Osama bin Laden: Why did US bury al-Qaeda chief at sea 10 years ago?

05:00 PM | 2 May, 2021
Osama bin Laden: Why did US bury al-Qaeda chief at sea 10 years ago?

WASHINGTON – It's been a whole decade since former Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was killed in an overt and covert operation conducted in Pakistan by a team of US Navy Seals.

The day was May 2, 2011, when the US military carried out a raid on the compound in Abbottabad, the city where Bin Laden was hiding out but what seems skeptical to the world is why US officials didn’t bury Bin Laden's body despite buried him at sea.

Reports in international media suggest that the US took political, religious, and practical factors into consideration when deciding how to bury the former Al Qaeda chief.

Former US President Barack Obama, who directed the operation, got briefed that there was concern that if he was buried on land, his grave could become a shrine for his followers.

The US government’s explanations for why it didn’t bury the former most wanted person in the ground were contradictory. American officials told the media that the US didn’t want him to have a physical grave because it will be considered as a shrine due to his following.

It was also believed that Saudi Arabia, where Laden was born, had declined to accept his body.

Other grounds include burial in northwest Pakistan, where he got killed, which wouldn’t be the ultimate option as shrines are considered powerful symbols in the subcontinent.

Amid the dilemma to avoid bin Laden’s grave becoming a symbol to his followers, authorities made the decision to bury him at sea.

Reports also explained that US top officials consulted the specialists and experts so that the burial of 54-year-old remains in strict conformance with Islamist precepts and practices. Officials also confirmed that the burial was held as per the Islamic theory and it includes washing his body, wrapping him in white cloth; the Arabic translator said the ritual prayer and buried him within 24 hours of his death.

On the other hand, many experts opposed opinions on the burying style by the US authorities. Some argued that sea burials should only happen when a person dies at sea; otherwise, the body should be buried in the ground with the head pointed toward Makkah.

According to the Department of Defense, the funeral service for bin Laden took place aboard a large navy aircraft carrier with only a small group of people were present at the ritual site.

As the authorities announced his death, there was a question of whether it should release pictures or videos of bin Laden’s body in order to counter conspiracy theories that bin Laden was still alive.

Obama while speaking on a television show said "it’s important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool.

"That’s not who we are. We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies," he clarified.

Till this day, Pakistan officially denies that the ISI protected Osama bin Laden or that it had played any role in the May 2011 raid in Abbottabad.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk


Pakistani rupee exchange rate against US dollar, Euro, Pound and Riyal - 29 Feb 2024

Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 29, 2024 (Thursday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.1 for buying and 282.35 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 303 for buying and 306 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352 for buying, and 355.5 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.3.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 29 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.1 282.35
Euro EUR 303 306
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352 355.5
U.A.E Dirham AED 76 76.7
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.3 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.11 751.11
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209.2
China Yuan CNY 38.82 39.22
Danish Krone DKK 40.69 41.09
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.7 36.05
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.1 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 907.32 916.32
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.49 59.09
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.05 175.05
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.36 26.66
Omani Riyal OMR 725.68 733.68
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.74 77.44
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 27.04 27.34
Swiss Franc CHF 317.76 320.26
Thai Bhat THB 7.76 7.91


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