White House to delay the release of 'gruesome' bin Laden death photos due to Muslim 'sensitivities'By Oliver Tree
May 3, 2011
- Release of photograph delayed due to 'gruesome' nature
- Taliban demands to see proof of Al Qaeda leader's death
- White House may also release video of Bin Laden's burial at sea
- Three sets of photos taken - at Afghanistan airbase, on raid itself and at sea
- U.S. used 'multiple means' to identify bin Laden
- One report said he had a 'massive head wound above his left eye, with brains and blood visible'
White House officials are afraid that releasing the images, described as 'gruesome' and thought to show the dead al-Qaeda leader with a massive head wound, would offend 'sensitivities' in the Muslim world.
It had been previously thought President Barack Obama had decided to release at least one photo showing Osama Bin Laden shortly after he was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs.
The news came as a Taliban spokesman demanded to see photographic evidence of the assassination.
The White House says the photograph of a dead Osama bin Laden is 'gruesome' and that 'it could be inflammatory' if released.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said the White House is mulling whether to make the photo public, but he said officials are concerned about the 'sensitivity' of doing so.
Senior military officials confirmed to CNN there were three sets of pictures of bin Laden.
The first set was taken during the raid itself, and is thought to show two dead brothers, and bin Laden's dead teenage son.
The second, and most 'identifiable' set of pictures were taken of his mutilated body at an Afghan airbase.
These are the most troubling set of images as they show 'massive open head wounds' - but are the most clear pictures of bin Laden's face.
The third set were taken aboard the USS Carl Vinson, and show a washed and shrouded bin Laden being lowered into his watery grave.
Gone but not forgotten: Muslim clerics are predicting revenge attacks against American targets because of the way the government decided to dispose of the leader's body
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement emailed to journalists: 'This news is only coming from one side, from Obama's office, and America has not shown any evidence or proof to support this claim.
'On the other side, our sources close to Osama bin Laden have not confirmed or denied the news.
'Until there is news from sources close to Osama bin Laden it will be too early to provide any reaction.'
Officials are also considering whether to release a video showing Osama Bin Laden being buried at sea.
The dead terror chief was given an Islamic burial in the North Arabian Sea in a bid to stop his fanatical followers turning his final resting place into a shrine.
Officials did not reveal the exact location where sailors on the American aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson lowered his body in to the water.
But two Pentagon officials said the burial was videotaped and that it probably will be released soon.
As news of the burial filtered out yesterday, new details have emerged about the daring raid on bin Laden's compound.
The operation - code named 'Geronimo' - was watched by the President in real time from the helmet mounted camera of an elite Navy SEAL commando.
Although President Obama saw the terror chief killed by a single bullet to the head, it was only when he received the signal 'Geronino E-KIA' - which stands for 'Enemy Killed In Action'- that he knew Bin Laden was dead.
It is understood bin Laden, code named 'Jackpot', was unarmed but did 'resist'.
It had previously been claimed the terror chief also used a woman thought to be his wife as a human shield - but this has now been retracted by officials.
According to reports bin Laden's 12-year-old daughter was present when U.S. forces shot and killed her father.
Obama had earlier ruled out killing bin Laden with two air dropped bombs and an as yet undisclosed third option, in favour of the more risky raid which would provide DNA and bodily evidence Osama was dead.
The SEAL team also used a facial recognition system to positively identify the body of bin Laden.
The commander of the operation took a digital image of bin Laden's remains and fed them back to the CIA, where a facial recognition system confirmed the identity.
Bin Laden's widow, a 19-year-old Yemeni woman in the compound was also brought to identify the body.
As well as bin Laden, one of his adult sons - possibly 19-year-old Hamza Bin Laden - the courier who led the CIA to bin Laden and the courier's brother were also killed.
The New York Times reported a Pakistani official as saying there were nine children, from 2 to 12 years old, left behind in the compound.
Intelligence experts in Afghanistan are today sifting through a treasure trove of computer hard drives and other intelligence captured from the compound in Pakistan - described by one official as 'the mother load'.
Speaking to CNN, a senior U.S. official said Navy SEALs had recovered 10 hard drives, 5 computers and more than 100 storage devices from the compound - including discs, DVDs and thumb drives.
Officials today have given hints that photos of the body prior to its disposal in the North Arabian Sea may be released.
John Brennan, the White House counter-terrorism chief, told reporters that the administration was still deliberating on release of the material. Making it public might satisfy those who would otherwise doubt that it was bin Laden who was killed.
The U.S. military today outlined the exact process of burying bin Laden's body at sea.
An official said preparations for the al Qaeda leader's burial lasted nearly an hour.
His body was washed aboard the USS Carl Vinson before being covered in a white sheet and religious remarks translated into Arabic by a native speaker were read over the corpse.
'The burial of bin Laden's remains was done in strict conformance with Islamist precepts and practices,' said John Brennan, U.S. President Barack Obama's top counter-terrorism adviser.
Preparations for burial began at 1:10 am EST (0510 GMT) and were completed at 2 am EST. His corpse was lowered toward the sea on one of the aircraft carrier's elevators.
'The body was placed in a weighted bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker,' the U.S. official said.
'After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up, whereupon the deceased's body eased into the sea.'
Muslim clerics are predicting revenge attacks against American targets because of the way the government decided to dispose of the leader's body.
A wide range of Islamic scholars interpreted it as a humiliating disregard for the standard Muslim practice of placing the body in a grave with the head pointed toward the holy city of Mecca.
Sea burials can be allowed, they said, but only in special cases where the death occurred aboard a ship far from the coast.
Burial place: Osama bin Laden's body was taken out to sea and dumped in the North Arabian Sea from the deck of the USS Carl Vinson officials have confirmed
The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. government asked Saudi Arabia - where bin Laden was born - to take his remains, but the government declined.
The U.S. is also thought to have been anxious to avoid burying the corpse on land over fears the grave would become a rallying point for militants, even if left unmarked.
The Pentagon confirmed that the body was placed in to the waters of the Arabian sea after adhering to the customs - which call for a speedy washing, wrapping and burial of the corpse - aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
But Omar Bakri Mohammed, a radical cleric in Lebanon, said it should not have been done in this way: 'The Americans want to humiliate Muslims through this burial, and I don't think this is in the interest of the U.S. administration.'
The haste has also been questioned, as the U.S. has not always observed the 24-hour rule for Muslim burials. In 2003 the bodies of Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusay were embalmed and held for 11 days before they were released for burial.
Mohammed al-Qubaisi, Dubai's grand mufti, said about bin Laden's burial, said: 'They can say they buried him at sea, but they cannot say they did it according to Islam. If the family does not want him, it's really simple in Islam: You dig up a grave anywhere, even on a remote island, you say the prayers and that's it.
'Sea burials are permissible for Muslims in extraordinary circumstances. This is not one of them.'
Images of Bin Laden House (exterior)
Latest video from inside the house indicates that it has been stripped almost completely by persons unknown.
The Seals would have taken any evidence for sure, and locals perhaps the rest as souvenirs.
So these are medium resolution images of the outside, showing it in context. Doesn't look like a million dollars worth.
The above photos are Fake, we are still waiting for the REAL ONES!!!
WHITE HOUSE RELEASES BIN LADEN DEATH PHOTO
Tue May 03 2011 10:22:50 ET
President Obama has decided to release at least one photo showing Osama Bin Laden's death.
The images, being described as 'graphic', are bound to stir emotions in the east and the west, and will likely become the most viewed photographs in modern history.
One image shows a bullet wound to his head above his left eye.
Will it remove all doubt about the death? DEVELOPING...
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