Family may sue over Bin Laden's 'criminal killing'
Osama bin Laden's children are considering suing US authorities in response to what they called the "criminal" killing of their father, according to a statement attributed to one of the late al-Qaida leader's sons.
Omar bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader's fourth son, claimed that he and his siblings are reserving the right to take legal action in the US, or internationally, to "determine the true fate of our vanished father".
The statement was posted on a website and picked up by the online monitoring service SITE Intelligence Group.
Mr Bin Laden said his family were questioning "why an unarmed man was not arrested and tried in a court of law so that truth is revealed to the people of the world".
The Bin Laden siblings also saw their father's burial at sea as a "humiliation" and - in the absence of a body - the family was "not convinced" by Barack Obama's announcement that the al-Qa'ida chief was shot dead by US forces earlier this month, the statement said.
"We hold the American President Obama legally responsible to clarify the fate of our father, for it is unacceptable, humanely and religiously, to dispose of a person with such importance and status among his people, by throwing his body into the sea in that way, which demeans and humiliates his family and his supporters and which challenges religious provisions and feelings of hundreds of millions of Muslims," the statement said.
Mr Bin Laden, who is thought to live in the Gulf region and has previously distanced himself from his father's activities, has not verified the statement.
The CIA announced yesterday that selected US officials will be allowed to view images of Osama bin Laden's body at the agency's headquarters, but US authorities continue to face mounting pressure to release the photographs publicly to quell persisting doubts over the al-Qa'ida leader's death in Pakistan.
US Senator John Kerry will travel to Pakistan in the coming days to try to patch up relations, which have been strained by the killing of Bin Laden without Islamabad's prior permission.
Independent News Service