Sohaib Athar, who works as an IT consultant in Abbottabad — the city where Osama bin Laden was found and killed last night — just wanted to get some sleep. His innocent micro-remark is now becoming the tweet read 'round the tech world, as the helicopter disturbing him was part of the military operation to take down Bin Laden.
"Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event)," Athar wrote at first, adding, "Go away helicopter — before I take out my giant swatter :-/," when the aircraft persisted.
Soon enough, Athar's irritation on Twitter was followed by worry and fear: "A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty :-S." Athar continued to update and speculate on the events unfolding around him, unaware that U.S. military forces were closing in on Osama bin Laden. He heard later, tweeting, "Uh oh, now I'm the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it."
It's interesting to think about what defines an historic moment. In times gone, it would have been a document, or a photograph. Now, though, we're surrounded by so much technology that no one thing can do it. Now each moment has a million sides, from news reports and photos, to even a humble tweet from a fella who just wanted to sleep undisturbed in the city of Abbottabad in Pakistan.