Osama Bin Laden is dead – prove it

May 2, 2011

When the news broke that Osama Bin Laden was dead, at the Reuters Global Pictures Desk in Singapore all we could think was one thing: We have to see the picture of the dead body. The world needed the tangible proof of a genuine photo before we could really absorb the idea that the world’s most sought and also most elusive Islamic extremist was dead. We also knew that the news agency that was first in sending a picture of his dead body to the world would go a long way to winning this historic story. Sending out a fake picture could be very embarrassing to say the least – a tough balancing act when under such pressure.

A few hours later there it was circulating on the internet: Osama Bin Laden’s bloodied face in a video transmitted by a TV station in Pakistan. Under tremendous pressure we could get the picture and fed it into our picture editing system in preparation for transmission around the globe.

But was it really Osama? It was rumoured that the source was US military but the editors on the Global Picture Desk found inconsistencies that immediately made us suspicious. There was odd pixilation and blurring and his face was darker in some areas than others. The biggest problem was that the picture looked familiar somehow. Quickly looking through dozens of our archive pictures we found that the bottom half of Osama Bin Laden’s face was identical to a picture of him speaking at a news conference in 1998. After flipping the picture 180 degrees and overlaying it with the picture of the dead Osama Bin Laden we had a perfect match. It was a fake.

The fake picture was locked in our system so that it couldn’t be sent out but would be saved for future training exercises. Meanwhile, the fake picture quickly gained momentum in cyber space.

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


Very informative blog.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.


This is one awesome blog article.Thanks Again. Really Great.


Appreciate you sharing, great post. Cool.


Thanks so much for the article.Much thanks again. Much obliged.


I am so grateful for your article.Thanks Again. Keep writing.


Really informative post.Much thanks again. Great.


Say, you got a nice post.Much thanks again. Awesome.


Wow, great blog.Really looking forward to read more.


Thank you ever so for you article post.Really thank you! Will read on…


I really liked your article. Awesome.


Wow, great blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.


Thanks-a-mundo for the article post.Thanks Again. Much obliged.


Say, you got a nice blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.


Fantastic blog article.Thanks Again. Fantastic.


Very informative article.Really thank you! Great.


I appreciate you sharing this post.Really thank you! Much obliged.


Major thanks for the article.Really thank you! Will read on…


Major thankies for the article post.Thanks Again. Will read on


Very informative article post. Cool.


A round of applause for your blog.Really thank you! Want more.


I really liked your article.Thanks Again. Really Cool.


A big thank you for your blog.Thanks Again. Will read on…


Thanks again for the blog post.Thanks Again. Really Great.


Muchos Gracias for your post.Thanks Again. Want more.


I think this is a real great article.Really looking forward to read more.


I value the post.Really thank you! Fantastic.


Very informative article post.Thanks Again. Awesome.


wow, awesome blog article.Much thanks again. Will read on…


Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic article.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.


I value the article.Thanks Again. Awesome.


Im grateful for the blog.Really thank you! Awesome.


This is one awesome blog. Want more.


Say, you got a nice blog.Thanks Again. Will read on…


I cannot thank you enough for the blog article.Much thanks again. Want more.


we came across a cool site that you simply could possibly love. Take a search for those who want


Thanks a lot for the blog article.Really thank you! Fantastic.


Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/