A new book claiming to provide a former U.S. Navy SEAL's first-person account of the raid that resulted in Osama bin Laden's death last May is casting doubt on what administration officials said happened, and gives way to more questions than it answers.
Various media received leaked copies of the much-anticipated "No Easy Day," in which the former SEAL Team Six member, who wrote under the pseudonym Mark Owen, described how an allegedly unarmed bin Laden was already fatally shot in the head in a room at his Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound before the service members entered.
Owen, whose book will be in store next month, has been identified by Fox News as Matt Bissonnette, 36, of Wrangell, Alaska.
Already Fatally Wounded
Owen says he was among the Team 6 members who were climbing a narrow staircase behind a "point man." The point man saw a man poke his head out of a doorway and fired. It wasn't immediately sure whether the target was hit.
"The man disappeared into the dark room," according to the Huffington Post, the first to receive a copy of the book.
When team members got to the room they saw a woman crying over bin Laden's body. The book reportedly described the terrorist group leader as being dressed in a white sleeveless T-shirt, loose tan pants and a tan tunic.
"Blood and brains spilled out of the side of his skull," Owen wrote, adding that bin Laden was still twitching so another SEAL fired several rounds into his chest.
"The bullets tore into him, slamming his body into the floor until he was motionless."
Two guns with empty chambers were found when the apartment was search. Owen said the team wasn't fired upon.
Administration officials who spoke immediately following the raid said there was a firefight with the Navy SEALs. The White House later said bin Laden was unharmed but was resisting capture when a SEAL member shot him twice from across the room.
The Pentagon has told Reuters it has a copy of the book, which wasn't cleared by defense officials, and it is being reviewed. Reports are that they will be looking to see if the book contains classified information.
But the author told the Associated Press he wouldn't release information that would "compromise national security."