Agencies | Last Modified - May 05, 2011, 01:44 PM IST
Washington: US President Barack Obama has decided not to release photos of killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's body saying, "We don't trot out this stuff as trophies".
Discussions over whether the pictures should be released had been going on since the raids by US Navy Seals in Abbottabad in Pakistan wherein they killed the most wanted terrorist and 9/11 mastermind.
According to BBC, the US is concerned that the images which are ‘gruesome’ in nature may inflame sensitivities.
Announcing Obama's decision "not to release any of the photographs of deceased Osama bin Laden", White House Press Secretary Jay Carney read a quote from Obama to CBS "60 Minutes" to be telecast on Sunday.
"When they landed, we had very strong confirmation that it was him. Photographs had been taken. Facial analysis had indicated that in fact it was him. We hadn't yet done DNA testing, but at that point we were 95 per cent sure."
Obama saw the pictures? "Yes."
Reaction? "It was him."
Why not release them? "We discussed this internally. Keep in mind that we are absolutely certain that this was him. We've done DNA sampling and testing. So there was no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden."
"It is very important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of someone shot in the head are not floating around as a propaganda tool. That's not who we are," Obama said.
"We don't trot out this stuff as trophies. I think Americans and people around the world are glad that he is gone. But we don't need to spike the football. It would create some national security risk."
Carney said in reaching the decision about not releasing the photos, Obama talked about it with Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"He held his opinion very firmly," Carney said.
Asked about CIA Director Leon Panetta's claim that a photo would be released, Carney said there's a "compelling argument" for releasing information. He says Obama was "engaged" in the discussion.
Earlier, Laden's 12-year-old daughter had revealed that her father was first captured alive in his hideout on Abbottabad in Pakistan and then shot by US Navy Seals.
A report had also claimed that the terror leader had begged for his life and said 'it's not me' when he was confronted by the Seals.
(With inputs from PTI)