Conspiracy theories surrounding Osama bin Laden’s death



Osama bin Laden (By Mazhar Ali Khan/The Associated Press)
After the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden wasconfirmed by President Obamalate last night, celebrations quickly sprang up outside the White House and near Ground Zero in New York City.

But some people aren’t celebrating yet. Instead, conspiracy theories are being formulated about the more ambiguous aspects of bin Laden’s death. Why isn’t there a photograph of bin Laden’s body? Was he actually buried at sea? Did they really use his sister’s brain? We run down the coincidences that are starting to spur conspiracy theories already.

Buried at Sea

Bin Laden was reportedly transported from Pakistan and “buried at sea,” although it’s not clear in what body of water, according to a U.S. official. The Post reports that the U.S. government did not want there to be a gravesite that could be used as a shrine. Some conspiracy theorists doubt that bin Laden is dead because the body was disposed of so quickly. Others take issue with the lack of photographic evidence.

‘Mission Accomplished’ Anniversary

Yesterday was the eighth anniversary of President George W. Bush’s so-called “Mission Accomplished” speech. To some, this coincidence is an opportunity to use “Mission Accomplished” as a rallying cry — to show that almost 10 years after 9/11, the mastermind of the attack is dead. Others may see this as not a coincidence, but a carefully planned public relations act.

Zombie Month

Bin Laden was identified through facial recognition and DNA provided by the brain of his deceased sister. Two Obama administration officialssaid the DNA test proved that they had bin Laden’s body with 99.9 percent confidence. But is it just a coincidence that yesterday was the beginning of Zombie Awareness Month? (Undoubtedly, yes.)

Bin Laden and Pakistan

Despite being one of the most wanted men in the world, bin Laden was reportedly able to live in a luxury compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan — only 65 miles from the capital city — undetected by military forces. Some critics are questioning this. “How could [bin Laden] be in such a compound without being noticed?” Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Fox News Monday morning. Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Hussein Haqqani, said his government “had no knowledge” that bin Laden was in the country. The Post reports that “a Senate hearing on U.S.-Pakistan relations is scheduled for this week.”

Sohaib Athar’s Tweets from the attack on Osama bin Laden - read them all below


According to his Twitter stream @reallyvirtual, Sohaib Athar moved from Lahore, Pakistan to the resort town of Abbottabad to take a break from the rat race. It seems he didn’t move far enough. On Sunday, Athar found himself smack in the center of one of the year’s biggest news events. Scroll down to see his Twitter stream.

(Sohaib Athar’s Twitter profile photo)

A 33-year-old IT consultant, Athar was on Twitter when the sound of a helicopter flying overhead drove him to write a series of frustrated notes. Over the next few hours, he compiled rumors and observations about an event that would soon have the world riveted: Athar tweeted the secret operation that killed Osama bin Laden. “I am just a Tweeter, a guy awake at the time of the crash,” he wrote after the world noticed he had a front seat to history and inundated him with questions and messages. Here’s the story from Athar’s point of view:

The man who tweeted the attack on Osama bin Laden -- without knowing it

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