Pak techie live tweets attack on Osama | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Pak techie live tweets attack on Osama

delhi Updated: May 03, 2011 02:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Sohaib Athar, an IT consultant from Pakistan, ended up live tweeting the operation accidentally against Osama bin Laden at Abbottabad on Sunday.

His Twitter account ReallyVirtual became the talk of the virtual world as the news spread.

His followers increased at the rate of thousands per hour and he was busy answering queries the rest of the day. Athar first spotted a helicopter, a rare occurrence in Abbottabad, and started speculating what it could be.

Over the course of the night, a crash and various rumours later, he became an online hero. He currently has 14,898 Twitter followers.

Here are his tweets during and after the operation.
1am: Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1 am (is a rare event).
1am: Go away helicopter- before I take off my giant sweater.
That message was followed in rapid succession by tweets telling of a window-rattling blast, a helicopter crash, a family dying, and then soldiers cordoning off part of the neighborhood and searching door-to-door.
1:53am: A huge window-shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantonment. I hope it's not the start of something nasty.
2am: The few people online at this time of the night are saying one of the copters was not Pakistani.
2am: The Abbottabad helicopter was shot down near the Bilal town area and there's a report of a flash. People saying it could be a drone.
5am: And now a plane flying over Abbottabad.
9am: Interesting rumours in the otherwise uneventful Abbottabad air today.
9:30 am: I need to sleep but Osama had to pick this day to die.
He eventually connected it to an announcement by US President Barack Obama that a US military team killed bin Laden in a surgical strike at a mansion in Abbottabad.
10:30am: Uh, oh, now I'm the guy who live blogged the Osama air raid without knowing it.
10:30am: And here come the mails from the mainstream media...sight.
12pm: Interesting, I didn't think my name would trend on Twitter before releasing a couple of rock albums and a few award-winning software....
1:15pm: I guess an 'is now following you' gmail filter is the next logical step.

Athar's comments were zealously "re-tweeted" by other users and he was swamped with email messages and requests for interviews by the media.

"People don't use Twitter here, hence they don't realize the attention they're getting," Athar said, referring to himself simply as a "Tweeter" who happened to be awake when the action broke out.