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US Senator says Osama photo confirms identity
US Senator Kelly Ayotte said she had seen one of the photos of the Al Qaeda leader after he had been killed.
Washington: US Senator Kelly Ayotte on Wednesday said she had seen one of the photos of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after he had been killed and that it confirmed his identity.
"I have seen one of them," the Republican senator told reporters inside the US Capitol. "Another senator showed it to me."
She said it was a facial shot.
"I saw a photo of him deceased, the head area. Obviously he had been wounded... I can't give any better description than that," she said.
Asked if the photo confirmed the identity of the dead man as bin Laden, Ayotte said, "My view, yes."
"Obviously I'm not an expert in this area. But... since he's such a well-known figure, when you see the picture, it clearly has his features," Ayotte said.
The Obama administration is wrestling with whether to release what it calls a gruesome image of bin Laden's corpse, even as militants are questioning whether US forces really killed him.
Ayotte made the comments after a closed-door briefing on bin Laden's death given to her and several other senators by CIA Director Leon Panetta. There was no indication she had seen the photo during that forum. Other senators who emerged said they had not seen any photos of bin Laden.
Ayotte said she thought the photos of bin Laden should be released to the public to help quash any conspiracy theories about whether the Al Qaeda leader was dead.
"Unfortunately, we've seen that in many instances around the world there can be conspiracy theories about these types of events. So I think it's important in terms of closure, that while nobody wants to see disturbing photos, the closure aspect I think is very important."
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