Robert O'Neill, former U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six member who claims to have fired the fatal shots that killed al-Qaeda terror mastermind Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad Pakistan on May 2, 2011
Robert O'Neill, former U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six member who claims to have fired the fatal shots that killed al-Qaeda terror mastermind Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad Pakistan on May 2, 2011 Robert O'Neill, former U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six member who claims to have fired the fatal shots that killed al-Qaeda terror mastermind Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad Pakistan on May 2, 2011. Osama bin Laden The Navy SEAL who shot dead al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is now reportedly living in poverty after leaving the military four years short of being eligible to receive his pension, he claims.
Robert O'Neill, 38, from Montana, went public with his identity after meeting family members of 9/11 terror attack victims, he told the Washington Post. And now the heroic commando is saying he was left high and dry by the government he dedicated his life to serving.
"The families told me it helped bring them some closure," said O'Neill, of killing the al-Qaeda founder.
O'Neill will also be the subject of a two-part interview airing next week on Fox News, the network announced.
His identity was revealed in advance of the scheduled interviews by a Navy SEAL-run website as a form of protest over him planning to go public. It was also independently confirmed to the Post by two other Navy SEALs.
The former SEAL also told the Post he was concerned his identity would be made public by one of several members of government privy to the information.
O'Neill previously told reporters of his role in the assault, but only on condition his identity not be revealed. He was a member of the elite SEAL Team 6, often called on to perform the most dangerous of missions.
"There was bin Laden, standing there," the commando previously told Esquire. "He had his hands on a woman's shoulders pushing her ahead.
"In that second, I shot him, two times in the forehead," he recalled in the 2013 to the magazine. "Bap! Bap! The second time, as he is going down. He crumbled to the floor in front of his bed and I hit him again."
The terror mastermind died instantly after the first shot split his skull, O'Neill told the magazine.
O'Neill's career has inspired three movies: "Captain Phillips," about the rescue of a ship captain from Somali pirates; "Lone Survivor," which dramatized the hunt for Taliban leader Ahmad Shah; and "Zero Dark Thirty," about the bin Laden mission.
O'Neill now tours the country as a motivational speaker but claims he is barely making ends meet.
A man who earned more than 50 medals serving over 400 combat missions during his 16 years as a Navy SEAL does not even have health insurance, his father told the Daily Mail.
He also has no military pension.