The former Navy SEAL who ignited a controversy when he publicly claimed credit for killing Osama bin Laden is under investigation for possibly leaking official secrets, The Daily Beast has learned.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has received an allegation that Robert O’Neill, who recounted his role in the 2011 raid on bin Laden’s compound to several journalists, may have revealed classified information to people who weren’t authorized to receive it, according to individuals familiar with the matter. The NCIS has begun an investigation into the allegation to determine whether it has any merit.
The news that O’Neill is being investigated for potential criminal acts hasn’t been previously reported.
In previous interviews with The Daily Beast, former special operations officials, as well as other sources who are familiar with raid on bin Laden’s compound, accused O’Neill of misstating key facts and wrongly taking credit for killing the world’s then-most wanted man.
At issue is who fired the shot-or shots-that hit bin Laden in the head, splitting open his skull and almost certainly ending his life. O’Neill insists that he was the shooter. Fellow Seal Matt Bissonnette also claims to have shot bin Laden. But others say a still-unidentified man likely fired the round that caused a lethal head wound.
It wasn’t clear to whom specifically O’Neill is alleged to have disclosed classified information, or what that information was. Bissonnette, is already under investigation for revealing details about the bin Laden raid and technical aspects of special operations in a book, No Easy Day, which he declined to vet with military censors before publication.
O’Neill hasn’t written a book, but he has spoken with journalists about his role in the raid, and particular details about how it was conducted.
Read more at The Daily Beast.