SOFREP, a well-regarded website dedicated to covering the US special forces community, published a story on Monday naming a former member of Navy SEAL Team 6 as the person who will claim to have shot Al Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden in a Fox News documentary later this month.
The site released the name following a letter sent by two leaders of US Naval Special Warfare Command to their team members on Friday in which they criticised any SEAL who would violate the elite force’s “ethos” and go public about a mission.
That letter, also published by SOFREP, came two days after the announcement of the Fox News documentary, which will be titled “The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden” and is set to air in two parts on Nov. 11 and 12.
According to SOFREP editor and former Army Ranger Jack Murphy, the site spoke to “two independent sources” within the Navy Special Warfare Command “community” to verify that the person named in their story is the same one who will claim to be Bin Laden’s killer on Fox News.
Business Insider is not naming the person identified by SOFREP as we have not confirmed his identity and he did not respond to our multiple requests for comment.
Murphy also said SOFREP confirmed the person named on the site was the same man who participated in an interview published in the March 2013 issue of Esquire where he was identified as “the man who shot and killed Osama bin Laden” during a raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011.
The person named by SOFREP has previously appeared at public events where he was described as being a member of the elite SEAL team that participated in the operation that left the world’s most wanted terrorist leader dead. In his public comments and social-media pages, the person in question indicated he had left the Navy in 2012, the same date Esquire indicated the SEAL, who has become known as “The Shooter,” ended his military service.
In his statement to Business Insider, Murphy noted this person’s alleged participation in the Esquire article means that, along with author Matt Bissonette, he is one of “the only two members of DEVGRU’s Red Squadron publicly speaking to date about their experiences” on the “sensitive” Bin Laden mission.
In 2012, Bissonette wrote a book about his participation in the raid. Earlier this summer, the Justice Department launched a criminal investigation into whether he leaked classified material.
Fox News announced plans for “The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden” last Wednesday. According to the network’s press release, the broadcast will feature “an exclusive interview with the Navy SEAL who says he fired the shots that killed” Bin Laden.
After Fox News revealed plans for the documentary, Navy Commander Amy Derrick-Frost, a Department of Defence spokesperson, released a statement to Business Insider wherein she noted the SEAL who shot Bin Laden would be subject to non-disclosure agreements that all military servicemembers sign.
Derrick-Frost also suggested “The Shooter” should not participate in a television interview.
“If in fact this individual was associated with the military unit that carried out the UBL raid, which is yet to be determined, he is still bound by his non-disclosure agreement to not discuss classified information, especially in a nationally televised interview,” Derrick-Frost said.
Business Insider reached out to Fox News after SOFREP published the story naming the person who will allegedly appear in the network’s documentary.
A Fox News spokesperson declined to confirm whether the site had indeed identified the person who will appear on the network. The Fox News representative indicated the government has not attempted to block the documentary.
“FOX News has not been contacted by the Department of Defence or any other government agency expressing concern about The Man Who Killed Usama Bin Laden special and we have every intention of airing it as planned on November 11th and 12th,” the Fox News spokesperson said. “Furthermore, we will not confirm the identity of the NAVY Seal who is interviewed in the program prior to its airing.”
The Pentagon did not respond to requests for comment from Business Insider about the SOFREP story.
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