Leadership (Abuja)

24 November 2012

Nigeria: How Osama Bin Laden Was Buried - U.S Navy

Internal military emails obtained by some foreign media have provided more details on how Al-Qaeda leader was killed by Navy SEALS in 2011.

The emails obtained via the Freedom of Information Act were released during the week by the United States (US) Defence Department.

The emails revealed that no soldiers aboard the USS Carl Vinson saw the body of Bin Laden, with only a few members of the ship's senior officers' crew witnessing the burial.

An email from a naval officer disclosed that Bin Laden's body was washed and wrapped in a white sheet, keeping with Islamic traditions. The body was then placed in a weighted bag.

"Traditional procedures for Islamic burial were followed.

"The deceased's body was washed (ablution) then placed in a white sheet. The body was placed in a weighted bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were completed, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up, whereupon the deceased's body slid into the sea," Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette said.

The burial was conducted with top secrecy and in emails, senior officers never referred to bin Laden by name, instead referencing him as "the package" and his handlers as "Fedex."

Before the body was delivered to the Carl Vinson, an email from Gaouette, which reports identified as the deputy commander of the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet at the time, asked Rear Admiral Samuel Perez, commander of the Vinson's carrier strike group if there was "any news on the package."

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