“The Guy Who Liveblogged the Osama Raid Without Knowing It”

This may be the strangest way to become Twitter-famous. Sohaib Athar, a computer programmer living in Pakistan, live-tweeted the US military raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Only, he didn’t know it; he heard explosions near his home in Abbottabad and tweeted what he heard and saw.

His first tweet on Sunday night was “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” The next was “A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty :-S.”

Athar’s narration continued until the rest of the world caught up to the news, with sources in Washington confirming that Osama bin Laden had been killed. And inevitably, the rest of the world caught up with Athar, too:


Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner