ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. (WJZ) — The SEALs who carried out the Osama bin Laden mission are in Maryland Wednesday morning for some top secret briefings.
Andrea Fujii reports the SEALs are at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George’s County being de-briefed by top officials about the covert operation.
The mission to get Osama bin Laden was even riskier than first thought. Even at “go” time the U.S. still wasn’t completely sure their target was inside the compound.
“It was a staggering undertaking with no one else other than an American group of military warriors who could do it,” said Vice President Joe Biden.
The White House now says bin Laden resisted during the raid, but was not armed when he was shot. One of his wives, who was shot in the leg, was not covering him as first suggested. The White House says she attacked a Navy SEAL.
“We were prepared to capture him if that was possible. We expected a great deal of resistance and we met a great deal of resistance,” said Jay Carney, White House spokesperson.
Officials conducted months of surveillance on the compound, even capturing satellite images of a man walking around the courtyard, who looked a lot like bin Laden.
“There were as many as 16 members of Congress briefed on it, not a single solitary thing leaked,” said Biden.
Among those who did know, Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, who is a ranking member on a House Intelligence committee. He says he was first briefed back in March.
He says he is not sure about the possible release of a photo, showing bin Laden’s body.
“I’m concerned about creating martyrism,” said Ruppersberger.
CIA Director Leon Panetta agrees, but believes the photo will be eventually released anyway.
“I’m sure the concern is just the nature of the photos themselves. It could, in fact, be used to try and develop the revengeful nature,” said Panetta.
Intelligence agencies are combing through the CDs, DVDs and documents found at the compound that they say contain significant information about al-Qaeda.