SEAL Team Six: 10 questions on the operation that killed Osama bin Laden

‘SEAL Team Six,’ as operatives are commonly known, conducted a raid and killed Osama bin Laden. Here are nine questions and answers about the operation.

7. What happened to bin Laden's body?

After photographs and DNA samples were taken of his body, bin Laden was buried at sea, driven in part by the Muslim tradition of burying the body within 24 hours.

Religious rites were administered on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson, in the Arabian Sea. Those began at 1:10 a.m. Eastern time on Monday morning and were completed by 2 a.m, according to defense officials. The body was washed and placed in a white sheet, then in a weighted body bag. A flat board prepared for the burial was then tipped up, and bin Laden’s body was “eased into the sea,” according to a defense official.

There were no land alternatives for bin Laden’s burial, defense officials insist. And there were no countries willing to accept bin Laden’s body, according to a senior defense official. It no doubt also occurred to US officials that a burial at sea would have the added benefit of avoiding turning bin Laden’s grave into a shrine or a gathering place for Islamic radicals.

7 of 10
of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.