Navy Seal who killed Osama bin Laden felt huge guilt after doing it in front of his son
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Featured Image Credit: Joe Budden TV/YouTube/World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo
The Navy Seal who killed Osama bin Laden said he felt huge guilt after carrying out the execution in front of the terrorist's son.
Rob O'Neill participated in Operation Neptune Spear, which saw the US's elite Seal Team Six successfully locating and killing the founder and first leader of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda.
Bin Laden was fatally shot at his compound in the city of Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 2, 2011.
O'Neill recently appeared on Joe Budden's YouTube series where he opened up about his life story, having gone from being an unassuming kid from Montana to one of the government’s most skilled assassins.
Although his involvement in the killing was a major achievement in his books, the 46-year-old said he suffered emotional repercussions after the mission.
When Budden asked if he'd killed anyone in front of their kids, O'Neill replied, "Yeah, I killed Osama bin Laden in front of his son."
The former Navy Seal continued: "I just killed Osama bin Laden, and I saw his two-year-old kid, and as a father... I just killed the number one terrorist in the world, and I looked at him and I thought, 'This poor kid has nothing to do with this.'
"And I actually picked him up... Put him over next to his mum on the bed. Two years old, nothing to do with it. He didn't even know how to speak yet."
Detailing the impact it has had on him, O'Neill said that 'stuff like that comes in waves' and he didn't sleep well after the incident.
"I have great days, I'm a positive person," he said. "But you can have a minute, I can close my eyes and see bin Laden's bedroom anytime I want."
Although there's some controversy over whether O'Neill was the sole person to have killed bin Laden, there's no denying his involvement in the mission.
He's been outspoken about the case, saying the assassination was something that 'needed to be done'.
The late al-Qaeda leader was held responsible for numerous deadly acts of terrorism, including the September 11 attacks against the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in 2001 that killed 2,977 people.
Reflecting on the terrorist's death last year, he told Fox News: "It needed Americans there to finish Osama bin Laden in his bedroom, and I was just fortunate to be that guy.
"But I was the member of one of the most amazing teams ever assembled, it was nothing but an honour to be asked to be a part of it, and I have no regrets about anything."
O’Neill expressed his opinion that the death of bin Laden may have 'help[ed] with the healing process' for those impacted by 9/11, though he said 'there will never be closure for the people who lost so many' during the attack.
He continued: "And I hear that all the time, from first responders, even priests who were there, people who lost loved ones who were on the phone when it cut off because a plane slammed into the tower, and it’s just one of those things."