Osama death photos will not be released: Obama

May 5th, 2011 - 2:03 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, May 5 (IANS) US President Barack Obama has decided not to release photos of killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s body, the White House announced Wednesday.

“We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies,” Obama said in an interview with CBS announcing his decision after two days of debate in the White House.

The president said he saw the photos and knew that bin Laden had been killed.

“We discussed this internally,” he said. “Keep in mind, we are absolutely certain that this was him. We’ve done DNA sampling and testing. And so there is no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden.”

“We don’t need to spike the football… given the graphic nature of the photo it would create national security risk,” Obama said.

Sceptics had called on the US to release photos of bin Laden, who officials say was shot in the face during a raid on his compound, in order to prove that the Al Qaeda leader was really dead.

The White House had said it was debating whether to release the photographs, which are believed to be extremely graphic.

CIA Director Leon Panetta told CBS News Tuesday that he thought a photo would be released, though he said the White House would make the final decision.

Panetta told NBC News: “I don’t think there was any question that ultimately a photograph would be presented to the public.”

Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly advised Obama not to release any images, CBS said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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