After nearly a decade of searching for the face behind the most heinous terrorist attacks in American history, an elite group known as Navy SEAL Team Six attacked Bin Laden’s Pakistani compound during a daring fire-fight operation that lasted 40 minutes.
The group — originally stationed at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia – reportedly gave Bin Laden a chance to surrender. When the terrorist leader refused, Team Six exchanged gunfire with Bin Laden and several others before eventually bringing him down in a barrage of bullets. The fatal blow reportedly entered Bin Laden’s left eye.
The group, which was tapped for this mission thanks to its expert training, had been part of a specific counterterrorism unit composed of only the finest SEAL members. The unit is so exclusive, in fact, that in order to be a part of it one must be personally selected after years of exemplary service.
Originally, Team Six was put together in response to the failed American hostages rescue attempt in Iran in 1980.
The team’s operations are highly classified, often go unrecorded, and it works under a code that differs from other military branches and officials.
When the group was initially put together, the name “Team Six” was used to confuse Soviet intelligence regarding the true number of SEAL teams operating at the time. In reality, only two others existed. Then, in 1987, the name was changed to the Naval Special Warfare Development Group. However, in an unofficial capacity, the simple name Team Six stuck — although no official documentation exists.
Team Six has reportedly played a vital role in hunting down terrorist forces in Afghanistan, Somalia, the former Yugoslavia, and Iraq.
Members of the SEALs group who participated in the mission against Bin Laden have been instructed not to divulge the details of the mission, according to the Associated Press.