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Bin Laden raid commando identified

An American TV news channel has identified the US Navy commando who wrote an account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden under a pseudonym.

Matt Bissonnette, who retired from the Navy last summer, was first named by Fox News. It was later confirmed by one current and one former US military official.

The book, No Easy Day, will be published on September 11 with the author listed under the pseudonym of Mark Owen.

The publisher, Penguin Group USA's Dutton imprint, had asked news organisations to withhold his identity.

"Sharing the true story of his personal experience in No Easy Day is a courageous act in the face of obvious risks to his personal security," said Dutton spokeswoman Christine Ball.

"That personal security is the sole reason the book is being published under a pseudonym."

Bissonnette also changed the names of the other Seals (Navy commandos) in his account of events.

Special Operations Command spokesman Colonel Tim Nye said the retired Seal could be endangered by being identified, which could also expose those active-duty Seals the author worked with in the killing of bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, last year.

The book and the author's name also come out amid debate over the possible damage to US national security by leaks in the media about top secret operations. Yet the book also comes at a time when special operations forces are prominently featured in the media as never before, even as the elite organisations demand secrecy.

Efforts to locate Bissonnette for comment were unsuccessful.

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