WASHINGTON (AP) -- Osama bin Laden was unarmed when he was confronted by U.S. commandos at his Pakistani hideout but tried to resist the assault, the White House said Tuesday as new details emerged about the audacious raid that killed the world's most wanted terrorist.
Other information that emerged on Tuesday, according to U.S. officials: One of bin Laden's wives tried to rush the commandos and was shot in the leg. High temperatures caused a lumbering helicopter carrying the raiders to make a hard landing. And as Navy SEALs swept through the compound, they handcuffed those they encountered with plastic zip ties and pressed on in pursuit of their target, code-named Geronimo.
Once bin Laden had been shot, they doubled back to move the prisoners away from the compound before blowing up the downed helicopter.
The fuller picture of the high-stakes assault emerged as U.S. officials weighed whether to release video and photos of bin Laden, who was killed with a shot above his left eye.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee and revealed some of the new details about the raid, said she'd known about the suspected bin Laden compound since last December - offering rare evidence that Washington can indeed keep a blockbuster secret.
President Barack Obama made plans to go to ground zero in New York on Thursday to mark the milestone of bin Laden's demise and to remember the dead of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said the U.S. was scouring items seized in the raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan - said to include hard drives, DVDs, a pile of documents and more - that might tip U.S. intelligence to al-Qaida's operational details and perhaps lead to the presumed next-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri.
President Obama, who approved the extraordinarily risky operation and witnessed its progression from the White House Situation Room, his face heavy with tension, reaped accolades from world leaders he'd kept in the dark as well as from political opponents at home. Pakistan, however, called the raid "unauthorized" Tuesday and it shouldn't serve as a precedent for future actions.
CIA Director Leon Panetta, in interviews with Time and PBS' "Newshour," sketched the scene in the Situation Room as the tense final minutes of the raid played out.
"Once those teams went into the compound," he told PBS, "I can tell you there was a time period of almost 20 or 25 minutes that we really didn't know just exactly what was going on."
Then, Panetta told Time, when Adm. William McRaven, head of the Joint Special Forces Command, reported that the commandos had identified "Geronimo" - the code name for bin Laden - "all the air we were holding came out."
And when the helicopters left the compound 15 minutes later, Panetta said, the room broke into applause.
Carney filled in details about the assault, saying that bin Laden did resist the commandos, although he was not armed. One of bin Laden's wives, Carney said, was in the room and tried to charge at the U.S. assaulters."
Monday night, Republican and Democratic leaders gave Obama a standing ovation at an evening White House meeting that was planned before the assault but became a celebration of it, and an occasion to step away from the fractious political climate.
The episode was an embarrassment, at best, for Pakistani authorities as bin Laden's presence was revealed in their midst. The stealth U.S. operation played out in a city with a strong Pakistani military presence and without notice from Washington. Questions persisted in the administration and grew in Congress about whether some elements of Pakistan's security apparatus might have been in collusion with al-Qaida in letting bin Laden hide in Abbottabad.
Brennan asked the question that was reverberating around the world: "How did Osama bin Laden stay at that compound for six years or so and be undetected?"
"We have many, many questions about this," he said. "And I know Pakistani officials do as well." Brennan said Pakistani officials were trying to determine "whether there were individuals within the Pakistani government or military intelligence services who were knowledgeable." He questioned in particular why bin Laden's compound hadn't come to the attention of local authorities.
Feinstein, for her part, said Congress may consider docking the almost $1.3 billion dollars in annual aid to Pakistan if it turns out the Islamabad government knew bin Laden's whereabouts.
In an article published Tuesday by The Washington Post, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari denied suggestions his country's security forces may have sheltered bin Laden, and said their cooperation with the United States helped pinpoint his whereabouts.
As Americans rejoiced, they worried, too, that terrorists would be newly motivated to lash out. In their wounded rage, al-Qaida ideologues fed that concern. "By God, we will avenge the killing of the Sheik of