The CIA’s museum in Langley, Virginia, posses a “special” artifact: the AK-47 of Osama bin Laden, a weapon that was found beside the former al-Qaeda leader’s dead body after he was killed by US Navy SEALs in Operation Neptune Spear in 2011.
The non-public CIA museum contains gadgets, trophies, spyware and artifacts from the past 70 years, including pieces from World War II and the War on Terror. The museum is closed to the public, but NBC News became the first media organization permitted to bring digital and video cameras into the facility.
The Russian AK-47 with counterfeit Chinese markings was recovered from the Abbottabad compound where bin Laden was killed in a midnight raid, and recently put on display at the museum, according to the exclusive NBC report. For first time, a public photos emerged.
Museum Curator Toni Hiley said the Chinese markings remain a mystery, but a Central Intelligence Agency analyst has concluded that the weapon definitively belonged to bin Laden. And btw. who cares, who manufactured it.
“This is the rifle that was recovered from the third floor of the Abbottabad compound by the assault team,” Hiley said. “Because of its proximity to (bin Laden) there on the third floor in the compound, our analyst determined it to be his. It’s a Russian AK with counterfeit Chinese markings.”
The CIA has not provided specific information on how the weapon was obtained or whether it was loaded when it was found. An anonymous source told NBC that it came from the “dark side” of the agency, referring to the operations staff that worked with the SEALS on the raid. The movie “Zero Dark Thirty” shows a member of the assault team taking the weapon from a shelf above bin Laden’s bed. But Hiley said she knows nothing aside from the fact that former CIA Director Leon Panetta requested it and that it is in good working condition. It is not the same weapon that bin Laden was carrying in his anti-American propaganda videos.
These days is actual story around revealing top-secret informations about Operation Neptune Spear and Bin Laden compound raid, so it remains to be seen what will be broadcasted in newest Fox Documentary which contains interview with Navy SEAL who raided compound. He will definetly know how this AK-47 was obtained.
Images are obtained from SiaSat.pk/forum and are property of NBC News.