CNN (USA), THE TELEGRAPH (Australia), AP
The Department of Defense has released emails between senior U.S. Navy officials that reveal new details about the May 2011 burial at sea of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
According to the Telegraph, they are the first public disclosure of government information about what happened to al Qaeda leader’s body after he was killed during the May 2, 2011, raid at his compound in Pakistan.
The May 2, 2011, email from Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette reveals that bin Laden’s burial from aboard the USS Carl Vinson followed traditional Islamic procedures, CNN reports:
"The deceased's body was washed (ablution) then placed in a white sheet. The body was placed in a weighted bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up, whereupon the deceased's body slid into the sea."
The heavily redacted emails also state only a few top Navy officials attended the ceremony.
"Any sailors watch the burial?" a Navy commander asked in a May 3, 2011, email to the public affairs officer on the USS Carl Vinson, the carrier where the SEALs took bin Laden's body.
"Only a small group of the leadership was informed -- less than a dozen," the public affairs officer replied.
[The USS Carl Vinson - Photo: US Navy]