Details have emerged on how Osama bin Laden; formerly the world’s most wanted man was buried. For more than a year, the details of his burial “at sea” were held in utmost secrecy. Internal emails among United States military officers have however indicated that no sailors on the USS Carl Vinson watched the al- Qaeda leader’s burial. Some of the e mails also revealed that traditional Islamic procedures were followed during the ceremony.
The emails which were released on Wednesday by the United States Department of Defence sequel to a Freedom of Information lawsuit instituted by Judicial Watch, are heavily blacked out.
One of the e-mail’s stamped secret and sent on May 2 by a senior Navy officer described how bin Laden’s body was washed, wrapped in a white sheet, and then placed in a weighted bag. The mail, sent by Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette stated that “Traditional procedures for Islamic burial was followed. 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.”
Some of the e-mails also showed that Admiral Gaouette, then the deputy commander of the Navy’s Fifth Fleet, and another officer used codes to discuss whether the helicopters carrying the SEALs and bin Laden’s body had arrived on the Vinson.
Gaouette sent a mail with the content “Any news on the package for us?” to Rear Admiral Samuel Perez, commander of the carrier strike group that included the Vinson, the response he got was “FEDEX delivered the package. Both trucks are safely enroute home base.”
Bin Laden was killed on May 1, 2011 when Navy SEALS attacked his house in Abbotabad, Pakistan.