Raid On Bin Laden Was Live-Blogged, Though The Blogger Didn't Know It
Originally published on Mon May 2, 2011 12:49 pm
"Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event)."
With that fairly innocent sounding post on Twitter, Shohaib Athar became, in his own words, "the guy who live-blogged the Osama raid without knowing it."
A computer programmer who The Associated Press reports is 33-years-old and lives in Abbottabad, Pakisan, Athar tweeted throughout the night about what he was hearing — without realizing for hours what was happening.
At first he was annoyed:
"Go away helicopter - before I take out my giant swatter :-/"
But he was soon worried as his building shook and there were reports that a helicopter had crashed:
"A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty :-S"
"and now I feel I must apologize to the pilot about the swatter tweets :-/"
And then, as word started to spread about who had been killed, a dawning realization:
"I need to sleep, but Osama had to pick this day to die :-/"
Followed by a flood of e-mails, many from the news media, and a bit of a plea:
"I am JUST a tweeter, awake at the time of the crash. Not many twitter users in Abbottabad, these guys are more into facebook. That's all."