Sohain Athar is a 33-year-old IT consultant in Abbottobad, Pakistan. He’s also a Twitter user under the name ReallyVirtual. Last night, Athar began tweeting about a helicopter hovering over the area. “Go away helicopter,” he joked. “Before I take out my giant swatter.” Then there was a crash. “Seems like my giant swatter worked!” he tweeted. But then he worried that was in poor taste. “Now I feel I must apologize to the pilot about the swatter tweets,” he wrote.

Athar, it turned out, was livetweeting the operation to kill Osama bin Laden. To put that slightly differently, this was one of the most important, secretive, tightly managed covert operation in U.S history — and it was on tweeted in real time.