In Brief

Seals fired ‘magazines-worth of ammunition’ into Bin Laden’s body

New claims suggest photos of Bin Laden’s body were not released because Navy Seals shot an ‘excessive’ number of rounds into him

Osama bin Laden

PHOTOGRAPHS of Osama bin Laden’s dead body were never released by the US government because the Navy Seals team that carried out the operation fired an “excessive” number of bullets into the al-Qaeda leader, a website has claimed.

The official reason, given by the US government, for not releasing photos of Bin Laden’s body or his burial at sea was that they would provide propaganda for al-Qaeda.

But Sofrep, a website for US special operations forces, believes that it smells a rat. It points out that video was released of the hanging of that other great enemy of the US, Saddam Hussein, as well as photos of his dead sons Uday and Qusay after special forces killed them. So was there actually a different reason for not releasing photos of Bin Laden?

Sofrep thinks it has the answer. “Two confidential sources within the [special ops] community”, have told them that, during the 2011 raid in Pakistan, “operator after operator took turns dumping magazines-worth of ammunition” into the body of Bin Laden.

“When all was said and done, UBL had over a hundred bullets in him, by the most conservative estimate.”

According to Sofrep, it is legally acceptable for a soldier to shoot a few more rounds into the body of an enemy to ensure they no longer pose a threat. “However, what happened on the Bin Laden raid is beyond excessive. The level of excess shown was not about making sure that Bin Laden was no longer a threat. The excess was pure self-indulgence.”

Sofrep concludes that to have released photographs of the gory remains of Bin Laden would not only have been good propaganda for al-Qaeda, but would have caused an “international scandal” which might have triggered an investigation – and that might have uncovered other operations and activities “which many will do anything to keep buried”.

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