Judicial Watch Receives Access to Bin Laden Records

Osama bin Laden / WC

Osama bin Laden / WC


Judicial Watch (JW) received Osama bin Laden’s burial records from the U.S. Navy today as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit from July 18.  The records confirmed that bin Laden was given “full Islamic burial honors” when he was buried at sea. However, the released documents failed to include the “prepared religious remarks” read at the burial, which was requested.

The U.S. Navy informed JW that the burial remarks, bin Laden’s post-mortem pictures, and videos were left out because of “operational security.”

“The paucity of documentary evidence in our possession is a reflection of the emphasis placed upon operational security during the execution of this phase of the operation.” The Obama administration continues to withhold bin Laden burial documents under the “foreign policy” exemption in FOIA law, which protects information relating to national security and defense. President Obama has said publicly he does not want to release information pertaining to bin Laden’s capture and killing for fear of offending radical Islamists. […]

“These new documents confirm the honors given bin Laden at his burial, including a prayer in Arabic and ritual cleansing of his remains,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “But the American people still don’t have the full picture because the Obama administration is fearful of offending terrorists.”

Even though the Obama administration is adamant about withholding information from the public, JW noted the president’s “open embrace of filmmakers producing a bin Laden assault film [“Zero Dark Thirty”].

In response to an earlier JW FOIA request, the Obama administration has admitted that its revelations of sensitive information to the producers of the soon-to-be-released film Zero Dark Thirty could cause “unnecessary security and counterintelligence risk.”