The former Navy SEAL who claims to have shot and killed Osama bin Laden has been identified ahead of a highly anticipated Fox News interview in which he is expected to discuss his role in the historic raid, according to multiple news sources.
Robert O’Neill, a SEAL turned public speaker, has been named by the UK’s Daily Mail and the special operations community blogSOFrep.com as the member of SEAL Team 6 who fired the shots that killed bin Laden in a May 2011 raid on his compound in Abottabad, Pakistan.
O’Neill, a former senior chief, has earned two Silver Stars and four Bronze Stars with combat “V” among many other decorations, according to the Mail Online report. He left the service after 16 years.
Naval Special Warfare Command spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Mark Walton said he could not speculate on the identity of the Fox News interview subject. The command will respond after the interview airs, he said.
O’Neill and his family decided to reveal his role in the Navy SEAL’s most storied raid despite the risks. Tom O’Neill, Robert’s father, told the Mail Online, “People are asking if we are worried that ISIS will come and get us because Rob is going public. I say I’ll paint a big target on my front door and say come and get us.”
This revelation comes days after Rear Adm. Brian Losey, head of NSWC, and Force Master Chief Michael Magaraci issued areminder to special warfare sailors to stay out of the limelight when it comes to their service.
“At Naval Special Warfare’s core is the SEAL ethos,” according to the letter, which was obtained by Navy Times. “A critical tenant of our ethos is ‘I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions.’ Our ethos is a life-long commitment and obligation, both in and out of the service. Violators of our ethos are neither teammates in good standing, nor teammates who represent Naval Special Warfare.”
The letter came as former SEAL Team Six member Matt Bissonnette, under the pen name Mark Owen, appeared on the CBS show “60 Minutes” on Nov. 2 to discuss his legal troubles and the release of his second memoir about his time in the teams.
Fox News’ interview with O’Neill is set to air Nov. 11 and 12.
-Courtesy of Navy Times