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Osama Bin Laden Death Photos May Be Released

Bin Laden

First Posted: 01/31/2012 10:38 am Updated: 01/31/2012 3:42 pm

Photographs and video recordings of Osama bin Laden's death may be released to the public, The Atlantic Wire reports.

According to ABC News, the CIA has at least 52 images of Osama bin Laden that could make one's stomach churn. The images in question reportedly are "quite graphic, as they depict the fatal bullet wound to UBL's [Osama bin Laden's] head and other similarly gruesome images of his corpse."

Following bin Laden's death, Judicial Watch brought a lawsuit demanding the release of images from the raid that killed bin Laden under the Freedom of Information Act. Now, it appears that the Justice Department may have to comply in part.

Dan Metcalfe, former director of the Department of Justice's Office of Information and Privacy, told The Atlantic Wire that according to the government's response to the lawsuit, there are parts of the records that are "legally required to be disclosed."

This reopens that possibility that postmortem photographs of bin Laden will be released.

Wired.com notes that the CIA, for its part, claims that releasing the photos "could trigger violence, attacks, or acts of revenge against the United States."

Last May, a team of US Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, killing the then-Al Qaeda leader and several others during a nighttime operation.

Osama bin Laden was buried at sea in accordance with Muslim traditions, according to the White House. Egyptian lawyer Montasser el-Zayat noted last May that the burial prevented bin Laden's grave from becoming a shrine for his followers.

"They don't want to see him become a symbol," he said, according to The Guardian. "But he is already a symbol in people's hearts."

Last May, the Department of Defense released images of bin Laden's compound. Below, see some of the interesting discoveries made on the premises:

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  • Marijuana

    A stroll around the 20-foot-tall, barbed wire led CNN's Nic Robertson to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/05/osama-bin-laden-marijuana-crop_n_858301.html" target="_hplink">discover</a> a crop of marijuana plants just yards from the home. But whether or not bin Laden and his family were growing the weed for recreational purposes remains a mystery, and it has long been speculated that the Al Qaeda leader suffered from kidney failure, which would allow him to get a prescription for medical marijuana in many U.S. states.

  • Pornography

    As Reuters is <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/13/osama-bin-laden-porn_n_861664.html" target="_hplink">reporting</a>, a "fairly extensive" stash of "modern, electronically recorded" pornography was found in the compound, according to U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

  • 'Natural Viagra'

    The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/09/osama-bin-laden-avena-sativa-syrup-natura_n_859436.html" target="_hplink">discovery</a> of Avena syrup -- a botanical product often used as "natural Viagra" -- at bin Laden's compound has raised questions about whether or not the Al Qaeda leader or his associates were trying to boost their libidos. Also known by the nickname "wild oats," Avena Sativa syrup has two potential uses: to increase sexual desire, and as artificial sweetener used for a sour stomach.

  • Diary

    Navy SEALs <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/215259/top-5-revelations-from-bin-ladens-diary" target="_hplink">reportedly</a> swiped the terrorist's short journal from his Pakistani compound. The al Qaeda leader is said to have mused about mass murder, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/13/osama-bin-laden-obama-_n_861598.html" target="_hplink">naming </a>his number one target as President Obama, followed by U.S. military leaders including the defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Interestingly, bin Laden noted that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden "was not an important target because that position has less weight."

  • No Internet Access

    As the <em>Washington Post</em> is <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/osama-bin-ladens-doting-wives-secret-e-mail-system-and-other-secrets-revealed/2011/05/13/AFTdOX2G_blog.html" target="_hplink">reporting</a>, the compound lacked Internet access, so bin Laden would communicate though an "elaborate pass-the-buck" system by typing a message on his computer which would then be saved to a flash drive and given to a trusted courier, who would drive it to far-off Internet cafes and return with incoming e-mail.

  • Soft Drinks

    Bin Laden may have hated the United States, but that didn't stop him from <a href=" Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1383429/Osama-Bin-Laden-dead-Marijuana-grew-near-luxury-compound-Abbottabad.html#ixzz1MG1HF265" target="_hplink">reportedly </a>indulging in plenty of Coca-Cola and Pepsi -- products that are often associated with the Western commercialism the al Qaeda leader is said to have despised.

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Filed by Clare Richardson  |