Leaked dead Osama bin Laden photo or not?

Leaked dead Osama bin Laden photo or not?

Is this photo purporting to show a dead dead Osama bin Laden a fake or real photo of the Saudi-born businessman and the world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden?

Photo purporting to be a leaked photo of a dead Osama bin Laden
Photo purporting to be a leaked photo of a dead Osama bin Laden but clearly showing a wound on the right side of the victims head

Late on the evening of Tuesday, May 3, 2011, image No1 was posted on LiveLeak purporting to be a leaked US administration photo of a dead Osama bin Laden being cradled in the hands of a US special forces soldier.

The photo ran with the caveat: “Note: Liveleak cannot confirm the authenticity of this Osama Bin Laden dead picture”

Internet observers quickly pointed out that reports from the White House had previously stated that Osama bin Laden had been killed by a single gunshot wound to the left eye, and Photo #1 clearly shows a wound above the right eye.

Photo purporting to be a leaked photo of a dead Osama bin Laden #2
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Photo purporting to be a leaked photo of a dead Osama bin Laden #3
Photo purporting to be a leaked photo of a dead Osama bin Laden #3, but with the green “night vision” coloring removed

When the image purporting to be that of the dead Osama bin Laden is flipped horizontal nothing immediately looks out of the ordinary.

As some web commentators stated, one would expect better quality photos coming from the killing of Osama bin Laden. No doubt if he was still alive, Walter Cronkite would have been on the lead chopper.

Knowing that the White House watched the killing of Osama bin Laden live it is reasonable to suspect that any leaked image is likely at this early stage to be from the video feed. Stripping out the green “night vision” look produces Photo #3.

Photo #4 purporting to be that of a dead Osama bin Laden has had some minor enhancements to brightness, contrast and been increased in size marginally.

What do you think? Is this dead Osama bin Laden photo fake or real?

Footnote: Early on the morning of Tuesday, May 4, 2011 the US CIA issued a warning to people not to open eMails purporting to contain attached photos of Osama bin Laden dead. EMails so titled often contain a computer virus.

Latest media reports on the killing of Saudi-born businessman and the world’s most wanted terrorist (or freedom fighter) Osama bin Laden

Photo purporting to be a leaked photo of a dead Osama bin Laden #4
Photo purporting to be a leaked photo of a dead Osama bin Laden #4 – slight manipulation of brightness & contrast and enlargement

Osama bin Laden’s last hours come into focus as White House revises its story
While US officials amend narrative of raid, Abbottabad residents describe Bin Laden’s ‘mansion’ and the brothers who built it

US admits bin Laden unarmed when shot
It has emerged Osama bin Laden was not armed when he was shot dead by US commandos at his compound in Pakistan. Bin Laden was shot above his left eye, reportedly blowing away a section of his skull.

Backlash at Bin Laden ‚”Execution”
West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt called the raid “clearly a violation of international law”. He said it could have incalculable consequences in the Arab world at a time of unrest.

Obama makes solemn trip to Ground Zero
US president Barack Obama has visited Ground Zero in New York to pay tribute to those killed in the September 11 attacks, praising Manhattan firefighters and police and meeting with families of those killed in the attack allegedly orchestrated by Osama bin Laden.

The visit came as US officials revealed that only one person fired on the American special forces and bin Laden was killed at the start of the raid.

 

 

 

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John Le Fevre is an Australian national with more than 40 years experience as a journalist, photographer, videographer and editor.

He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia, with stints in the Middle East, the USA, and England.

He has covered major world events including Operation Desert Shield/ Storm, the 1991 pillage in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and the 2009, 2010, and 2014 Bangkok political protests.

In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.

Most recently he was the Thailand editor/ managing editor of AEC News Today . Prior to that he was the deputy editor and Thailand and Greater Mekong Sub-region editor for The Establishment Post, predecessor of Asean Today.

In the mid-80s and early 90s he owned JLF Promotions, the largest above and below the line marketing and PR firm servicing the high-technology industry in Australia. It was sold in 1995.

Opinions and views expressed on this site are those of the author’s only. Read more at About me

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