Osama Bin Laden Buried At Sea

The Associated Press has quoted a US official saying that the body of Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea. Reuters confirms this, saying "the body of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was taken to Afghanistan after he was killed in Pakistan and was later buried at sea, the New York Times reported on Monday."

An ABC News report said that Bin Laden's corpse would be handled in accordance with Islamic custom.

Under Islamic tradition, ABC's Zunaira Zaki reports, the body would be washed by Muslim men and buried as soon as possible, usually by the next prayer (Muslims pray five times a day), although there may be delays under certain circumstances (for autopsies, for example). The body is usually buried in a simple white sheet -- whether buried in the ground, or at sea.

No official photographs of the corpse have yet been shown, but  TV New Zealand says Bin Laden was killed by a gunshot to the head, quoting an official. "Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed with a bullet to the head in an fight that lasted less than 40 minutes, a US official says."  Some reports suggest that DNA-matching laboratory tests have not yet been completed. Reuters says  "The United States is conducting DNA testing on slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and used facial recognition techniques to help identify him, a U.S. official said on Monday. ... Results of the DNA tests should be available in the next few days, the official told Reuters."

In other news, the mansion in which the al-Qaeda leader was killed was burning. Video at the link.

CBS News says that Saudi Arabia was unwilling to have the body repatriated. The Muslim Brotherhood has said that with the death of Bin Laden, "U.S. soldiers should be withdrawn from Afghanistan and Iraq after the killing of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks that led to two U.S.-led wars."

"With Bin Laden's death, one of the reasons for which violence has been practised in the world has been removed," Essam al-Erian, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's governing body, told Reuters.

"It is time for Obama to pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq and end the occupation of U.S. and Western forces around the world that have for so long harmed Muslim countries," he said.

"Justice has been done," President Obama said, in McClatchy Newspapers story which said the Pakistani government had cooperated with the raid.  The President also said:

"The United States is not and never will be at war with Islam," Obama said. "Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer of Muslims. His demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Obama said the Pakistani government had cooperated with the United States to make the operation possible.

Apart from being a mass murderer of Muslims, Bin Laden also killed 3,000 persons in New York on September 11, 2001. Why he did the deed, who helped him, how he hid for so long is now the province of history. Osama has left the building.

Take a hold now

On the silver handles here,

Six silver handles,

One for each of his old pals.

Take hold

And lift him down the stairs,

Put him on the rollers

Over the floor of the hearse.

Take him on the last haul,

To the cold straight house,

The level even house,

To the last house of all.

The dead say nothing

And the dead know much

And the dead hold under their tongues

A locked-up story.

-- Carl Sandburg


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