Washington: The dead body of Osama bin Laden was identified by a young girl who was in the room where he was killed after his wives refused to name the elusive al-Qaeda chief, a new book by an ex-US Navy Seal has claimed.
Matt Bissonnette, 36, in his tell-all account of the operation titled 'No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden', has described the moment his team discovered the terrorist leader was dead.
Bissonnette, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen, claims that bin Laden was shot before the team reached the room he was hiding out in, taken out by a point man as he peered through a doorway, but the SEALS couldn't get any of the witnesses to identify the 'most wanted man in the world', until they grilled a young girl who had witnessed the killing.
Bissonnette alleged he was the second man to step inside the room and find a man lying on the ground, surrounded by two hysterical women, later revealed to be two of his wives.
Three children, likely to have been bin Laden's own offspring, were cowering in the corner, the British newspaper Daily Mail reported.
"He was wearing a white sleeveless T-shirt, loose tan pants and a tan tunic," he wrote.
"The point man's shots had entered the right side of his head. Blood and brains spilled out of the side of his skull. In his death throes he was still twitching and convulsing," the account says.
Bissonnette and his teammate, named 'Tom' in the book, then fired a series of rounds into his chest to ensure he was dead. Examining the body, the pair became convinced they had killed Bin Laden.
"The man's face was mangled from at least one bullet and covered in blood. His chest was torn up. I started to wipe blood away from his face using a blanket from the bed. With each swipe, the face became more familiar," he wrote.
"It was strange to see such an infamous face up close. Lying in front of me was the reason we had been fighting for the last decade," he added.
As they photographed and took DNA samples, an Arabic speaking SEAL, called 'Will' in the book, began interrogating the women, one of whom was bin Laden's fifth wife Amal al-Fatah. But they just listed off a series of aliases, refusing to name bin Laden, so 'Will' turned to the children.
"(Will) went over to the kids who were outside on the balcony. (He) knelt down and asked one of the girls, 'Who is the man?' The girl didn't know to lie. 'Osama bin Laden.' Will smiled. 'Are you sure that is Osama bin Laden?' 'Yes, the girl said," Bissonnette wrote.
Armed with confirmation, the Seals relayed the 'Geronimo' message to their superior officers and to President Barack Obama that the target had been killed.