Knowing there would be disbelievers, the US says it used convincing means to confirm Osama bin Laden’s identity during and after the firefight. But the mystique that surrounded the terrorist chieftain in life is persisting in death.
Was it really him? How do we know? Where are the pictures?
Already, those questions are spreading in Pakistan and surely beyond. In the absence of photos, many people do not believe Bin Laden, the fabled escape artist of Tora Bora mountains, is really dead. US is balancing skepticism with the sensitivities that might be inflamed by showing images of the dead Qaeda leader and video of his burial.
“We are going to do everything we can to make sure that nobody has any basis to try to deny that we got Osama,” John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, said.
So far, the US has cited evidence that satisfied the Navy Seals, and the world, that they had the right man.
The raiding squad that swarmed the luxury compound identified Bin Laden by appearance. A woman in the compound, identified as his wife was said to have called out Bin Laden’s name.
Officials produced a quick DNA match from his remains, with 99.9% certainty.
US officials also said Bin Laden was identified through photo comparisons and other methods.
In the immediate aftermath, people in Abbottabad expressed disbelief that Bin Laden had “died or ever lived” among them.