Former Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill Arrested In Texas

Robert J. O’Neill, a former Navy SEAL who claimed responsibility for killing Osama bin Laden in 2011 was arrested on August 23 on charges of public intoxication and assault in Frisco, Texas. Frisco police declined to provide more information about the circumstances of the arrest. O’Neill was released the same day on a $3,500 bond. He is facing two misdemeanor charges from the incident that allegedly caused bodily injury to an unnamed person.

O’Neill broke with Navy SEAL tradition by making the claim that he was the team member who fired the shots that killed bin Laden during Operation Neptune Spear. Bin Laden was suspected of being the architect of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S. that claimed the lives of more than 3,000 people. The U.S. military has neither confirmed nor denied O’Neill’s claims.

O’Neill is no stranger to headlines. In 2020, he was barred from flying by Delta Airlines for refusing to wear a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2016, O’Neill was also arrested in Montana on charges of driving under the influence, but those charges were later dropped.

The Navy SEAL teams typically do not provide information about their actions, however, two members of the SEAL team responsible for killing Bin Laden spoke out following the raid. Writing under a pen name, former SEAL Matt Bissonette was the first to publicly reveal the role of the team, but another former SEAL member, Don Mann, said at the time that the bigger problem was the announcement by the Federal Government that the SEAL team was responsible in the first place.

Mann added that balancing the public’s desire for information about the actions of military members against the risks of revealing military secrets could jeopardize the lives of members.

O’Neill was in Texas to record a podcast at a local cigar lounge on the day of the arrest. His booking records indicate that he is currently a resident of Tennessee. No information was released about the other individual or individuals who were involved in the incident that led to O’Neill’s arrest.