PRESIDENT Barack Obama has decided not release a picture of Osama bin Laden’s body, as further details of his final moments emerge.
The gruesome photographs of the al Qaeda leader, reportedly taken in an aircraft hangar in Afghanistan, are said to show an open gun shot wound to his head, part of his skull missing and brain matter.
One of bin Laden’s eyes is said to be open, while the other is “completely gone”.
The White House is concerned the images could prove incendiary amongst terrorist groups, despite mounting international pressure for evidence of the world’s most wanted man’s demise.
“It is not in our national security interest to allow those images… to become icons to rally opinion against the United States,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
A set of photographs, taken when bin Laden was buried at sea, are said to be more easily viewed, yet do not depict him as clearly. It is not yet certain whether they will be released.
Meanwhile, bin Laden’s daughter is alleged to have claimed her father had been taken alive by US special forces, before being shot.