WASHINGTON (AP) — A Navy official says the service is investigating an allegation that the former Navy SEAL who claims he shot and killed Osama bin Laden may have revealed classified information to those not authorized to receive it.
Robert O’Neill has given numerous interviews since coming forward to say he was part of the operation that culminated in the death of the al-Qaeda leader. O’Neill told the Associated Press last month that he has taken pains not to divulge classified information or compromise SEAL tactics.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for the Navy, Cdr. Ryan Perry, said in a statement that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service had received an allegation that O’Neill may have revealed classified information to persons not authorized to receive such information. “In response, NCIS has initiated an investigation to determine the merit of the allegations,” Perry said.
A call to a spokeswoman for O’Neill was not immediately returned Tuesday night.
The revelations by O’Neill, who joined the Navy in 1995 and won two Silver and five Bronze Stars during his service, has generated discord among some current and former SEALs for breaking a code of silence regarding their missions. O’Neill has said that he believes the public has a right to know more details of the 2011 mission to bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Pentagon officials have said that it’s not clear whose shots actually killed bin Laden. Another SEAL, Matt Bissonnette, has suggested that the point man who led the way to bin Laden’s bedroom fired the fatal shots, and that bin Laden was already down when he and a second SEAL, presumably O’Neill, shot bin Laden.