The nation's top special operations commander ordered military files about the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout to be purged from Defense Department computers and sent to the CIA, where they could be more easily shielded from ever being made public.
CLEVELAND - As a U.S. Navy SEAL, Lakewood High School graduate, Christopher Mark Heben, has spent time all over the world. During his service from 1996 to 2006, Heben was in, among other places, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq. Heben also spent time in Pakistan, near where Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad.
Heben appeared on Good Morning Cleveland Monday to provide insight into the special operations mission that killed Al Qaeda's leader bin Laden on Sunday.
SEALs are the U.S. Navy's special operations force and were the ones responsible for killing Al Qaeda's leader, Osama bin Laden on Sunday. It was a mission that had been planned for months.
"As the intelligence gets verified and counter-verified and triangulated, a clear picture emerges of what exactly is the situation," Heben said. "Then they'll sit on it and let it develop and they'll pick an opportune time to enact the plan and obviously they felt that within the last 48 hours was an opportune time."
Heben said that initial intelligence gathering on bin Laden's whereabouts took place sometime around August. More recently, military personnel were likely staged on the periphery of the region and there was likely a predator drone flying overhead to get pictures and video of the area.
"That compound was almost a sore spot in that region. It was very unusual. It was heavily fortified," Heben said. "There was multiple layers of security which is very unusual. Usually you have one big wall around the perimeter."
The SEALs' role in bin Laden's death is one for which they are always prepared.
"A lot of times you'll actually sleep with your equipment on, other than your weapon, so you just grab it and go," Heben said. "There's a lot of standby that takes place but there comes a point when you know it's a go and things happen really fast at that point. Navy SEALs are very precise shooters. We call is surgical shooting. It's just very, very precise."
While video of American celebrations were shown from the White House and in Times Square, Heben says that he's wary of the jubilation.
"By no means is this the end. I fear that it could be the beginning of a larger tsunami of sorts."
Heben currently serves as the Executive Vice President and COO of Medical Security International in Cleveland. His company provides "life saving products and training" to police and fire departments, helicopter crews, first responders and other emergency personnel.
The entire interview with Chris Heben can be seen above. If using the newsnet5.com mobile app, click on the video tab to see the interivew.
More bin Laden Coverage
A federal appeals court is backing the U.S. government's decision not to release photos and video taken of Osama bin Laden during and after a raid in which the terrorist leader was killed by U.S. commandos.