NBC News reports that users on websites affiliated with al-Qaeda have posted the name and photo of an American Navy SEAL who led the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The New York Times reported this week that the SEAL, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen, wrote a book documenting the events of the raid — news that came as a surprise to the industry and even the U.S. government.
Fox News yesterday revealed Owen’s true identity and Business Insider published photos. Now it appears al-Qaeda affiliates and/or sympathizers are looking for revenge:
Users on several militant Islamic websites affiliated with al-Qaida have posted the name and photo of a former Navy SEAL identified as the author of an upcoming book on the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The posts called for his “destruction” in revenge for the al-Qaida founder’s killing.
Among the website publishing the death threats was the “Al-Fidaa” web forum, which al-Qaida uses to distribute its media and public communications, said Evan Kohlmann, an NBC News consultant and a terrorism analyst at Flashpoint Partners, a global security firm.
Even in the aftermath of the raid last year, top U.S. officials have warned against revealing the names of those who participated in it our of concern for their safety. Pentagon officials and even the book’s publisher are continuing to urge reporters against reporting Owen’s true identity.