To find out how the difference between a chain-link fence and a stone wall nearly spelled disaster for the Americans carrying out the raid to kill Osama bin Laden, pick up “Relentless: The Secret History of Joint Special Operations Command.” Or listen to these clips of Yahoo News’ interview with reporter Sean Naylor.
SEAL Team 6 practiced extensively for the May 2011 raid to kill the al-Qaida leader, notably in North Carolina at “an almost perfect replica” of bin Laden’s compound in the Pakistan garrison town of Abbottabad.
But “almost perfect” turned out to be a problem, Naylor explained in an interview broadcast on Sirius XM’s Channel 124.
The practice compound used a chain-link fence to stand in for the stone wall around the actual compound. But when the first of two specially modified helicopters hovered over the real compound the air flow was dramatically different, and the aircraft went down.
Naylor also details the use of elite American forces in Iraq, notably in the raid to capture Saddam Hussein. But he also describes in unprecedented detail their use of a bomb dubbed the “Xbox” to target Iraqi insurgents and their covert Iranian backers. They were designed to “never be traced back to U.S. forces,” Naylor said in the interview.
Naylor describes at some length the grueling training required for elite troops — including at the famous Area 51, ground zero for those who believe that the government has been hiding evidence of extraterrestrial life.
In the interview, Naylor sounded a warning note to any politicians who might think that the Joint Special Operations Command is a silver bullet to manage every challenge in the global war on terrorism.