First time details of OBL raid reveal how close mission came to failure g Obama did not ask who shot Osama after meeting SEAL Team Six IT was the single most important US military mission of the last decade - capture or kill Osama bin Laden. With state-of-the-art technology and an unparalleled level of secrecy, every part of the mission had been planned to the second. But new details have emerged showing just how close run the fabled SEAL Team Six assault on bin Laden's hideout was, after the plan quickly fell apart, Daily Mail reported on Tuesday. Adding exclusive new details to the account of the assault, officials described just how the SEAL raiders were forced to ditch a foundering helicopter right outside the elusive terrorist's door, ruining the plan for a surprise assault. Speaking on condition of anonymity, officials close to the operation revealed how originally two SEAL teams were to enter Bin Laden's house separately - one from the roof and one from the ground. The aim was to 'squeeze' the terror mastermind as the raiders worked their way through the complex from both sides in search of their target. But almost immediately the raid ran into trouble after one of the specially adapted 'stealth' Blackhawk helicopters became unsteady and had to ditch - nose first - into the compound's courtyard. Loosing the element of surprise, the SEAL's switched to plan B as they busted into the ground floor and began a floor-by-floor storming of the house, working up to the top level where they had assumed bin Laden - if he was in the house - would be. It took approximately 15 minutes to reach bin Laden, one official said. The raiders came face-to-face with the Al-Qaeda leader in a hallway outside his bedroom, and three of the Americans stormed in after him, U.S. officials have revealed. Fearing he would detonate a suicide vest, the SEALS flung his wives aside before shooting him in the head and chest - known as 'double tapping'. The next 23 minutes were spent blowing up the broken Black Hawk, after rounding up nine women and 18 children, to get them out of range of the blast. The decision to launch on that moonless May 2 night came largely because too many American officials had been briefed on the plan and it was feared it could be leaked to the press and bin Laden would disappear yet again. The job was given to elite SEAL Team 6 unit, just back from Afghanistan, who had been hunting bin Laden in eastern Afghanistan since 2001. When the SEAL team met President Barack Obama, he did not ask who shot bin Laden but simply thanked each member of the team. In a few weeks, the team that killed bin Laden will go back to training, and in a couple of months, back to work overseas. Five aircraft flew from Jalalabad, Afghanistan, with three school-bus-size Chinook helicopters landing in a deserted area roughly two-thirds of the way to bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad. Aboard two Black Hawk helicopters were 23 SEALs, an interpreter and a tracking dog named Cairo. Nineteen SEALs would enter the compound, and three of them would find bin Laden, one official said, with two dozen more SEALs there as backup. The Black Hawks were specially engineered to muffle the tail rotor and engine sound. The added weight of the stealth technology meant cargo was calculated to the gram, with weather factored in. The Black Hawks were to drop the SEALs and depart in less than two minutes, in hopes locals would assume they were Pakistani aircraft visiting the nearby military academy. One was to hover above the compound, with SEALs sliding down ropes into the open courtyard, while the other was to hover above the roof to drop SEALs there, then land more SEALs outside, plus an interpreter and the dog, who would track anyone who tried to escape and to alert SEALs to any approaching Pakistani security forces. If troops appeared, the plan was to hunker down in the compound, avoiding armed confrontation with the Pakistanis while officials in Washington negotiated their passage out. The two SEAL teams inside would work toward each other, in a simultaneous attack from above and below, their weapons silenced, guaranteeing surprise, one of the officials said. They would have stormed the building in a matter of minutes, as they'd done time and again in two training models of the compound. But the plan unravelled as the first helicopter tried to hover over the compound. The Black Hawk skittered around uncontrollably because of the hot weather and the heat-thinned air forced the pilot to land. As he did, the tail and rotor got caught on one of the compound's 12ft high walls. The pilot quickly buried the aircraft's nose in the dirt to keep it from tipping over, and the SEALs rushed into an outer courtyard. The other aircraft did not even attempt hovering, landing its SEALs outside the compound. Now, the raiders were outside, and they'd lost the element of surprise. They had trained for this, and started blowing their way in with explosives, through walls and doors, working their way up the three-level house from the bottom. They had to blow their way through barriers at each stair landing, firing back, as one of the men in the house fired at them. They shot three men as well as one woman, whom U.S. officials have said lunged at the SEALs. Small knots of children were on every level, including the balcony of bin Laden's room. As three of the SEALs reached the top of the steps on the third floor, they saw bin Laden standing at the end of the hall, before he ducked into his room. The three SEALs assumed he was going for a weapon, and one by one they rushed after him through the door, one official described. Two women were in front of bin Laden - yelling and trying to protect him, two officials said. The first SEAL grabbed the two women and shoved them away, fearing they might be wearing suicide bomb vests, they said. The SEAL behind him opened fire at bin Laden, putting one bullet in his chest, and one in his head. Back at the White House Situation Room, word was relayed that bin Laden had been found, signalled by the code word 'Geronimo.' That was not bin Laden's code name, but rather a representation of the letter 'G.' Each step of the mission was labelled alphabetically, and 'Geronimo' meant that the raiders had reached step 'G,' the killing or capture of bin Laden, two officials said. As the SEALs began photographing the body for identification, the raiders found an AK-47 rifle and a Russian-made Makarov pistol on a shelf by the door they'd just run through. Bin Laden hadn't touched them. They were among a handful of weapons that were removed to be inventoried. One of the waiting Chinooks flew in to pick up bin Laden's body, the raiders from the broken aircraft and the weapons, documents and other materials seized at the site. The level of distrust between the U.S. and Pakistan is such that keeping the allies in the dark was a major factor in planning the raid, and led to using the high-tech but sometimes unpredictable helicopter technology that nearly unhinged the mission.