IT consultant Sohaib Athar was just “taking a break from the rat-race by hiding in the mountains with his laptops” in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad when he described, in 140 characters or less, a helicopter hovering overhead and a “huge window shaking bang”—accidentally live-tweeting the U.S. raid that ended a decade-long manhunt and killed Osama bin Laden.
It’s clear from Athar’s tweets (@ReallyVirtual) that he had no idea what was going down—as evidenced by his reference to the “abbottabad helicopter/UFO“—but the unusual presence of helicopters and Taliban disclaimer suggested to him that whatever was happening, it “must be a complicated situation.” UFO, not so much; situation, definitely.
Nor was Athar the only one to discuss the raid on Twitter before President Obama’s announcement last night. Keith Urbahn, Donald Rumsfeld’s Chief of Staff, tweeted several hours later: “So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn.”
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson seems to have been among the first to know, as well. Around the same time as Urbahn, Johnson tweeted: “Just got word that will shock the world – Land of the free…home of the brave DAMN PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!” His time as a Space Marine must have earned him some friends in the military.