U.S. Intel Releases Documents Grabbed in 2011 Bin Laden Raid
O’Neill Says They Offer Insight Into Current Middle Eastern Power Struggle.
When FOX News anchor Bill Hemmer announced on the air that U.S. intelligence had released more than 100 documents taken from Osama bin Laden’s compound during the May 2011 raid, he knew he had to contact former Navy SEAL Robert J. O’Neill for a reaction.
After all, O’Neill was one of the SEALs responsible for grabbing as much intel as possible, as quickly as possible, after fatally shooting bin Laden during the raid.
O’Neill was nowhere near the studio when the news broke, but he was available for comment over the phone:
Hemmer: “Rob, you’ve seen a little bit of what has been released. Based on what you’ve read so far, what’s your takeaway?”
O’Neill: “I’m seeing our government showing us the difference between what bin Laden wanted and what ISIS is doing now. Bin Laden was smart, he was a figurehead. A little more popular than al-Baghdadi is. They (al Qaeda) were more of an elitist type group. They liked spectacular attacks. They wanted to take down the World Trade Center in ’93. They obviously did it in 2001. ISIS is more populist. They like the lone wolf stuff…being able to use social media…”
Hemmer: “Why do you think intelligence chose to put out this specific information?”
O’Neill: “Probably just to keep people a bit aware. I think possibly because there is so much bad news coming out of the Middle East…Libya, Egypt and obviously Syria and Iraq…”
Hemmer quotes from an AFP report, stating that the news organization has seen all the documents…
“Bin Laden is stunned by the Arab uprisings that erupted across the region from 2010, and urges his deputies to seize the moment of ‘revolution’ and rally Muslim youth.”
With that said, Hemmer debates O’Neill…
Hemmer: “That shows me he would support what ISIS is doing now.”
O’Neill: “Not necessarily. He was never big in the Muslim on Muslim violence. I think he wanted the bigger attacks…Muslims against Israel and obviously the United States. He was a little upset by the civil war after our invasion of Iraq.”