Sources tell ABC News that in March President Obama authorized the development of a plan for the U.S. to bomb Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound with two B2 stealth bombers dropping a few dozen 2,000-pound JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) on the compound.
But when the president heard the compound would be reduced to rubble he chose not to pursue that option.
That would mean there would be no evidence bin Laden was dead to present to the world – no DNA evidence, as the administration anticipates it will have.
Plus all 22 people in the compound including women and children, plus likely many neighbors would be killed.
The president wanted proof. And he wanted to minimize collateral damage.
So instead the president authorized this incredibly daring and difficult operation, scheduled for a time of “low loom” – little moon luminosity – so the US helicopters could enter into Pakistan low to the ground and undetected.
The operation was authorized Friday morning.
It was originally planned for Saturday night but on Friday, for weather reasons, it was pushed to Sunday.
The bombing plan was one of many multiple possible courses of action presented to the president in March and then refined over the course of the next several weeks.
*This post has been updated to make the language more precise.