5 May 2011

No pictures of bin Laden to be issued - Obama

9:38 pm on 5 May 2011

President Barack Obama has decided no photos will be released of Osama bin Laden after he was shot and killed by US Special Forces in Pakistan on Sunday.

Officials had been considering whether to publish pictures of bin Laden's body to counter conspiracy theories that he did not die.

But Mr Obama believed the images could inflame sensitivities, saying: ''We don't trot out this stuff as trophies.''

The president says they could incite hatred and serve as a propaganda tool.

He revealed his decision during an interview on 60 Minutes on CBS TV.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said at a briefing later that Mr Obama believed it was important to make sure that photographs were not "floating around as incitement or as a propaganda tool".

Mr Carney said the administration had been monitoring world reaction and there was no doubt that al-Qaeda believed Bin Laden was dead.

He quoted Mr Obama as saying: ''There are going to be some folks who deny it. The fact of the matter is, you won't see bin Laden walking on this Earth again.''

Mr Carney said Mr Obama believed that releasing the photographs would be a national security risk.

US Attorney General Eric Holder says bin Laden was a lawful military target, whose killing was ''an act of national self-defence''.

He told a hearing in Congress: ''Let me make something very clear: The operation in which Osama Bin Laden was killed was lawful. It was a kill-or-capture mission. He made no attempt to surrender.''

Two of bin Laden's couriers and a woman also died in the assault. One of bin Laden's wives was wounded.

The body of bin Laden was later buried at sea from a US aircraft carrier.

Apache comment

An Apache tribe has demanded an apology from Mr Obama for using the name Geronimo, a legendary warrior, as the code name for bin Laden.

A tribal leader says Geronimo is a symbol of native American resistance in the United States and it should not have been linked to an infamous terrorist.

He says this only serves to reinforce old stereotypes about Apaches.