According to Robert O’Neill, the former Navy SEAL credited with killing Osama bin Laden, the greatest threat to America is internal strife and division.
O’Neill made the remarks in an interview with Fox News on the eve of Sept. 11, as the country prepared to remember the victims of the World Trade Center terror attack 20 years ago, which killed at least 2,977 people and injured thousands more.
“My biggest concern is the division in this country,” O’Neill told the outlet. “Most people are good to each other. But the anger and the division gets the ratings, and that’s what people hear. A lot of people know if they keep people divided they can stay in power and it’s wrong.”
“We can disagree with each other but we’re on the same team when it all comes down to it,” O’Neill added.
“There were people running out of the towers to live, and there were policemen and firemen running up to die. And we have those people there and it’s very, very important to realize that,” he said.
“Those are the good guys and they’re out there,” O’Neill added. “When the demons come, someone’s going to be there to defend you and America should realize that.”
Robert O’Neill was a member of the 2011 raid in Pakistan that targeted the Al-Qaeda leader, and he claims to have fired the fatal shot.
Recounting the mission that left bin Laden dead
O’Neill recounted the daring mission that resulted in bin Laden’s death in a separate interview with CBS News.
“When I turned the corner, I saw Osama bin Laden standing there,” he said, adding that he thought the Al-Qaeda leader may have been preparing to detonate an explosive.
“He’s a threat, he’s going to blow up, I need to treat him like a suicide bomber and that’s why I had to shoot him in the face,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill stated that the mission to capture bin Laden demonstrated the ability of people with opposing political views to work together to counter threats to the homeland.
“We proved that we can work together,” he said, adding that he hopes events like the 9/11 anniversary are used to bridge divides in the pursuit of common goals by both the right and the left.
“When all is said and done, we’re all Americans and we should be on the same team,” he said.