The Navy SEAL responsible for killing Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden reflected on the impact of the terrorist leader’s death a decade ago, saying there will never be “closure” for those who lost loved ones on Sept. 11.
Speaking with “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Saturday, former SEAL Team 6 member Rob O’Neill reflected on the momentous death of bin Laden, the terrorist leader responsible for orchestrating the attack on 9/11 that killed 2,977 people that day, with many thousands more injured.
“I think the impact was — there will never be closure for the people who lost so many on 9/11, but it helps with the healing process,” O’Neill told “Fox & Friends Weekend” hosts. “And I hear that all the time, from first responders, even priests who were there, people who lost loved ones who were on the phone when it cut off because a plane slammed into the tower, and it’s just one of those things.”
YORBA LINDA, CA – JULY 26: Robert O’Neill speaks onstage during book signing and lecture at Richard Nixon Library on July 26, 2017 in Yorba Linda, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images) (Getty Images)
“It needed to be done,” he continued. “It needed Americans there to finish Usama Bin Laden in his bedroom, and I was just fortunate to be that guy, but I was the member of one of the most amazing teams ever assembled, it was nothing but an honor to be asked to be a part of it, and I have no regrets about anything.”
SEAL Team 6 infiltrated bin Laden’s compound 10 years ago to the day, and O’Neill later claimed to be the man who killed the terrorist mastermind. O’Neill said that he can still “smell” the inside of bin Laden’s house.
Now, a decade later, the U.S. is pulling out of Afghanistan, but Al Qaeda has threatened to continue “a war on all fronts” until America has removed itself “from the rest of the Islamic world.”
O’Neill was critical of the post-9/11 response, saying that the U.S. military didn’t need to remain in the region and “surge,” and that “we should have had troops out of Afghanistan right around 2004.”
“I just saw a video of a woman being stoned to death in Afghanistan because she tried to get out of a forced marriage,” O’Neill said. “I don’t think we’re going to install Jeffersonian diplomacy and public schools.”
“We wanted to get Bin Laden, I’m glad we got Bin Laden — we sent a message that no matter who you are, how tough you think you are, we have men and women who will come get you.”
O’Neill revealed his role in Bin Laden’s death during a 2013 interview, but the Pentagon has never confirmed or denied O’Neill’s claims.