Osama bin Laden: Conspiracy theories thrive on lack of proof

The burden of proof is now on President Barack Obama to show that Osama bin Laden is dead, and skepticism at home and abroad is growing louder.

After announcing that DNA tests confirmed bin Laden’s death, the White House is weighing whether to release a photo of his body with a gunshot wound to the head, saying it is grotesque but they want to quiet the questions.

Military officials buried the terror leader’s body at sea after killing him early Monday in Pakistan.  

Here and abroad, skepticism about what really happened might push the release of proof of his death.

“In the Middle East, conspiracy theories abound,” said State University of New York political science and international relations professor Lewis Brownstein.

Dumping his body in the North Arabian Sea was a way to shut out further questions, said John Jay College political science professor Peter Romaniuk.

“Obviously they’re going to be under pressure to show a body or produce further evidence, but this was a way of taking that issue off the table,” he said.

In New York, skepticism tinted relief that the terror leader had finally been killed.

“Reports about him being buried at sea … it’s some very weird details,” said Cyrus McGoldrick of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“People will want to have some certainty that he really is dead and that all the details are true,” McGoldrick added.

Even some family members of 9/11 victims said they weren’t ready to trust the government.

“I think I have to question why this was done so quickly,” Rosaleen Tallon said.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter at @AlisonatMetro.


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