msnbc   |  May 02, 2011

Graphics of bin Laden's compound released

Msnbc's Contessa Brewer talks with NBC's Bob Windrem about new details released in the operation to kill Osama bin Laden

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> team made a raid in pakistan where bin laden was hiding. a fire fight broke out and troops shot bin laden in the head. we're just getting in now a graphic of what this compound looked like, this layout. the walls, anywhere between 14 feet and 18 feet high. on the left-hand side of this, you can see where they burned the trash, so they would not send this out the way people typically do with their garbage and instead burning it so there was no remnants for any intelligence officers left to find. and osama bin laden , when he was captured there is the overhead shot of this compound, and after he was killed, rather, he was positively identified and then buried at sea, taken by the " carl vinson " and we're told gently lowered into the sea. moments ago the president spoke of what had been accomplished.

>> today we're reminded that as a nation, there is nothing we can't do when we put our shoulders to the wheel, when we work together, when we remember the sense of unity that defines us as americans.

>> nbc senior investigative producer bob windrum joins me here. what are you learning about how this operation unfolded, how technically advanced it needed to be?

>> one of the things that we have learned is that there was a live feed of the operation that was routed through the helicopter and back to the united states . and that the president himself and the director of national intelligence , james clapper , watched it in the situation room at the white house and leon panetta , the direct aor of the cia , had overall command of the operation, watched it in his conference room . it was narrated by admiral mccraven and telling them where things were going. there was somehow a camera on one of the 12 to 15 troops that went in there. we also believe it was a joint military cia operation that it was the s.e.a.l.s with support from the cia . so we have a lot of people who are very happy and very proud to have been part of this. but this is what the joint special operations command does.

>> it sounds as though this team went in, though, with no real intention to capture osama bin laden . is that your understanding? is that what you're hearing?

>> the default position has always been to kill him. when the first -- when the first attempt to go after him, after 9/11 began it was bring his body home in a -- bring his head home in a box. this has always been the position. the united states has never wanted to capture him, never wanted the big trial. they wanted to kill him.

>> there is a major reward on osama bin laden 's head. is there any indication now who might receive that award? we have been told that the courier was instrumental in passing along information that led to this raid. are you hearing anything about the money?

>> i'm not hearing anything. but there is a precedent when khalid sheikh mohammed was grabbed in 2003 , there was a u.s. -- or a pakistani who was working for the cia . and he was able to direct the cia to the home where khalid sheikh mohammed was staying. and i think at that point the reward on his head was $5 million. and he received it. and he was granted also asylum, i believe in the united states , though i'm not sure of that. so if, indeed, there was a pakistani who was helpful and is not part of al qaeda , then he might receive it. u.s. government employees, including the s.e.a.l.s, are not eligible for that.

>> i know there are probably a lost americans who would disagree with that and would like to see the navy s.e.a.l.s getting part of that monetary reward, but we think that they did a great job and we're certainly really proud of them. and the intelligence officers that helped lead us there, bob, thank you so much, for laying this all out.