Accession Number: C.2014.430.1
Dimensions: 1 ¾ in diameter
Dimensions (Metric): 2.54 cm diameter
Credit Line: Gift from "Maya," a C.I.A. officer
Commemorative challenge coin for the successful conclusion of Operation Neptune Spear. The coin has a blue border and white center with the text "1 May | 2011" on one side and a red "X" shape on the other side.
Numerous members of the U.S. military, intelligence, and national security communities contributed to the search for Osama bin Laden, which concluded with the killing of the al-Qaeda leader during Operation Neptune Spear. U.S. Navy SEALs brought his body to Afghanistan following the raid on his compound in Pakistan. The Central Intelligence Agency officer known to the world by the alias “Maya,” who had spent years searching for bin Laden’s hiding place, positively identified the body.
A token was later created to commemorate the operation. One side of the coin marks the U.S. date on which the operation occurred: May 1, 2011. The other side shows a red “X” mark. After 9/11, President George W. Bush kept a list in his desk of key al-Qaeda operatives still at large. Whenever one was exposed, arrested, or killed, he would make a red X mark through the assailant’s name. Osama bin Laden’s name was at the top of the list.