History.com - Sources are reporting that Osama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda leader who avoided capture for nearly a decade after engineering the attacks of September 11, 2001, was killed by an elite counterterrorism unit of the U.S. military known as DevGru. Find out more about the origins and past operations of these highly trained Navy SEALs.
Originally known as SEAL Team Six, the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DevGru) is one of several publicly disclosed units under the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), an elite and highly classified group that coordinates counterterrorism and other security-related missions around the world. (Others include the Army’s fabled Delta Force and the Air Force’s 24th Special Tactics Squadron.) Based at Pope Army Air Field and Fort Bragg in North Carolina, JSOC was established in 1980 after American special forces failed to rescue American hostages at the Iranian Embassy during Operation Eagle Claw.
Notable Past DevGru Missions
Operation Just Cause (1989)
Working with Delta Force and other elite units, DevGru members assisted in the capture of deposed dictator Manuel Noriega during the United States’ invasion of Panama in December 1989.
Operation Pokeweed (1990)
DevGru reportedly returned to Panama to take part in a secret operation intended to apprehend the Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. The mission is believed to have failed due to poor intelligence.
Battle of Mogadishu (1993)
DevGru members participated in a multinational task force during Operation Gothic Serpent, the U.S.-led mission to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid in the fall of October 1993. It culminated in the Battle of Mogadishu, which was later chronicled in the book “Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War” and a subsequent film adaptation.