1. ITV Report

The moment I killed Osama bin Laden

A US Navy Seal has recounted the moment he killed Osama bin Laden. Photo: REUTERS/Pentagon

A US Navy Seal has recounted the moment he killed Osama bin Laden, saying: "In that second, I shot him, two times in the forehead. Bap! Bap! ... he was dead, not moving."

The commando, who kept his identity secret in an interview with Esquire magazine, revealed his role in the May 2011 raid for the first time.

He (bin Laden) looked confused. And way taller than I was expecting.

When the commandos came upon bin Laden in the dark on the third floor of his hideout in the town of Abbottabad in Pakistan, the al-Qaeda mastermind had his hands on his youngest wife's shoulders, "pushing her ahead" and there was an AK-47 assault rifle nearby.

I don't know if she's got a vest and she's being pushed to martyr them both. He's got a gun within reach. He's a threat. I need to get a head shot so he won't have a chance to clack himself off (blow himself up).

In that second, I shot him, two times in the forehead. Bap! Bap! The second time as he's going down. He crumpled onto the floor in front of his bed and I hit him again, Bap! same place.

He was dead. Not moving. His tongue was out.

Two Americans celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden at the construction site of the former World Trade Center towers. Credit: REUTERS/Eric Thayer

The Seal also confirmed an account from the book No Easy Day - written by a commando on the operation - that once bin Laden was fatally wounded, other Seals shot him repeatedly in the chest and legs.

The confrontation with the al-Qaeda lasted only 15 seconds but the most nerve-racking moment for the Seal was when he learned that one of the Black Hawk helicopters used in the raid had crash-landed in the Abbottabad compound.

Adeel, 8, plays with a tennis ball in front of the Abbottabad compound. Credit: REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

We're never getting out of here now.

I thought we'd have to steal cars and drive to Islamabad. Because the other option was to stick around and wait for the Pakistani military to show up ... That's when I got concerned.

After the raid, the Seals returned to a base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, where they showed a female CIA officer - now made famous by the film Zero Dark Thirty - the corpse of bin Laden.

We looked down and I asked, 'Is that your guy?' She was crying.

That's when I took my magazine out of my gun and gave it to her as a souvenir. Twenty-seven bullets left in it. 'I hope you have room in your backpack for this.' That was the last time I saw her.

Despite killing America's most wanted man, the commando is now unemployed and fears for his family's security.

The former Seal retired after 16 years in the service and does not qualify for a pension that is only awarded to those who remain in the Navy for 20 years.

President Barack Obama receives an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011. Credit: REUTERS/White House/Pete Souza

The article, which has the headline "The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden ... is Screwed", focusses heavily on the Seal's current plight.

The commando does not have health insurance or extra security for his family and is so concerned about a reprisal attack that he has taught his children to hide in the bathtub at the first sign of trouble.

He gave so much to his country, and now it seems he's left in the dust.

– The Navy Seal's wife