Watching the Raid Was Like a Movie, the President Said. Except There Was No Live Audio.

Watching the Raid Was Like a Movie, the President Said. Except There Was No Live Audio.


“No,” Mr. Trump said in response to whether he had to make decisions on the fly. “We were getting full reports on literally a minute-by-minute basis. ‘Sir, we just broke in. Sir, the wall is down. Sir, you know, we’ve captured. Sir, two people are coming out right now. Hands up.’ ”

Then, Mr. Trump said, he was given a report: “‘Sir, there’s only one person in the building. We are sure he’s in the tunnel trying to escape.’”

“But it’s a dead-end tunnel,” Mr. Trump said he was told.

In the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader, in 2011, Leon E. Panetta, who then was serving as C.I.A. director, narrated the events unfolding in Abbottabad, Pakistan, to President Barack Obama and his national security advisers in the Situation Room.

Mr. Panetta was on a video screen as he spoke from C.I.A. headquarters, and was the one who informed the president when the Al Qaeda leader, code-named “Geronimo,” was positively identified by Navy SEALs as being in the house — and, later, when he was killed.

“Geronimo EKIA,” Mr. Panetta said, for Enemy Killed in Action.

It was unclear on Sunday whether Mr. al-Baghdadi similarly was given a code name for the Idlib raid.

Helene Cooper and Julian E. Barnes reported from Washington, and Thomas Gibbons-Neff from Kabul, Afghanistan.



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