Despite fears he may be attacked,the Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden dead in the special force's most famous operation can be named today.
The Navy hero agreed to be interviewed on a Fox News special next week called 'The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden. In it he will talk of his training, and detail the mission to take out the al Qaeda leader.
MailOnline has established that he is Rob O'Neill, a highly-decorated veteran who quit after 16 years service.O'Neill's decision to speak out was prompted by losing some of his military benefits by quitting the SEALs after 16 years rather than staying for a full 20 years of service.However his decision to speak is at the center of huge controversy.
In an exclusive interview Rob's father, Tom O'Neill, tells MailOnline....
He is not allowed to talk, yet they are using this big bullhorn to shut him up,'I support him in everything he is doing,'What are you supposed to do when you come out of the military after such service — become a greeter at Walmart?' 'People are asking if we are worried that ISIS will come and get us because Rob is going public. I say I'll paint a big target on my front door and say come and get us.My ex-wife gave birth to a man. We shouldn't be cowering in fear.'
Rob O'Neill, 38, is a former member of SEAL Team Six who has been portrayed on screen in Zero Dark Thirty, Captain Phillips and Lone Survivor.He is one of the most distinguished members ever of the elite force - but now faces being frozen out of its circles for revealing its most closely-held secrets.
O'Neill was personally congratulated for killing bin Laden - in his account at close range with three shots to his forehead - during the SEAL raid on Abbottobad, in Pakistan, on 2 May 2011.
O'Neill's father says he cannot understand the fuss.
For O'Neill, the threat is a devastating fall from a position as a national — if unknown — hero.
Although he had previously been interviewed about the shooting of bin Laden, he remained entirely discreet about his role.However being an unsung hero was not enough.
But deciding to speak publicly may surprise some. In the Esquire interview his wife spoke about her concerns over a retaliatory attack.
'Personally I feel more threatened by a potential retaliatory terror attack on our community than I did eight years ago,' his wife said in 2013.
At the time the couple were estranged. Their marital status is now unclear.
'We're actually looking into changing my name,' his wife.Changing the kids' names, taking my husband's name off the house, paying off our cars. Essentially deleting him from our lives, but for safety reasons. We still love each other.'
O'Neill also described how he had instructed his wife in how to protect their children, and jep a 'blot bag' ready in case they had to flee at any time.
|Bin Laden in his hideout|