TODAY | May 02, 2011
>> know more about how the special forces operation went down in pakistan. jim miklaszewski is at the pentagon. what can you tell us?
>> reporter: good morning. remarkingly u.s. intelligence officials weren't certain that osama bin laden was at the north of islamabad. according to one official, no smoking gun put him there but the evidence was compelling enough for president obama to give navy seals the green light to attack. friday morning, minutes before leaving the white house to inspect tornado damage in alabama, president obama gave the order to launch the operation to kill osama bin laden . more than two daily planets later, u.s. special operations forces attacked bin laden 's heavily fortified compound at abbottabad north of islamabad. 1:00 a.m . monday morning, in a scene straight out of an action thriller u.s. helicopters loaded with american commandos closed in for the kill. on approach, one helicopter had mechanical problems and crash-landed but no one on board was hurt. within seconds the two special forces teams flooded the compound and came under heavy fire. it was obvious bin laden would not be taken alive. u.s. officials say armed with an automatic rifle the al qaeda leader fired on the americans who then shot and killed bin laden .
>> then the first bang came. three other consecutive bangs and a fifth final bang which made the sky orange. that's when i had to duck. i thought, this is something really big.
>> reporter: in the exchange the navy seals killed two al qaeda couriers and one of bin laden 's adult sons. one woman, who the al qaeda gunmen used as a human shield , was also shot and killed. the americans loaded bin laden 's body on a helicopter to be transferred to afghanistan. nearly ten years after 9/11 the operation to kill bin laden was over in 40 minutes. now, bin laden 's body was buried at sea, in part to prevent any gravesite from becoming a shrine to terrorists. before that, intelligence analysts made detailed comparisons to photos of bin laden to make sure that it was him and as to make a positive identification that it was bin laden , dna testing should be completed later today . matt?