Twitter and Osama bin Laden's Death

[Updated] An aide to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld broke the news that Osama bin Laden was dead -- on Twitter. And an IT guy in Pakistan unknowingly live-tweeted the attack. Follow along to see how the story played out on Twitter.


  1. Early Monday May 2, 2011, Sohaib Athar (@ReallyVirtual) tweeted from Abbottabad Lahore Pakistan. 

  2. According to this time zone converter, 1 AM Monday May 2 in Pakistan is the same as 3 PM Sunday May 1 on the U.S. east coast.

    Given the hour of the day, it's no wonder that @ReallyVirtual made note of the noise.
  3. His link goes to this story:

    Helicopter Crashed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, Near Military Academy of Kakool

    May, 2, 2011

    A big blast is heard near the biggest military academy of Kakool, in Abbottabad . People are saying that it is due to a helicopter crash near the Kakool academy's residential academy. Security forces have surrounded the place and investigations are underway.

  4. He followed the tweet with a bit of commentary:
  5. @ReallyVirtual chats with other Twitter users about the helicopter and the situation in Pakistan:
  6. Special Service Group (S.S.G) - Pakistan Army - Commandos's Photos - Wall Photos (7)
    Special Service Group (S.S.G) - Pakistan Army - Commandos's Photos - Wall Photos (7)
  7. For time perspective, this iPhone screenshot was taken at 2.22 AM in Pakistan; that's 4.22 PM on the U.S. east coast.
  8. @ReallyVirtual then retweets information from the Pakistani Army. Pakistan officials are trying to quell worries about an attack on the country.

    Based on timestamps, this should be about 3 AM in Pakistan or 5 PM on the U.S. east coast.
  9. More eyewitness observation:
  10. In Washington, D.C., about 9:45 pm EDT White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer announced a press conference: