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Court Rules bin-Laden Photos May Remain Secret

osama bin laden
A U.S. appeals court has ruled the federal government is not required to release photos taken of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden after he was killed by special forces.

The terrorist leader was slain two years ago at his Pakistani compound by U.S. Navy SEAL commandos, who took pictures of their target's corpse in order to confirm the success of their mission.

The court said the CIA properly withheld publication of the images, and it concluded photos used for facial recognition analysis of bin Laden could reveal classified intelligence methods. The court also said images of bin Laden's burial at sea could trigger violence against American citizens.

The conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch, sued the CIA after the spy agency refused its request under the Freedom of Information Act for post-mortem images of bin Laden to be made public.