THE death of al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden shocked the world.
US Navy Seals flew by helicopter from Afghanistan to Abbottabad in northern Pakistan, landed at the compound where the fugitive was holed out, stormed in and shot him dead.
But mystery still surrounds much of the incident, including burying the corpse at sea and details of the 10-year manhunt for Bin Laden.
One man qualified to shed some light in the issue is Chris Ryan.
The former SAS member turned author will be in Sunderland next month to sign copies of his new novel, Osama,
He told the Echo: “With a decade of experience of covert and overt operations, to my mind, something just does not add up.
“What struck me about the Osama raid was why kill the guy? It doesn’t make any military sense.
“You would take him out, get all the information you can from him.
“Everyone in the room who could have been a witness was killed too.
“So the idea of the book was that they go in and take him alive, but say that they killed him.
“Instead, he’s being interrogated in North America.
“Where it is fiction in terms of the actual raid is I had an SAS team setting a perimeter around the compound.
“When one member returns to Afghanistan, there’s some shadowy types trying to bump him off and it becomes a sort of manhunt back in the UK.
“For me, it made a good starting point for a novel.
“The most important thing once you’ve got the fiction side of it together, is to make it realistic and that comes from my experience in the SAS and the Army contacts I have now.”
Chris, who was born in Rowlands Gill and is now based in France, added: “Everyone I’ve spoken to in the military, while admittedly the British were not involved, has said no way did they kill him.
“It’s saying ‘I don’t believe you’. I don’t believe that man was killed that night.
“A bizarre thing during the writing of the book happened: a helicopter went down in Afghanistan, with a number of those involved in the operation on board.
“They couldn’t explain why they had lost a helicopter and around 20 crew.
“It’s a tragic coincidence, but it’s great for the conspiracy theorists.”
l Chris will be signing copies of Osama at Waterstones, The Bridges shopping centre, on Saturday, September 15 from noon.
To reserve a signed copy contact the bookshop on 0843 290 8621.
CHRIS Ryan made SAS history with the “longest escape and evasion by an SAS trooper or any other soldier”.
It happened when he was part of the now famous Bravo Two Zero patrol in Iraq, during the First Gulf War.
They were sent to the main supply route between Baghdad and north-western Iraq to take out the Scud Missile Launchers, but were discovered and forced to head towards Syria on foot.
Ryan completed a 300- kilometre trek to the Syrian Border.
Since leaving the SAS in 1994, Ryan has written several books, including The One That Got Away, his non-fiction account of the Bravo Two Zero mission.