THE news that Osama bin Laden had been killed broke on Twitter shortly before US President Barack Obama made the official announcement.
An IT consultant living in Abbottabad unknowingly tweeted the first details of the operation. Sohaib Athar has been inundated with requests for interviews since.
At 1am local time (9pm BST), Mr Athar noted on Twitter that a helicopter was hovering overhead shortly before the assault began and said that it might not be a Pakistani aircraft.
He wrote: “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).”
Shortly afterwards, he reported an explosion, now known to have been US forces blowing up their damaged helicopter.
“A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty.”
As the raid continued, Mr Athar and other tweeters in the area gathered more and more information.
“The few people online at this time of the night are saying one of the copters was not Pakistani...”
“People are saying it was not a technical fault and it was shot down. I heard it CIRCLE 3-4 times above, sounded purposeful.”
US officials stated that the raid took less than 40 minutes, but Mr Athar said there was still a military presence in the area two hours later.
“And now, a plane flying over Abbottabad...”
In his Twitter biography, Mr Athar describes himself as: “An IT consultant taking a break from the rat-race by hiding in the mountains with his laptops.”
But his hideaway is now becoming one of the biggest news stories of the century.
“I’ve been tweeting for about 5, 6 years, and been tweeting about Abbottabad because no one really talks about it,” he wrote. “I guess Abbottabad is going to get as crowded as the Lahore that I left behind for some peace and quiet.”
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