5 of the Best Osama Bin Laden Explainers

When the news broke late Sunday night that Osama bin Laden, 9/11 mastermind and the most despised face of America’s War on Terror, had been killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, newspapers scrambled to reformat their front pages to accomodate the breaking story. Journalists and media enthusiasts flocked to Twitter to share links to relevant articles, and in the days that followed, several detailed stories emerged that served to contextualize the swarm of news surrounding bin Laden’s death. Here are some of the best explainers–interactive and plain text–that we’ve come across.

1. Osama bin Laden’s Life: The Interactive Timeline, New York Times

On May 2, the New York Times posted an interactive timeline of Osama bin Laden’s life that sheds light on “the mastermind of the most devastating attack on American soil in modern times and the most hunted man in the world.”

2. The Secret Team that Killed bin Laden, National Journal

Marc Ambinder of the National Journal published an in-depth account of the elite team of Navy SEALS who killed bin Laden, including fascinating background on the notoriously secret Naval Special Warfare Development Group.








3. Notes on the Death of Osama bin Laden, The New Yorker

As compelling as it is comprehensive, Steve Coll’s notes chronicle everything from the brief history of Abbottabad to the identity of those staying with bin Laden in his Pakistani compound.








4. Interactive Graphic: Closing in on bin Laden, The Washington Post

This interactive graphic from the Washington Post illustrates key information about the location of the compound and how the raid and firefight took place. Another graphic situated below explains how Bin Laden’s body was prepared for burial at sea.








5. Bin Laden Reading Guide: How to Cut Through the Coverage, ProPublica

Nonprofit investigative journalism newsroom ProPublica published a highly informative and comprehensive reading guide, outlining some of the best coverage of the stories from a variety of sources.






Have you seen other helpful bin Laden explainers? Please add them in the comments!

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