Secret internal emails reveal Osama bin Laden was washed, wrapped in a sheet and slid into the sea for his burial in accordance with Islamic burial tradition - and no sailors saw it.
The heavily blacked out emails sent between U.S. military officers were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and are the first public disclosure of government information about the al Qaida leader's death.
Bin Laden was killed on May 1, 2011, by a U.S. Navy SEAL team that attacked his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
One email, stamped secret and sent on May 2 by a senior navy officer, briefly describes how bin Laden's body was washed, wrapped in a white sheet, then placed in a weighted bag.
According to another message from the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier's public affairs officer, only a small group of the ship's leadership was informed of the burial.
'Traditional procedures for Islamic burial was followed,' the May 2 email from Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette reads. '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.'
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment