Osama Bin Laden Body Headed for Burial at Sea, Officials Say

May 2, 2011 1:59am

ABC News' Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) reports:  Now that bin Laden has been killed and his body has been positively identified, what is to be done with his remains?

U.S. officials tell me the last thing they want is for his burial place to become a terrorist shrine.

To avoid that, an informed source tells me, the intention is the bury his body at sea — leaving no definitive location for the final resting place of his body.

A senior administration official tells my colleague Jake Tapper this about the body:  "We are ensuring it is handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition. It's something we take seriously and therefore it's being handled in an appropriate manner.‬"

Under Islamic tradition, ABC's Zunaira Zaki reports, the body would be washed by Muslim men and buried as soon as possible, usually by the next prayer (Muslims pray five times a day), although there may be delays under certain circumstances (for autopsies, for example). The body is usually buried in a simple white sheet — whether buried in the ground, or at sea.

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