White House officials are concerned that releasing photographs of Osama bin Laden’s bloodied body could be “inflammatory” and invite a violent backlash from the al Qaeda leader’s supporters, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.
“It’s fair to say that it’s a gruesome photograph,” Carney said. White House officials are deciding whether hard evidence of the killing would serve a purpose beyond the harm it could cause “not just domestically, but globally,” Carney said.
“There is not some roiling debate here about this,” he added, “it’s simply a discussion.”
Whether or not the White House releases the photographs, U.S. officials are bracing for the possibility of a counterattack by al Qaeda.
“We anticipate the potential for a backlash ... at least a desire if not the ability to exact some kind of revenge on the United States,” Carney said.
But intelligence officials have indicated no reason to raise the country’s threat level, he added.