A member of SEAL Team 6, the elite special forces unit that killed Osama Bin Laden
, is disputing claims a fellow team member made in an Esquire magazine article published last month.
In the Esquire piece entitled "The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden," the shooter, who remains anonymous, said he encountered Bin Laden in his Abbottabad compound standing up with a gun "within reach" when he fired two shots into the notorious terrorist leader's forehead, killing him.
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However, on Wednesday CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen interviewed the SEAL Team 6 operator
, one of the first three SEALs to encounter the notorious terrorist leader during the May 2011 raid in Pakistan. The operator called the account in Esquire "complete B-S."
The SEAL Team 6 operator said the team's "point man" shot Bin Laden in the head immediately after the Al Qaeda leader peered out from a doorway on the top landing. The point man then rushed two women into an adjacent room in case they were wearing suicide vests.
Moments after bin Laden hit the floor, two other SEAL members ran to him, shooting him repeatedly to finish him off, the SEAL Team 6 operator told CNN.
This account contradicts the article published in Esquire last month, which presents the event in a much more heroic light, Bergen claims.
The SEAL Team 6 operator told CNN it was impossible for guns to have been within Bin Laden's reach, considering they were found only after a thorough search had been conducted.
The February Esquire article also contradicts the account SEAL Team 6 member Matt Bissonnette presented in his book "No Easy Day" under the pseudonym Mark Owen
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It is widely believed that Bissonnette was one of the three men who first encountered Bin Laden.
Esquire responded to the CNN story
, saying its profile "is based on information from numerous sources, including members of Seal Team 6 and the Shooter himself, as well as detailed descriptions of mission debriefs. We stand by our story."
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