3 May 2011

Osama bin Laden ‘captured alive’ before US forces killed him

Security officials have told Channel 4 News that Osama bin Laden was captured alive and shot dead by US special forces. The claims were apparently made by bin Laden’s daughter.

Osama bin Laden 'captured alive' it is claimed. (Getty)

It is understood Osama bin Laden‘s daughter said that her father was shot dead during the first few minutes of the raid on the terror chief’s home in Pakistan. Channel 4 News has learned the new details from senior Pakistani security officials, via a source in the country.

Besides recovering four bullet-riddled bodies from the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistani security agencies also arrested two women and six children, aging between two and 12 years, after American forces completed a midnight operation, it is claimed. Some reports suggest that 16 people, including women and children had been arrested from the house.

‘Neighbour they never knew was there’

Channel 4 News has been told that security officials have not recovered any arms or explosives during their detailed search of the compound so far.

It is not thought there was a bunker or tunnel inside the house. A local official claimed that two brothers own the house but he had no information about them or their business.

Bin Laden’s hideout was not in a cave in the mountains, but a fortified building in a wealthy suburb of Abbottabad. US officials now believe the terror chief had been living there for around five years. Crowds have gathered outside the building to watch and wonder about their notorious neighbour.

Osama bin Laden death: pictures of body may be 'too gruesome'. (Reuters)

Local people have told Channel 4 News “no-one knew who was there” but that the house seemed “very strange”. The 20 foot high walls with barbed wire certainly make the house very different from others in the neighbourhood.

(Pictured: The blood-stained room in which Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces. Reuters/ABC)

A corner shop owner told International Editor Lindsey Hilsum that two men from the house used to buy cold drinks and cigarettes, but he never dreamed they might be working for the fugitive bin Laden.

Another witness said when children hit their balls into the compound, they would knock on the door, and those people would tell them, there’s no ball here and give them money instead.

Before opening the area to the media, Pakistani soldiers shifted to buffalos, a cow and around 150 hens from the compound.

More from Channel 4 News: Tweeting from Osama bin Laden's Pakistan hideout

‘Osama bin Laden was not armed’

The al-Qaeda leader was not armed when US special forces stormed his compound in Pakistan but he did resist before he was shot, a spokesman for Barack Obama revealed on Tuesday.

Jay Carney has spoken to reporters at the White House where he also revealed that bin Laden’s wife was not killed, but shot in the leg as she “rushed the US assaulter”.

Mr Carney was asked several times about the possible release of photographs showing the terror chief’s body. He said US officials were still considering the “appropriateness” of making the images public. He explained that the pictures are “gruesome” and “could be inflammatory”.

He added that the killing of bin Laden was not likely to affect the US timetable for bringing American troops out of Afghanistan.

UK pledges support to Pakistan

David Cameron has said the UK shares the “same struggle against terrorism” with Pakistan, pledging his support for Pakistan’s President Zardari.

The PM said that bin Laden “must have had an extensive support network in Pakistan”. However, he added that Pakistan has suffered greatly at the hands of the al-Qaeda chief, who was their enemy too.

Mr Cameron said Britain’s resolve against terrorism today is as strong as it was in September 2001.

He said: “I believe it is in Britain’s national interest to recognise that with Pakistan we share the same struggle against terrorism. That is why we will continue to work with our Pakistani counterparts on intelligence gathering, tracing plots and taking action to stop them.”

More from Channel 4 News: Cameron says Britain will continue to support Pakistan

Obama watched raid on videolink

Photographs were issued by the White House showing President Obama watching the mission – that he officially actioned – unfold in Pakistan. His role in preparing the mission involved months of meetings with security advisers and the authorising of a covert undercover mission rather than a simple airstrike bin Laden.

In the pictures President Obama is shown with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan, among many other senior defence officials.

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