Washington: US has decided against releasing the images of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s corpse as it may provoke violence  and assist propagandists, spokesman Jay Carney said on Thursday.

The decision was an announcement by Obama in his interview to a news channel.

According to Carney, Obama said the decision in this regard was taken following consultations with his top national security advisors including the Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Obama said there is no doubt that bin Laden was dead and the world would never see him and that the post mortem images on the dead body would not be released.

"We discussed this internally. Keep in mind that we are absolutely certain that this was him. We've done DNA sampling and testing. So there was no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden," Obama said.

He said now that the al Qaeda leader is dead a photograph is not going to make any difference.

He added that it was important to make sure that very graphic photos of a man who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool.

When asked about people in Pakistan who consider it a lie or as another American trick, Obama said: "The truth is that we were monitoring world -- that we are monitoring -- we
were monitoring, rather, worldwide reaction. There is no doubt that Osama bin Laden is dead. Certainly, there is no doubt among Al Qaida members that he is dead".

Safety of Americans behind decision

Carney said as the President described it is not in America's national security interest to allow those images, as has been in the past, been the case, to become icons to rally opinion against the United States.

"The President's number one priority is the safety and security of American citizens at home and Americans abroad. There is no need to release these photographs to establish Osama bin Laden's identity.

"And he saw no other compelling reason to release them, given the potential for national security risk and, because he believes, as he said so clearly, this is not who we are," Carney said.

Mixed reactions

Republican leader, Sarah Palin, however, demanded that the pictures of Osama bin Laden be released.

"Show photo as warning to others seeking America's destruction. No pussy-footing around, no politicking, no drama; it's part of the mission," Palin said in a message posted on her Twitter account.

Several lawmakers spoke against the release of the pictures.

"I don't want to make the job of our troops serving in places like Iraq and Afghanistan any harder than it already is. The risks of release outweigh the benefits," said Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

 

(Agencies)