FBI gives Osama bin Laden shave and a haircut
UPDATE: After the aged Osama bin Laden photos were posted on U.S. government websites, a Spanish politician said his photograph was used to compose one of the images and he was considering taking legal action. Read about the latest twist here.
Everyone gets older, even the most wanted terrorism suspect.
So more than 8 years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the FBI has used digital forensic techniques to figure out what al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden might look like now.
In one new picture, bin Laden has a closely-cropped beard and short, stylish grey hair — a far cry from the photo that has been on the most wanted terrorism website of a man with a long, bushy, dark beard.
Another depiction is of bin Laden with a white headdress, long salt-and-pepper beard and a face with more hollows and sunken eyes.
“Using sophisticated digital enhancement techniques, forensic artists at the FBI’s laboratory in Quantico, Virginia have ‘age progressed’ old photos of 18 terrorist suspects listed on the State Department’s Rewards for Justice website,” a joint statement from the two agencies said.
“Federal investigators hope these updated images will enable the public to better identify these wanted suspects.”
The U.S. government has a $25 million reward for finding bin Laden, who is in his early 50s and has mainly been seen in the West on videotapes aired to publicize his occasional message.
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Photo credit: Reuters/stringer Afghanistan (bin Laden at a news conference in Afghanistan in 1998)