One of Osama bin Laden's wives stood between the bullets of US Navy SEALs and the most wanted terrorist in the world on Sunday's raid in Pakistan.
More details emerged of the life and dramatic death of bin Laden after US President Barak Obama announced that the al-Qaida leader had been killed.
Obama, while assured bin Laden probably was in the compound, did not know with certainty that the 10-year hunt for the notorious leader was at an end until his body was carried to one of four U.S. Special Operations helicopters
On Monday the president said the terrorist mastermind's death was a good day for America.
Officials said DNA testing well used to confirm that it was in fact bin Laden who was killed in a raid.
Photo analysis by the CIA, confirmation by a woman believed to be one of bin Laden's wives on site, and matching physical features like bin Laden's height also helped.
White House officials were deciding the merits and appropriateness of releasing a photo of bin Laden's body. He was shot above his left eye, blowing away part of his skull.
The world is safer. It is a better place because of the death of Osama bin Laden, Obama said, although security officials in the U.S. and around the globe warned against retaliatory al-Qaida attacks.
Crowds celebrated throughout the night outside the White House and at ground zero in Lower Manhattan where the Twin Towers once stood.
Obama was planning to visit there Thursday and meet with the families of those killed nearly 10 years ago, an administration official said.
Both Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said cooperation from the Pakistani government had helped lead U.S. forces to the compound where he died.
But a cloud of suspicion hangs over Pakistan, where authorities have routinely denied bin Laden was in the country.