- The Washington Times - Friday, November 21, 2014

Former Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill said he was the first American to come across Osama bin Laden at his Pakistan hideaway compound — and seconds later, shot him three times and killed him.

“I was the first American to see Osama bin Laden alive, and I shot him in the face three times because he was not surrendering,” Mr. O’Neill said during an interview on “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV. “That was it.”

Mr. O’Neill was part of a special forces team with the code name Operation Neptune Speak that stormed bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011.

He’s gone public with his identity and actions despite the criticisms of many in the government who say SEALS and special forces conducting military operations ought to maintain a code of silence about their individual contributions.

Why? He said speaking out could help bring America some closure on the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, Newsmax reported.

“It’s been quite an experience,” Mr. O’Neill said, on speaking out, Newsmax reported. “I’m recognized a few times in airports, and I’ve been to professional sporting events where I’ve been recognized by people. I’ve gotten emails through friends from people that I don’t know … just thanking me and my team for what we did to give them closure because a lot of them had lost loved ones in 9-11.”

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