Osama bin Laden raid: Four fresh twists in the story

Figuring out precisely what took place at the Osama bin Laden compound in the early hours of the US commando team strike has led to some bracing twists and turns in the narrative. At a Pentagon briefing Friday, reporters ribbed military officials, saying they were looking forward to hearing the fifth and newest version of how the operation to strike the terrorist mastermind unfolded.

Here are the four latest plot turns in the bin Laden story:

1. Bin Laden’s final moments

K9 Storm Inc./REUTERS
A military working dog outfitted with its own equipment and light heads up the steps of a building in this handout image from the company 'K9 Storm Inc.' Reports suggest that a explosive-sniffing dog took part in the raid on Osama bin Laden's compund in Abbottabad, Pakistan, Sunday.

Information being released from the White House late this week attempted to put to rest questions about whether Mr. bin Laden was armed, and whether he went down fighting.

These were questions that grew more heated after the White House divulged sharply conflicting reports – chief among them, that bin Laden used one of his wives as a human shield. It was an account subsequently dismissed by another White House official.

According to the latest reports released by the administration, bin Laden was found on the third floor of his compound, in the doorway of his bedroom. When he turned and retreated, he was shot twice, in the head and in the chest. The Navy SEAL team later found an AK-47 and a pistol in bin Laden’s room, according to reports.

“He was retreating,” a US official told The Washington Post, which he added is a move that is regarded as resistance warranting US commando team fire. “Is he getting a weapon?” the official said. “You don’t know why he’s retreating, [or] what he’s doing when he goes back in there.”

The raid involved 79 US commandos and a working military dog, which may have been used to detect explosives – and may have been equipped with protective eyewear known as “doggles." The use of dogs is on the rise throughout dangerous regions of Afghanistan, where they are often more successful in locating roadside bombs than high-tech equipment fielded by the Pentagon, say US military officials.

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