You surely know at this point that Osama Bin Laden is dead, killed in a 40-minute operation that Barack Obama gave the final sign-off for on Friday. Bin Laden had been in a secure compound in Abbottabad, in Pakistan. U.S. officials report that at least three others were killed in the operation, including a man believed to be one of Bin Laden’s sons and a woman who was used as a human shield by one of bin Laden’s aides. The FBI Most Wanted Terrorists List, which notes that Bin Laden was wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of several U.S. Embassies, has now been updated to indicate that he’s deceased. Meanwhile, with “No body. No photograph or DNA evidence – at least, not yet” the conspiracy theories have begun. UPDATED: DNA test results are in. More after the jump.
According to the Wall Street Journal,
Mr. Bin Laden’s body was buried at sea, in order to be in accordance with Islamic tradition that burial take place within 24 hours, according to a person familiar with the situation. The Saudis declined a U.S. offer to take the body, this person said.
The Journal also reports that Bin Laden’s body was identified by the strike force and that family members gave a positive I.D. DNA testing is also being conducted.
Updated: DNA tests using tissue and blood samples taken from the brain of Osama Bin Laden’s sister, who died a few years back of brain cancer, have positively identified his body, “with 99.9 percent confidence.”
A former CIA official says that the U.S. is likely to release photos of his body to prove he’s dead.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 2, 2011