Obama: Bin Laden pictures will not be released

Obama: Bin Laden pictures will not be released

**Readers, please be aware that this story contains a graphic description of the wounds to bin Laden's head.

President Barrack Obama has told US television networks that photographs of Osama Bin Laden's body will not be released.

The White House had been considering publishing a photo as proof that the al-Qaida leader was killed during a raid on his compound in Pakistan.

Earlier, officials had warned the "gruesome" images could be inflammatory.

The CIA is understood to have been keen to publish the images in a bid to stem the growing number of conspiracy theories.

However, Washington-based reporter Robert Nisbet said President Barack Obama was reluctant to publish images because they are so graphic.

A senior US official who briefed journalists said an open gunshot would could be seen on bin Laden's forehead. Part of the skull is missing, revealing brain matter. One of his eyes is open, while the other is completely gone.

Mr Obama decided against making the bin Laden images public after a debate within government over the potential impact of their release.

CIA director, Leon Panetta, had yesterday insisted the photos would be released.

There was support for releasing the photos from both ends of the spectrum: Some family members of those who died in the 9/11 terror attacks thought it important to document bin Laden’s death, as did some sceptics in the Arab world who doubted his demise in the absence of convincing evidence.

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