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People are only just learning why Osama Bin Laden was buried at sea

People are only just learning why Osama Bin Laden was buried at sea

The al-Qaeda founder died in 2011

The 2011 death of Osama Bin Laden might be common knowledge, but some people are just learning about why the al-Qaeda founder was buried at sea.

After more than a decade on the FBI's most wanted list, Bin Laden was killed by a team of US Navy SEALs at his compound near Islamabad, Pakistan on 2 May, 2011.

Former US Navy SEAL Team 6 member Robert O'Neill recalled the moment the leader of the militant group was killed 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.

Bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALS.
World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

Obama announced the death of Bin Laden on 2 May 2011.
White House Photo / Alamy Stock Photo

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 last month 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."

Featured Image Credit: World History Archive / REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: World News