A former Navy SEAL from Alaska has been identified by several news outlets as the author of an upcoming memoir about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
Fox News and The Associated Press report that Matt Bissonette wrote the book, titled “No Easy Day,” under the pseudonym of Mark Owen. Both media outlets say multiple sources confirm the identity on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss military personnel matters.
Justin Fishel with Fox News reports Bissonette is a “36-year-old former Navy SEAL Team 6 member from Alaska who also played a role in the high-profile rescue of an American captain kidnapped by Somali pirates.”
Brad Allen, the superintendent of the Kuspuk School District, says Bissonette graduated high school in Aniak in 1994. He says everyone who met Bissonette remembers him as a good kid.
"My first thought was wow man cool that you could write a book like this," said Mike Lane.
Lane is a former teacher in the Kuspuk School District who knew Bissonette and his family.
"What's the baggage that goes along with it?" asked Lane.
Fellow seals have already criticized Bissonette for revealing secrets that should be taken to the grave. A top former military official says the book should have been vetted by the government before being published.
"He should have done that, he knew better," retired general Barry McCaffrey told NBC News. "There was a reason he didn't do it, and it's probably money."
“No Easy Day” is scheduled to be released Sept. 11. The publisher, Penguin Group USA's Dutton imprint, asked news organizations Thursday to withhold the author’s identity.
The New York Times has also reported that the book's author “recalls his childhood in Alaska, the grueling preparation to become a member of the SEALs and his other previously unreported SEAL missions. He has completed 13 combat deployments since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and he retired within the past year." However, the Times referenced the author as Owen and said "he used a pen name and changed the names of other SEAL members for security reasons."
Business Insider claims to have tracked photos of Bissonette from PatriotFiles.com and Flickr.
The book and the author's name come during a time of debate over the possible damage to U.S. national security by leaks to the media.