US may have to release photo of Osama bin Laden’s body

Paul Toohey|PerthNow

THE United States may have to release photographs of Osama Bin Laden’s corpse to smother any claims he survived the special forces raid on his compound in Pakistan.

US Homeland Security chairman Joseph Lieberman said that unless al-Qaeda chiefs acknowlegde that their leader is dead, some may deny that DNA testing proved the US had killed the right man.

“It may be necessary to release the pictures – as gruesome as they undoubtedly will be, because he’s been shot in the head – to quell any doubts that this somehow is a ruse that the American government has carried out,” Senator Lieberman said.

Senator Susan Collins, one of the Republican party’s senior security experts, agreed that many hardline Islamists “will try to generate this myth that he’s alive, and that we missed him somehow, and in order to put that to rest it may be necessary to release some of the pictures”.

The warnings came as a photograph broadcast on Pakistani TV purporting to show Bin Laden’s corpse was exposed as a fake.

The photo, which depicted a bloodied head with a strong resemblance to the al-Qaeda leader, was widely used on TV networks and newspaper websites after news of his death broke.

Online users of websites such as Twitter soon exposed the image as a hoax which had reportedly been in circulation as early as 2009.

The photograph appears to have been digitally manipulated to combine the lower half of bin Laden’s face, from a genuine 1998 photo, with a photograph of the head of an unidentified corpse.

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