Osama Bin Laden is dead – prove it

May 3, 2011

When news broke that Osama Bin Laden was dead, the Reuters Global Pictures Desk in Singapore could think of only one thing: We have to see the picture of the dead body. The world needed a genuine photo to confirm that the elusive Islamic militant leader was dead. We also knew that the first news agency to publish a picture of his dead body would lead the way on this historic story. Sending out a fake picture could be very embarrassing.

A few hours later a picture was circulating on the Internet. It appeared to be Osama Bin Laden’s bloodied face in a video transmitted by a TV station in Pakistan. But was it really Bin Laden?

Some media claimed that the source of the picture was the U.S. military, but editors on the Global Pictures Desk found inconsistencies in the image that made them suspicious. There was odd pixelation and blurring on his face, which was also darker in some areas. The picture also looked familiar. After a quick search of our pictures archive, we found that the bottom of Bin Laden’s face was similar to a picture of the al Qaeda leader speaking at a news conference in 1998. After overlaying the 1998 photo with the picture of the dead Bin Laden we had a perfect match. The mouth, ear and beard were identical. It was a fake and the desk did not transmit it.

However, the fake Bin Laden was used by numerous news websites and even appeared in print in Pakistan.

We’re still waiting for the genuine picture of Bin Laden’s body.

(See below for the two images overlaid in an animation. Notice the mouth never changes.)



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Good call!

Posted by Photoluc | Report as abusive

This photo is such an obvious fake I’m surprised you’re bragging on yourselves this way. Seriously, is there really any supposed photo professional who would think this photo is real? Also, where would it have come from? Certainly the team who went in and killed the terrorist would not have allowed it to go viral. Get over yourselves.

Posted by infidelex | Report as abusive

Well, I suppose they could have hung him by his feet from the hook of a crane and left him for the dogs to chew on…thats after the stoning by the women…like they do in Iran.
But we are a little more civilized than that. Its the classic special forces method to make sure he’s dead. A double tap…one to the eye and one in the heart.
He’s dead. There is no conspiracy. Get on with life.

Posted by S.Asprey | Report as abusive

Yeah, it wasn’t terribly hard to debunk this one. About 30 mins after Obama’s speech, I saw it on Twitter. Did a quick image search online and found an older copy of that same photo on a blog from last year.

https://twitter.com/#!/acarvin/statuses/ 64899790542077952

Posted by acarvin | Report as abusive

I may have a stupid speculation.. possibly he’s wounded and still alive.. the order could have been been capture interrogate get maximum info then kill within a time frame instead of capture and kill since its difficult to buy the sudden sea burial aspect.

Posted by adkh2011 | Report as abusive

Fake fake pic.Why fake?

Posted by roberttttt | Report as abusive

The link below says you have used these images before on Reuters, why? Who is telling the truth here?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may  /02/osama-bin-laden-photo-fake?CMP=twt_ fd

Posted by Brainfortruth | Report as abusive

Brainfortruth if you read the Guardian article properly, you would have seen that the ORIGINAL photo has been used by Reuters…not the doctored one…

Posted by SI_Royalty | Report as abusive