Posts tagged compound
Hamza Bin Laden, ‘Crown Prince Of Terror,’ May Have Escaped Raid.
It seems one of bin Laden’s sons may have escaped the Abbottabad compound raid.
Deemed the “Crown Prince of Terror,” Hamza bin Laden, 19, may have escaped the attack. According to the Telegraph, three of bin Laden’s widows, currently being interrogated Pakistani custody, have said that Hamza has not been seen since the raid.
While White House officials originally claimed that Hamza was killed, they later amended their statement saying that his 22-year-old brother, Khalid, was instead killed.
The report of Hamza’s escape runs contrary to U.S. officials who say they are “absolutely confident” that no one escaped the compound, according to ABC News. Infrared technology in addition to reports from those on the ground apparently confirmed that nobody got away during the raid. Officials maintain that the only body that was taken away by the SEALs belonged to Osama bin Laden.
Hamza is the youngest of bin Laden’s suspected 20 or so children, according to CBS News. He was a close confidant of his father and has become know for his outspokenness against Western nations.
Though just who was living in the compound is unconfirmed, it is believed that Hamza’s mother is among those being held by Pakistani officials.
He has been implicated in the 2007 assassination of Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto, according to the Telegraph.’ Many believe he was being groomed to become the next leader of al-Qaeda.
Black Hawk: Experts Say Navy SEALs Used Stealth Helicopter In Bin Laden Mission.
As photographs of the wreckage left behind at Osama bin Laden’s million-dollar Abbottabad compound continue to surface, aviation experts are speculating that the U.S. military deployed a custom stealth version of the famous Black Hawk helicopter in its operation to execute the terrorist leader.
According to a retired special operations aviator speaking with the Army Times, Navy SEALs utilized a “radar-evading variant of the special operations MH-60 Black Hawk” to complete the mission.
The top-secret helicopter model was supposedly modified to minimize detection and reduce rotor noise.
“Images of the wreckage of a helicopter that reportedly crashed during the operation, apparently due to an undisclosed technical malfunction, do not conform to any types that are known to be in service with the US military or in development,” IHS Jane’s reported.
Experts believe that special operations officers attempted to demolish the aircraft after it suffered damages during the mission, and although they were largely successful, explosives left the helicopter’s tail boom, tail rotor assembly and horizontal stabilizers intact.
“No wonder the team tried to destroy it,” Aviation Week said, adding that although the aircraft used for the mission does appear to be classified, “stealth helicopter technology in itself is not new and was applied extensively to the RAH-66 Comanche.”
The U.S. military introduced the classic Black Hawk in 1979.
Cruise Missile Slams Gadhafi’s Compound Near Tent.
TRIPOLI, Libya — A cruise missile blasted Moammar Gadhafi’s residential compound in an attack that carried as much symbolism as military effect, and fighter jets destroyed a line of tanks moving on the rebel capital. The U.S. said the international assault would hit any government forces attacking the opposition.
Oil prices jumped to near $103 a barrel Monday in Asia after the Libyan leader vowed a “long war” amid a second night of allied strikes in the OPEC nation.
It was not known where Gadhafi was when the missile hit near his iconic tent late Sunday, but it seemed to show that while the allies trade nuances over whether the Libyan leader’s fall is a goal of their campaign - he is not safe.Half of the round, three-story administration building was knocked down, smoke was rising from it and pieces of the missile were scattered around, according to Associated Press photographer escorted to the scene by the Libyan government. About 300 Gadhafi supporters were in the compound at the time. It was not known if any were hurt.The U.S. military said the bombardment so far - a rain of Tomahawk cruise missiles and precision bombs from American and European aircraft, including long-range stealth B-2 bombers - had hobbled Gadhafi’s air defenses.
In addition to targeting anti-aircaft sites, U.S., British and French planes also went after tanks headed toward Benghazi, in the opposition-held eastern half of the country. On Sunday, at least seven demolished tanks smoldered in a field 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of Benghazi, many of them with their turrets and treads blown off, alongside charred armored personnel carriers, jeeps and SUVs of the kind used by Gadhafi fighters.
“I feel like in two days max we will destroy Gadhafi,” said Ezzeldin Helwani, 35, a rebel standing next to the smoldering wreckage of an armored personnel carrier, the air thick with smoke and the pungent smell of burning rubber. In a grisly sort of battle trophy, celebrating fighters hung a severed goat’s head with a cigarette in its mouth from the turret of one of the gutted tanks.The strikes that began early Sunday gave respite to Benghazi, which the day before had been under a heavy attack that killed at least 120 people. The calm highlighted the dramatic turnaround that the allied strikes bring to Libya’s month-old upheaval: For the past 10 days, Gadhafi’s forces had been on a triumphant offensive against the rebel-held east, driving opposition fighters back with the overwhelming firepower of tanks, artillery, warplanes and warships.
Now Gadhafi’s forces are potential targets for U.S. and European strikes. The U.N. resolution authorizing international military action in Libya not only sets up a no-fly zone but allows “all necessary measures” to prevent attacks on civilians.
But the U.S. military, for now at the lead of the international campaign, is trying to walk a fine line over the end game of the assault. It is avoiding for now any appearance that it aims to take out Gadhafi or help the rebels oust him, instead limiting its stated goals to protecting civilians.
At the Pentagon, Navy Vice Adm. William E. Gortney underlined that strikes are not specifically targeting the Libyan leader or his residence in Tripoli. He said that any of Gadhafi’s ground forces advancing on the rebels were open targets.
“If they are moving on opposition forces … yes, we will take them under attack,” he told reporters.
“We judge these strikes to have been very effective in significantly degrading the regime’s air defense capability,” Gortney said. “We believe his forces are under significant stress and suffering from both isolation and a good deal of confusion.”
A military official said Air Force B-2 stealth bombers flew 25 hours in a round trip from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and dropped 45 2,000-pound bombs.
What happens if rebel forces eventually go on the offensive against Gadhafi’s troops remains unclear. Gortney would not say whether strikes would hit Libyan troops fighting back against rebel assaults.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said late Sunday that the U.S. expects turn over control of the operation to a coalition headed by France, Britain or NATO “in a matter of days,” reflecting concern that the U.S. military was stretched thin by its current missions. Turkey was blocking NATO action, which requires agreement by all 28 members of the alliance.
Sunday night, heavy anti-aircraft fire erupted repeatedly in the capital, Tripoli, with arcs of red tracer bullets and exploding shells in the dark sky - marking the start of a second night of international strikes. Gadhafi supporters in the streets shot automatic weapons in the air in a show of defiance. It was not immediately known what was being targeted in the new strikes.
Libyan army spokesman Col. Milad al-Fokhi said Libyan army units had been ordered to cease fire at 9 p.m. local time, but the hour passed with no letup in military activity.
Gadhafi vowed to fight on. In a phone call to Libyan state television Sunday, he said he would not let up on Benghazi and said the government had opened up weapons depots to all Libyans, who were now armed with “automatic weapons, mortars and bombs.” State television said Gadhafi’s supporters were converging on airports as human shields.
“We promise you a long war,” he said.
Throughout the day Sunday, Libyan TV showed a stream of what it said were popular demonstrations in support of Gadhafi in Tripoli and other towns and cities. It showed cars with horns blaring, women ululating, young men waving green flags and holding up pictures of the Libyan leader. Women and children chanted, “God, Moammar and Libya, that’s it!”
“Our blood is green, not red,” one unidentified woman told the broadcaster, referring to the signature color of Gadhafi’s regime. “He is our father, we will be with him to the last drop of blood. Our blood is green with our love for him.”