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Book with firsthand account of Osama Bin Laden raid set for early release

Osama Killing

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) — The publisher of a firsthand account of the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden said Tuesday it was moving up its release date by one week to September 4.

Dutton, a subsidiary of Penguin Group USA, said the book will come out early because of “overwhelming excitement in the marketplace.”

The first printing of the book, already an Amazon best seller, is now 575,000 copies, according to Dutton.

It was written by a Navy SEAL under a pen name, Mark Owen. The book’s publisher said the special operations forces team member did not want to reveal his real name in order to protect himself and his family.

Owen said in a statement Tuesday that he had a “strict desire not to disclose confidential or sensitive information that would compromise national security in any way.”

At the request of Pentagon officials, CNN is not naming the SEAL who wrote the book, out of concern for his former colleagues who could still be active.

The book is entitled “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden.”

The serviceman was on the Bin Laden raid, according to Pentagon officials. The 36-year-old chief petty officer left the Navy as a highly decorated commando in April, but he could be subject to criminal prosecution, they said.

The book account includes the stealth helicopter crash that could have killed the author and his teammates, his publisher said.

Officials only recently became aware the former SEAL was writing a book, but were told it encompasses more than just the raid and includes vignettes from training and other missions.

They wanted to see a copy, a Defense Department official said, to make sure no classified information is released and to see if the book contains any information that might out one of the team members.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said officials are reviewing the publication.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

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