With pinpoint accuracy and utter secrecy, U.S. Navy SEALs accomplished something Americans had wanted for nearly a decade -- the capture and death of 9/11-mastermind Osama bin Laden.
The killing of the world's most wanted terrorist began with a tip from a detainee in Cuba's Guantanamo Bay prison.
Intelligence experts had long said that bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan. They were right. He was living within a compound in Abbottabad, 30 miles from the capital city of Islamabad. Nearby was a military training facility for Pakistani army cadets.
President Obama said that it took months to verify bin Laden's location.
"Finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action," the president said.
Just after midnight in Pakistan Sunday, 30 to 40 Seals flew across the border from Afghanistan on two U.S. helicopters
They dropped down onto the roof on ropes, secured the building and then a firefight ensued.
One eyewitness, Urdu Bedar Bakht, said he saw the Navy SEALs get out of the helicopters with lights shining from their weapons.
"First there was firing and shelling," he said. "And after that, helicopters arrived and people got out of them. They were commandos or something."
"They surrounded the compound, and after surrounding the compound, they stopped the local people from trying to reach the site," Bakht continued.
"It was dark and they had lights on the fronts of their guns," he recalled. "And speaking in Pashto, they said 'Go back.' After that they started the operation."
Bin Laden was reportedly ordered to surrender. When he refused, the Navy SEALs shot him in the head.
"It was very risky operation and a very courageous decision to do it, to fly all the way into Pakistan and into a city, the intelligence people who did this," ABC News consultant Richard Clarke said.
"The military people who did this were spectacular," he added. "And the courage of the president to make this very risky decision has to be commended."