Osama bin Laden was not armed when a US Navy SEAL raiding party confronted him during the assault on his compound in Pakistan, the White House said today.
White House press secretary Jay Carney acknowledged that bin Laden did not have a weapon even though administration officials have said that bin Laden resisted during the raid.
Carney said resistance does not require a firearm.
Bin Laden was shot in the head and in the chest during the encounter.
Carney said that a woman in the room with bin Laden confronted the US forces and was shot but not killed.
Carney said the photograph of a dead bin Laden is "gruesome" and that "it could be inflammatory" if released.
He said the White House is considering whether to make the photograph public, but he said officials are concerned about the “sensitivity” of doing so.
Carney said there is a discussion internally about the most appropriate way to handle the matter but “there is not some roiling debate here about this”.
Asked if President Barack Obama is involved in the discussion, Carney said the president is involved in every aspect of this issue.