Washington, May 2: Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was buried at sea, apparently over fears that his land burial may become a site to attract his extremist followers.
The body of world's most wanted terrorist, who was killed today by US special forces in Pakistan, was handled in Islamic tradition and given a burial at sea, US officials said.
“We are ensuring that it is handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition. This is something that we take very seriously. And so therefore this is being handled in an appropriate manner,” a senior administration official said.
No details about the last rites of bin Laden was available, except for officials saying that US decided to bury him at sea.
This was apparently because it would have been difficult to find a country that would have accepted his body.
The burial took place within hours after his body was airlifted by US special forces who killed him in a house in Abbottabad deep inside Pakistan.
Burying his body at sea would ensure that his final resting place does not become a shrine and a place of pilgrimage for his followers as that of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussain, whose grave has been converted into a tomb, which is treated more like a shrine by his followers.
U.S. officials told ABC News that the last thing they want is for his burial place to become a terrorist shrine.To avoid that, an informed source told ABC, the intention was to bury his body at sea—leaving no definitive location for the final resting place of his body.
Under Islamic tradition, the body would be washed by Muslim men and buried as soon as possible, usually by the next prayer (Muslims pray five times a day), although there may be delays under certain circumstances (for autopsies, for example).
The body is usually buried in a simple white sheet—whether buried in the ground, or at sea. CNN reported during the day that Osama's body has already been buried in sea. PTI