Pakistani Man Unwittingly Live-Tweets Raid That Killed bin Laden

A Pakistani man named Sohaib Athar unwittingly became part of history in the early hours of Sunday morning when he started telling twitter about some odd events in Abbotabad, Pakistan

A Pakistani man named Sohaib Athar unwittingly became part of history in the early hours of Sunday morning when he started telling twitter about some odd events in Abbotabad, Pakistan:

Yesterday Sohaib Athar (@ReallyVirtual on Twitter) was just a “an IT consultant taking a break from the rat-race by hiding in the mountains”, specifically Abbottabad, northern Pakistan.

The IT contractor and graduate of Preston University (which would account for his excellent British-sounding English) also says he’s a ‘startup specialist’ on his LinkedIn profile.

But today he will become known as the guy who, while live-tweeting a series of helicopter flypasts and explosion, unwittingly covered the US forces helicopter raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound.

The entire exchange started with the note about helicopters copied above, but it wasn’t until the news broke late last night U.S. time that Athar realized what he’d witnessed:

Athar apparently didn’t think he did anything all that special:

 

And, by the end of his day, he was sounding a little (amusingly) frustrated:

Sorry dude, you’re part of history now.

FILED UNDER: Asia, Quick Takes, Science & Technology, Terrorism, World Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. jwest says:

    Although this real-time account is interesting, the most fascinating story will be the real life drama that took place in the situation room of the White House during the raid.

    It is safe to assume the Obama was fully briefed on the failed Iranian hostage mission that sealed Jimmy Carter’s position as the worst president in the history of the country. The tale of how helicopters broke down and crashed must have been heavy on Obama’s mind when military leaders outlined the plan to kill Bin Laden. To Obama’s credit, he approved the operation.

    As the raid began, it’s easy to imagine Obama and his top aides watching and listening to the transmissions coming from the strike team. The tension must have been palpable, as would be expected in a situation such as this. Then, at the critical moment, the word that one of the helicopters was malfunctioning and going down must have sucked the breath out each person in the room. Visions of a repeat of the Iranian debacle and Blackhawk Down would be the natural response.

    The account of what happened in that room at that moment would be a book I would buy.

    What were the thoughts of the individuals? What was the look on Obama’s face? This would be interesting to know.

  2. Montanareddog says:

    The IT contractor and graduate of Preston University (which would account for his excellent British-sounding English)

    Note that Preston University is a Pakistani institution (nothing to do with the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, England) so his attendance there would not really explain his accent.

  3. An Interested Party says:

    It is safe to assume the Obama was fully briefed on the failed Iranian hostage mission that sealed Jimmy Carter’s position as the worst president in the history of the country. The tale of how helicopters broke down and crashed must have been heavy on Obama’s mind when military leaders outlined the plan to kill Bin Laden. To Obama’s credit, he approved the operation.

    From a political/ideological standpoint, this news has taken the wind out of the already ridiculous theory that the president was Carter II…although I’m sure some of the usual suspects will still try to push that meme…