White House Press Secretary Jay Carney
Source: Press TV
The US administration says it will not release photos of Osama bin Laden's corpse, deepening suspicions over Washington's claim of killing the notorious terrorist.
In a prerecorded interview with CBS on Wednesday, US President Barack Obama said he has decided not to publish the disturbing images purportedly of al-Qaeda chief's dead body, because of concerns that they might become "a propaganda tool", AFP reported.
"I think that given the graphic nature of these photos, it would create some national security risk," Obama stated.
"There is no doubt that bin Laden is dead. Certainly there is... no doubt among al-Qaeda members that he is dead. And so we don't think that a photograph in and of itself is going to make any difference." White House spokesman Jay Carney quoted Obama as saying.
"We don't trot this stuff out as trophies," said Obama, adding that it is essential to prevent photographic evidence from "floating around as incitement or propaganda tool.”
On late Sunday, Obama shocked the world with the news that the alleged architecture of the 9/11 attacks was shot in the head by US forces, who reportedly swooped down on bin Laden's compound in a helicopter-borne operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing the terrorist after a decade-long manhunt.
Obama's decision not to offer any photographic evidence of the killing has thrown doubt on the reported US operation, with many analysts saying that that bin Laden is either still alive or had been dead several years ago.
Faced with the quandary of proving bin Laden's death, the White House was locked in intense talks and consultations with Obama's national security team about whether to release the photos.
Describing the images as "graphic photographs of someone who was shot in the face", the White House spokesman stated on Wednesday that "It is not in our national security interests to allow those images, as has been in the past been the case, to become icons to rally opinion against the United States."
Earlier in the day, the US administration strongly defended the killing of bin Laden as an act of national self-defense in response to allegations that the US commandos' nightly attack on his Pakistani hideout was illegal.
US Attorney General, Eric Holder, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the killing of bin Laden was lawful and consistent with US values