People are only just learning why Osama Bin Laden was buried at sea
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The death of Osama Bin Laden in 2011 marked a victory for the US in its fight against terror, but many are just learning why he was buried at sea.
The al-Qaeda founder, who orchestrated the devastating 9/11 attacks, was on the FBI’s most wanted list for over a decade before he was killed by US Navy Seals at his compound near Islamabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011.
The man who made the killing blow was US Navy SEAL Team 6 member Robert O'Neill and he recalled the moment in a conversation held in the 9/11 Memorial Museum, saying: "A foot and a half in front of me was Osama Bin Laden. And I shot him twice, and then once more...
"I turned around, other SEALs were coming in the room, and I kind of stopped there and looked at them. … [One of the SEALs] was looking at me, and said, ‘Are you OK?’ I said, ‘What do we do now?’
"And he laughed and put his hand on my shoulder, and he said, ‘Now we go find the computers’.”
Then-president Barack Obama announced the news of Bin Laden's death, but the US still had to determine how Bin Laden should be buried.
The country relied on religion and history to help inform its decision.
Cremation was ruled out, as it is banned in Islam, and burying him on land was an issue as his home country of Saudi Arabia reportedly wouldn't accept the body and officials were concerned his grave could become a 'terrorist shrine'.
As a result, the decision was made to bury Bin Laden at sea, with precautions taken to ensure no one would be able to find or recover his body.
Islamic tradition requires a body to be buried within 24 hours of death, so as soon as Bin Laden's body was identified, the US transferred his body to the USS Carl Vinson ship.
His body underwent Islamic burial rights, which included washing his body, wrapping him in white cloth and bringing in an Arabic translator to provide religious rites.
"A military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker," a US defence official explained.
However, the US then broke away from tradition by placing his body in a weighted bag before loading him on to a wooden board and pushing him into the ocean.
He was buried at 6.00 GMT, approximately 12 hours after being killed.
After learning of how Bin Laden was buried, one internet user wrote: "I’ve always wondered what they were going to do with his body. I didn’t believe anyone would want to make a memorial for him."
Another commented: "This is something I always wondered."