Ex-SEAL says he wanted to give 9/11 victims' families closure

The former Navy SEAL who is alleging he killed Osama bin Laden said he wanted to step forward and discuss the raid to give the families of 9/11 victims closure. 

""There’s going to be people that are upset because you can’t do anything without upsetting some people. I don’t know why that is," Robert O'Neill said in part two of a highly-publicized Fox News interview Wednesday evening. 


He said he went to the 9/11 Memorial Museum to donate the shirt and a flag he wore on the mission, and to go on a private tour. 

He said he asked a camera crew to document the tour because it was historic, on the condition the footage was not released until he was comfortable revealing his identify. 

After the tour, they walked into a room with a stage and about 25 family members of first responders, who applauded. He wasn't prepared to speak, he said, but told them the story of bin Laden dying. 

Families tearfully thanked O'Neill, saying, "You didn't close a chapter, you closed a book on the worst thing that's ever happened to me." 

He said the reason the SEAL team members had gone on the mission knowing they were probably not going to return was for the families of those who were killed on September 11, 2001.

"I thought that it would be irresponsible of me not to give everyone else closure, that it's over," O'Neill said. 

O'Neill said there were photos of bin Laden after he was killed, but he didn't think Americans needed to see them. 

"They don't need to know what it looks like. A lot of people don't need that image," he said, adding that they just needed to know that justice was done. 

Earlier in the interview, O'Neill detailed the flight to the compound where they believed bin Laden was hiding in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 1, 2011. 

He said once they entered Pakistan, there was a feeling of uncertainty whether they would be shot down by the Pakistan military. 

"We don't know if they can see us or not, but if they do, they can justifiably shoot us down," he said. "It's a weird feeling to know I can take a missile and blow up at any time." 

He recalled a quote from former President George W. Bush on 9/11: "Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward. Freedom will be defended." 

O'Neill detailed what he saw, as he advanced towards the third floor where bin Laden was believed to be. 

He said he was the seventh guy back from entering the second floor, but everyone except for him and a SEAL in front of him had peeled off to clear rooms on the second floor.

The SEAL in front indicated he wanted to advance to the third floor, O'Neill said, and they both went upstairs. 

As they advanced towards the third floor, he thought, "This is the room that's going to blow up. Let's get it over with." 

He said the SEAL in front of him tackled two women who were standing in the room, out of fear they were wearing explosive vests. 

O'Neill said standing two feet in front of him, with his hands on his wife in front of him, "was the face I had seen thousands of times. It was UBL."

He said he shot bin Laden in the face three times. "Very quickly, it was pop, pop, pop." 

On the flight back, he recalled a veteran SEAL from New York City yelling, "Who shot him, who got him?" 

O'Neill recalled, "I said I think I did. He said, 'On behalf of my family, thank you.'" 

He said that coming from a "super bad ass SEAL" was the point where he thought, "It's kind of a big deal." 

As a present to the CIA analyst that tracked down the compound, O'Neill gave her his magazine from the gun he used to kill bin Laden. 

O'Neill said there could be someone who speaks out against his story, and addressed a book "No Easy Day" by former SEAL Mark Bissonette, which offers a different account. 

"I think war is foggy and I think that the author is telling the story as he saw it,'' O'Neill said.

O'Neill said he was worried about his personal safety since coming out with his story, but added, "Yes there's personal risk but I've accepted personal risk before. It's bigger than me. It's not about me."