know the truth guys.. America is full with conspiracy

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