Osama's burial followed Islamic procedures: Military e-mails

Osama bin Laden

The burial at sea of Osama bin Laden, killed in a raid by the US Navy SEALs in Pakistan, followed traditional Islamic procedures and no sailors watched it, according to newly released military e-mails.

"Any sailors watch the burial?" a Navy commander asked the public affairs officer on the USS Carl Vinson on a May 3, 2011, e-mail.

"Only a small group of the leadership was informed less than a dozen," the public affairs officer replied. Another e-mail stated, "Burial no sailors watched."

Ten heavily redacted e-mails were released by the Department of Defence in response to a Freedom of Information lawsuit initially filed by the watchdog group Judicial Watch, the CNN reported.

The Carl Vinson was the carrier where the SEALs took bin Laden's body by helicopter after he was killed during the May 2, 2011, raid at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

In communications between high-ranking officers, the e-mails describe Islamic burial procedures being carried out with no fanfare, apparently with few of the officers and enlisted personnel aboard the huge carrier aware of what was going on aboard their ship.

"Traditional procedures for Islamic burial was followed," said one e-mail, adding, "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," it said.

The e-mail detailing the burial account was sent on May 2, 2011, and addressed to former Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen.

Naval officers used code words in some of the e-mails exchanged shortly after the raid was completed, with an exchange between two admirals including, "FEDEX delivered the package. Both trucks are safely enroute home base."

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