[UPDATE] Sen. Nelson Views Osama Death Photos

By: The News Service of Florida; Associated Press; CBS News
By: The News Service of Florida; Associated Press; CBS News

[UPDATE] 5-13 9:40am -

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Wednesday that he has viewed the classified photos of Osama bin Laden and while supporting the decision to keep them classified now, called for them eventually to be released to the public. As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Nelson, a Democrat, was one of the members of Congress shown the photos at the Central Intelligence Agency. Nelson said he viewed the photos Wednesday afternoon. “There is no doubt in my mind – nor should there be in anyone else’s – that we got the terrorist who orchestrated the insane and murderous acts that took place on Sept. 11, 2001,” Nelson said. “I’ve said already that I agree with President Obama’s decision not to release these pictures right now. Satisfying skeptics and conspiracy theorists isn’t worth inflaming radicals or putting our troops in even more danger. Still, I personally believe the free flow of information is tantamount to our democracy. Thus, these pictures should eventually be made part of the public record.”

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[UPDATE] 5-12 6pm -

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson was able to take a look at the much talked about classified pictures of Osama bin Laden.

The Florida Democrat, a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he saw a number of photographs at the C-I-A headquarters in Virginia yesterday afternoon accompanied by representatives of the CIA.

Senator Nelson says, "There's no doubt in my mind or should there be in anybody else's that we had the man, who orchestrated the insane and murderous acts that took place on September 11, 2001."

Nelson has supported President Barack Obama's decision to keep the photographs under wraps, but has called for them to become part of the public record at a later date.

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[UPDATE] 5-12 2:52pm - WASHINGTON, D.C. -

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson today reviewed the still-classified photographs of Usama bin Laden that showed the deadly wounds inflicted by Navy SEALs during their mission 11 days ago.

The Florida Democrat, a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he saw a number of photographs at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Va., between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. accompanied by representatives of the CIA.

Nelson has supported President Barack Obama’s decision to keep the photographs under wraps, but has called for them to become part of the public record at a later date. Arriving back at the Capitol from the CIA, he issued the following, brief statement:

“Earlier today I went to the CIA headquarters outside Washington and viewed a number of pictures of Usama bin Laden, along with others taken at the scene of our mission in Pakistan to capture or kill him.

“There is no doubt in my mind – nor should there be in anyone else’s – that we got the terrorist who orchestrated the insane and murderous acts that took place on Sept. 11, 2001.

“I’ve said already that I agree with President Obama’s decision not to release these pictures right now. Satisfying skeptics and conspiracy theorists isn’t worth inflaming radicals or putting our troops in even more danger.

“Still, I personally believe the free flow of information is tantamount to our democracy. Thus, these pictures should eventually be made part of the public record.

“This is why I’ve written President Obama and asked that they be released as early as it can be determined that doing so won’t expose Americans to harm.

“For now, you can know this: Osama bin Laden is dead. But, our job is not yet done. We need to continue moving forward with purpose and vigilance here at home and abroad.”

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[UPDATE] 5-6 3:10pm - KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) --

The Afghan Taliban say the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden will only serve to boost morale in insurgent ranks and encourage them in the war against the U.S. and its NATO allies.

In statement sent Friday by email to news organizations, the
Taliban said the death of the terror leader "will give a new
impetus to the current jihad against the invaders," meaning the
U.S. and its international partners.

The Taliban praised bin Laden for his sacrifice in the war
against the Soviets in the 1980s and said anyone who believes his
death will undermine the current conflict is displaying a "lack of
insight."

Bin Laden was killed early Monday in a U.S. raid against his
hiding place in the Pakistani town of Abbotabad.

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[UPDATE] 5-6 10am

CAIRO (AP) -- Al-Qaida is confirming the death of Osama bin Laden
and promising retaliation.

In a statement posted on militant websites today, al-Qaida says
Americans' happiness will soon "turn to sadness" and "their
blood will be mingled with their tears."

The message stresses that al-Qaida will live on, saying it will
remain "a curse chasing the Americans and their agents, following
them outside and inside their countries."

The statement, dated May 3 and signed by "the general
leadership" of al-Qaida, is the first word from the terror network
since bin Laden was killed by U.S. commandos Monday in Pakistan.

It also calls on the people of Pakistan to rise up in revolt
against its leaders, and says an audio message bin Laden recorded a week before his death will be issued soon.

The statement's authenticity could not be independently
confirmed, but it was posted on websites where al-Qaida
traditionally puts out its messages.

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[UPDATE] 5-4 1:42pm - WASHINGTON (AP) --

President Barack Obama says the White House
will not release a photo of Osama bin Laden's body.

Obama made the remarks during an interview Wednesday with CBS'
"60 Minutes."

The White House had been weighing the release of a photo, in
part to offer proof that bin Laden was killed during a raid on his
compound early Monday. However, officials had cautioned that the
photo was gruesome and could be inflammatory.

U.S. forces stormed the compound in Pakistan where bin Laden was
hiding, then shot and killed the al-Qaida leader.

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[UPDATE] 5-3 11:42am - ISLAMABAD (AP) --

Pakistan says it has "deep concerns" over "unauthorized" US raid against Osama bin Laden.

The government statement Tuesday said the raid should not serve
as a precedent for future U.S. actions in the country.

Washington says it did not inform Islamabad about Monday's
helicopter attack on bin Laden in a house deep inside Pakistani
territory for security reasons.

Domestic critics have accused the government of allowing
Washington to violate the country's sovereignty.

Islamabad is also angered at international suspicions that it
had been sheltering bin Laden.

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[UPDATE] 5-3 11:40am WASHINGTON (AP) --

In Pakistan and elsewhere, the mythology is already building -- that Osama bin Laden isn't really dead. And U.S. officials want to offer additional proof to counter that -- perhaps by releasing video and photos of the al-Qaida leader after his death.

But counterterrorism adviser John Brennan says it "needs to be
done thoughtfully" to avoid inflaming Islamic sentiment around the
world.

There are photos of bin Laden's corpse, and video of his swift
burial at sea.

U.S. officials say the photographic evidence shows bin Laden was
shot above his left eye, blowing away part of his skull. They say
he was also shot in the chest.

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[UPDATE] 5-3 8:30am - The News Service of Florida -

NELSON: BUSH DESERVES SOME OF CREDIT FOR BIN LADEN HIT

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., suggested Monday that former President George W. Bush deserves some of the credit for the attack in Pakistan on Monday morning local time that killed terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. "It's instructive that President Obama called former President Bush," Nelson said. "This has been a long effort of ten years." Nelson also played up the significance of the death of the terrorist leader to the international network he founded and bankrolled for decades. "It's symbolic in that you cut off the head of the snake," said Nelson, who was in town for a press conference dealing with a state elections bill. "It's going to be hugely demoralizing to al Qaeda. And as a result what you're going to see is a fracturing of the organization even though they have been decentralized." And the senator also had a warning for Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's longtime No. 2 and ideological mentor. "His days are numbered," Nelson said.

SCOTT PRAISES BIN LADEN HIT

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday called the death of Osama bin Laden a “great victory for Americans and for freedom-loving people worldwide.” In a statement, Scott said he hoped that for those who have lost loved ones in the war on terror, his killing would bring some peace. “Finally some degree of justice has been achieved after nearly a decade of death, war and untold sacrifices because of that man,” Scott said. The governor also commended President Obama “for doing the right thing and following through with the promise of justice initially given by President George W. Bush.”

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[UPDATE] 5-3 5:50am - CBS News - Joel Brown

Members of Congress treated President Obama to a rare standing ovation... just a day after American forces took down Osama bin Laden.

"I want to again recognize the heroes who carried out this incredibly dangerous mission."

Today, CIA director Leon Panetta will brief lawmakers on the top secret mission but details are already emerging.

A lone courier apparently led U-S forces to bin Laden's hiding place in this million dollar compound in Pakistan.

Monday, White House Counterterrorism Advisor John Brennan talked to the press about bin Laden's compound.
"What we see in this compound is different from anything we've ever seen before"

Officials tracked the courier's cell phone but he didn't make it easy... turning it off and removing the battery every time he was near the complex.

Eventually, officials zeroed in on the location. Two helicopters loaded with NAVY Seals swooped in and.... after a brief firefight... the world's most wanted man was dead.

The entire time.. an anxious President Obama and his security team watched from the White House.

The military buried the Al Qaeda leader at sea. Pentagon officials say a videotape of the event could be released soon to refute any claims the body was not bin Laden's

CBS News National Security Analyst Juan Zarate says the White House may have no choice but to release some form of evidence.
"There will be mounting pressure to release more proof since the body is now gone. The U.S. has DNA evidence testimony of those at the site, video of the body and Osama's picture."

Sources say the military also discovered a "significant amount" of data at bin Laden's compound.

Intelligence officials are now digging through those documents... searching for any new leads about future attacks or other high ranking members of al-Qaeda.

[UPDATE] 5-2 2:30pm - Washington (AP) --

The White House says it has made no decision on whether to release photographic proof that Osama bin Laden is dead.

John Brennan, President Barack Obama's counter-terrorism adviser,
says the administration will do everything it can to make sure no
one can deny U.S. claims that the al-Qaida leader was killed during
a firefight with U.S. forces in Pakistan.

But Brennan says still to be determined is whether to release a
photo of bin Laden's dead body. Brennan says one concern is whether doing so could potentially jeopardize similar operations and
intelligence sources in the future.

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[UPDATE] 5-2 Noon - MIAMI (AP) --

From Miami's Calle Ocho to Tallahassee's
statehouse, Floridians are celebrating the death of Al Qaida leader
Osama Bin Laden, who took credit for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

At the domino tables in Miami's Little Havana, much of the
morning chatter focused on the attack, as it did at water coolers,
stores and homes across the Sunshine State.

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado says he understands some might feel it's in bad taste to celebrate a person's death, but he said the
lethal operation gives Americans a reason to stand united. He added
Bin Laden's death is a reminder that those who attack the U.S. face
punishment.

In Tallahassee, Gov. Rick Scott said the world is a safer place
and commended President Barack Obama, the U.S. military and the
intelligence community.
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Join WCTV reporter Deneige Broom as she gets reaction from local veterans on the death of Osama bin Laden.

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[UPDATE] 5-2 11:39am - CAIRO (AP) --

Muslim clerics are saying that Osama bin Laden's burial at sea was a violation of Islamic tradition.

Many are saying it shows a disregard for the Muslim practice of
placing the body in a grave with the head pointed toward Mecca.

A U.S. official said the decision was made after concluding it
would have been hard to find a country that would accept the
remains. There also was speculation about worry that a grave site
could have become a rallying point for militants.

President Barack Obama said the remains had been handled in
accordance with Islamic custom, which requires speedy burial.

But a radical Lebanese cleric called it a "strategic mistake"
that was bound to stoke rage. He says Americans were hoping to
"humiliate" Muslims by disposing of bin Laden's remains that way.

Some Islamic scholars say burials at sea can only be allowed in
special cases where the death occurred aboard a ship.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- 5-2 11am -

Officials say CIA interrogators in secret overseas prisons developed the first strands of information that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh
Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks,
provided the nom de guerre of one of bin Laden's most trusted
aides. The CIA got similar information Mohammed's successor, Abu
Faraj al-Libi. Both were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics
inside CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.

The news is sure to reignite debate over whether the now-closed
interrogation and detention program was successful. Former
president George W. Bush authorized the CIA to use the harshest
interrogation tactics in U.S. history. President Barack Obama
closed the prison system.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- 5-2 10:55am -

Two Obama administration officials say DNA evidence has proven
that Osama bin Laden is dead, with 99.9 percent confidence.

The officials did not immediately say where or how the testing
was done but the test explains why President Barack Obama was
confident to announce the death to the world Sunday night.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- 5-2 9:22am

A U.S. official says Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea.

After bin Laden was killed in a raid by U.S. forces in Pakistan,
senior administration officials said the body would be handled
according to Islamic practice and tradition. That practice calls
for the body to be buried within 24 hours, the official said.
Finding a country willing to accept the remains of the world's most
wanted terrorist would have been difficult, the official said. So
the U.S. decided to bury him at sea.

The official, who spoke Monday on condition of anonymity to
discuss sensitive national security matters, did not immediately
say where that occurred.

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[UPDATE] 5-2 8:30 AM-- WASHINGTON (AP) --

The FBI has updated its list of Most Wanted
terrorists to note that Osama bin Laden is dead. Its website -- with
details about bin Laden and the $27 million being offered in
rewards -- now includes a large red-and-white "deceased" label
atop bin Laden's photograph.

Nine other highly sought after terrorists are still included on
the FBI's list, including bin Laden's deputy, Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
The U.S. government also is offering a $25 million reward for
information leading to his capture or conviction. Private groups
had added $2 million in rewards on top of the $25 million bounty
placed on bin Laden.

Bin Laden was killed in a gun battle with U.S. forces early Monday in Pakistan.

Click Here to View
FBI Most Wanted List

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[UPDATE] 5-2 12:53 AM--

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Official: US ensuring bin Laden's body is
handled in accordance with Islamic tradition
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[UPDATE] 5-2 12:19 AM--

WASHINGTON (AP) -- US puts embassies on alert, warns Americans of
al-Qaida reprisal attacks for bin Laden killing
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[UPDATE] 5-1 11:46 PM--

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says Osama bin Laden,
the glowering mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks
that killed thousands of Americans, was killed in an operation led
by the United States.

A small team of Americans carried out the attack and took
custody of bin Laden's remains, the president said Sunday in a
dramatic late-night statement at the White House.

A jubilant crowd gathered outside the White House as word spread
of bin Laden's death after a global manhunt that lasted nearly a
decade.

"Justice has been done," the president said.

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[UPDATE] 5-1 11:33 PM--

ISLAMABAD (AP) -- An American official says Osama bin Laden was
killed in a mansion close to the Pakistani capital.

A Pakistani intelligence official confirmed that the al-Qaida
leader had been killed in Pakistan.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the
sensitivity of the information.
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[UPDATE] 5-1 11:25 PM--

ISLAMABAD (AP) -- American official says Osama bin Laden was
killed in a mansion close to the Pakistani capital.
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[UPDATE] 5-1 11:21 PM--

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- Senior Pakistani intelligence
official confirms that Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan.
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[UPDATE] 5-1 11:17 PM--

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the
Sept. 11 attacks against the United States, is dead, and the U.S.
is in possession of his body, a person familiar with the situation
said late Sunday.

President Barack Obama was expected to address the nation on the
developments Sunday night.

A senior U.S. counterterrorism official said bin Laden was
killed in a ground operation in Pakistan, not by a Predator drone.
The official said it happened last week.

Officials have long believed bin Laden, the most wanted man in
the world, was hiding a mountainous region along the
Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to
speak ahead of the president.

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[UPDATE] 5-1 10:50 PM--

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Osama bin Laden is dead and US has body, says
person familiar with developments
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[UPDATE] 5-1 10:05 PM--

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House says President Barack Obama is making a late-night statement but is not announcing the topic that
he will discuss.

Officials say the statement could come as early as 10:30 p.m.
EDT.

It is highly unusual that the president would make a late-night
statement with not even a hint about what he would discuss.

____________________________________________________________

WASHINGTON (AP) -- White House says Obama to make late-night
statement Sunday; subject not announced


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