In the movie, Osama bin Laden's beard is gray. In former ST6 member Mark Owen's book about the raid on bin Laden's compound, he expresses surprise to see that when actually standing over UBL's body his beard had been dyed jet black.
Just as the Camp Chapman scene starts (set in 2009), Maya is shown talking to Jessica (who is frosting a cake) on the phone. Maya clearly uses a BlackBerry bold 9900 OS7 series (with a thick metallic frame around the phone) which wasn't released until August 3, 2011.
When George comes into the meeting room at the U.S. embassy in Pakistan, he tosses his coat towards the table and the coat is going to land half on the table and half on the chair. As he walks along the wall towards the end of the room, his coat is draped over the back of the chair.
Abu Ahmed's right arm is within his vehicle all the time while the surveillance team takes pictures of him in Peshavar. However, when Larry presents one of the pictures to Maya in a subsequent shot, it shows Abu's right arm on the window edge.
During the raid, the translator, Hakim, addresses the Pakistani population as they arrive at the compound to investigate the noise. He lifts his Night Vision Goggles off his eyes. When he goes to the downed helicopter to get a body bag, he no longer has NVG's on his helmet.
When the CIA agents are blocked by two Motorbike gun men another vehicle pulls up behind them to prevent them from reversing away and escaping. In the next long shot we see the two motorbikes but there is no vehicle behind the Agent's vehicle.
At the start of the water-boarding during Dan's second interrogation of Ammar, he puts on gloves to adjust the rope, and then 10 seconds later when he picks up the towel the gloves are missing. When they are on the floor the gloves are back in his pocket.
When Maya, Dan, and Jessica watch the news about the Al Qaeda attack in Saudi Arabia, as Maya turns towards Jessica and speaks with Dan behind her, Dan's left hand is rubbing the top of the table. When Jessica responds and the angle is from behind Jessica, both of Dan's hands are below the table.
As Maya watches the modified Blackhawks take off from the forward base, she lifts her hand to shield her face from the rotor wash. But in the next shot from farther away, she is standing with her hands at her side.
When the SEALs are first seen in the forward operating base, Justin asks Patrick if he really believes Bin Laden is where Maya says he is. During their exchange on the subject, Patrick's right arm changes position several times between shots.
The languages in which the sign board on the road are written when the search for Abu Ahmed is on, are: a) English, b) Hindi, and, c) Punjabi spoken in North India, where the movie was shot (Chandigarh). In Pakistan, the sign board would have been English and Urdu.
(at around 1 hour 27 mins) When searching for Abu Ahmedi's cell signal in the markets of Pakistan, the banners in the market show the phone numbers of various businesses with country code +91 (India) and sign boards with phone numbers starting with city code +172 (the Indian city of Chandigarh).
When the search for Abu Ahmed is on, in one of the scenes you can see a huge green board showing the directions for different locations which include
1. Rajiv Gandhi Chd Technology Park which is an IT hub in Chandigarh, India.
2. Panchkula, which is a satellite town of Chandigarh.
3. And Shimla, which is the capital of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
The "Pakistani" market scenes shot in India, clearly show several businesses advertising their Hindu owners' last names. In Pakistan, a majority of business ownership hoardings would only show Muslim last names.
In one of the scenes where Abu Ahmed is seen driving a white SUV on his way to Abbotabad which is in Pakistan, one can see a green board showing the directions for different locations which are in India e.g. Rajiv Gandhi Technology Park and Panchkula, also the board shows the names of these locations in English, Hindi and Punjabi and not Urdu which is the language of Pakistan. Also in the next scene you can see an auto rickshaw bearing a number plate whose number starts with "CH" which indicates Chandigarh,India.
The Pakistani car registration plates often have the wrong letter prefix. It should be ADx (ADA, etc.) for Abbottabad and IDx for Islamabad. Plates beginning Lxx are from Lahore, quite some distance away.
During the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, some neighboring houses are shown with lights going on in different rooms as the neighbors become aware of the activity in the compound. In Mark Owen's book, "No Easy Day" and also in the reports on the raid from the New York Times, all the electricity in the neighborhood had been cut a short time before the start of the raid.
When the SEALs are collecting all the evidence during the raid, they are shown quickly grabbing and bagging everything they can. One part even shows a SEAL throwing a computer in order to bust it open to take the hard drive. In a 2011 Wired interview with Garrett Graff, author of a book on the FBI in the War on Terror, it is stated that the FBI gave the SEAL team expert training on preserving as much evidence as possible, including preserving possible fingerprints on all evidence. In the real raid, the SEALs wouldn't have been handling the evidence the way it is depicted in the movie.
When the CIA agent asks help from his Kuwaiti asset in Kuwait city, the setting is in a bar, with girls dancing and drinks in hand. Alcohol is still strictly forbidden and there are no bars or dance clubs in Kuwait.
When the SEALs were prepping the downed helicopter to blow, it shows the control panels to the chopper completely intact. During the actual event the pilots of the helicopter were destroying everything inside for security measures, while the Seals were conducting their mission.
The film depicts torture, and especially waterboarding, as being essential to finding Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, and thus ultimately the whereabouts of bin Laden himself. In reality, while some of the detainees were tortured by American personnel, they gave up no accurate information about Abu Ahmed. All of the information used to identify and locate him was acquired through traditional interrogation techniques.
The C-130H Maya boards at the end of the movie is clearly marked as belonging to the RAF (the blue and red roundel can be seen under the wing) and not the USAF. It is possible although highly unlikely that the RAF would have an American serving as load-master.
Maya said there had to be another man in the compound because there were three women (women would only live with their father or husband so there had to be a father or husband there for the third woman). But that doesn't acknowledge the fact that one of the men could have had two wives.
During the helicopter ride into Abbotobad, the occupants are shown being jolted inside the cabin repeatedly. But as the camera pans across the dog, and the soldiers are bouncing, the dog's tongue is undisturbed by the apparent motion, revealing it to be camera shake choreographed to the actors' simultaneous movements.
At the start of the Area-51 scene, an aircraft engineer is using a ratchet spanner/wrench - the sound when he turns the wrench is the ratchet (free/no-torque) so the nut/bolt is not being turned. However he then removes the spanner/wrench from the nut/bolt and performs the same action again (clicking the ratchet). The nut/bolt would never be turned if this was actually what was happening.
As the modified Blackhawks leave the forward base for the raid, Maya sees them momentarily back lit by a floodlight near the helicopter pads. But the light was between Maya and the aircraft. In fact, the light should have obscured her view of the distant black helos in the night sky, not illuminated them.
During the raid, just as the door to Princess 5-1 is sliding open, the shot goes to point of view of the seals in night vision. But as the shot goes from soldier to soldier, the black scatter from each NVG set is the same. They would be different from one NVG unit to the next.
The goof items below may give away important plot points.
When Maya boards the C130 at the end of the film the seat she sits in is folded down when the loadmaster speaks to her. The camera cuts to her and then back to the loadmaster and the seat is seen folded up. She then sits in the seat which is once again folded down.
Just after the SEALs have killed Ibrahim Sayeed (the courier), his wife appears at the door and is ordered at gunpoint outside and to her knees. As she is covered by fellow SEALs and two SEALs enter the room to clear it, a cameraman wearing shorts can be seen momentarily on the edge of the shot on the right. SEALs would not wear shorts on a Direct Action operation due to risk of injury and burns from explosions/flashbang grenades.
The real suicide bomber at Camp Chapman 2009 already had made a number of visits to the base. Thus he was considered trusted and not searched on arrival at the gate. In the movie, the incident is depicted to have been a first-time encounter between intelligence forces and a Jordanian mole.