The White House announced photos of Osama bin Laden will not be released to the public. President Obama made the decision early Wednesday not to release photos of Osama bin Laden under the presumption that doing so could incite rebel groups.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates advised Obama against releasing photos of Osama bin Laden’s body. President Obama, after careful consideration and consulting with White House officials, decided the photos were too graphic to be released.
Recent photos of Osama bin Laden’s compound surfaced, showing Osama living in a million dollar home near the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. Inside the compound, According to ABC News bin Laden’s wife and thirteen year old daughter witnessed the raid and shooting. Osama bin Laden’s daughter and wife are now cooperating with authorities.
President Obama is scheduled to address the nation on Thursday from Ground Zero in New York City. The President is expected to discuss the events occurring up to Osama bin Laden’s death and decisions related to the releasing the photos.
Critics Raise Doubts about bin Laden Death
Islamist groups and conspiracy theorists are raising doubts about the authenticity of reports on the death of Osama bin Laden.
Suspicion is growing among radical groups about bin Laden death. There is a distrust that reports coming from the U.S. are completely factual considering the U.S. military conducted the raid on bin Laden’s compound without the involvement of the Pakistani government.
The President’s decision to not release the photos of bin Laden is attracting criticism from extremists over seas. CIA Director Leon Panetta seemed optimistic the Obama administration would release the photos of bin Laden at some point, doing so now could endanger many lives.
Oddly enough, some critics including the Taliban are vowing revenge and have their sites set on Americans. This may suggest the Taliban is one radical Islamic group that believes the reports of Osama bin Laden’s death.
Impact on War in Afghanistan
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed optimism the Taliban may be willing to negotiate now that bin Laden is dead. Clinton advised bin Laden’s death could impact the war in Afghanistan if Al Qaeda and the Taliban are willing to negotiate.
Releasing the photo could further incite al Qaeda and the Taliban. The likelihood of the U.S. reaching a compromise with Al Qaeda may be tenuous at best.
However, rebel groups in Pakistan, Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) have expressed plans to increase attacks and refuse any sort of negotiations with the U.S.
Foreign Policy reports, TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan stated “Now Pakistani rulers, President Asif Ali Zardari and the army will be our first targets. America will be our second target”.
Not only does the President’s decision impact Americans, but the release of bin Laden’s photo could influence younger generation of Muslims. Releasing the photo of Osama bin Laden may incite a new generation of Muslim extremists. The younger generation loyalty to Osama bin Laden may not be as intense, yet with the proliferation of the internet gives younger generation’s access to images that could encourage even further widespread terrorist activity.
The Young Wife Who Defended Osama Bin Laden, ABC News
Obama doubles down on refusal to release bin Laden photos, The Christian Science Monitor
Clinton: Taliban more likely to negotiate after bin Laden death , Foreign Policy
CIA Boss Says U.S. Will ‘‹Å”Ultimately’ Release Bin Laden Photo, Fox News