Skeptics Question Osama Bin Laden Death, Asking for Proof

The Obama administration decides whether or not to release additional evidence.

ByABC News
May 2, 2011, 9:31 AM

May 2, 2011— -- As elated crowds celebrated the death of Osama bin Laden after Navy SEALs killed the al-Qaida chief in a weekend raid in Pakistan some are asking, "Where's the proof?"

Photos depicting a bloodied and bruised face appearing to be that of bin Laden began appearing on Twitter and Facebook last night soon after news of his death spread across the Internet. According to Reuters, an archive photo of bin Laden at a news conference proves that image was a fake. Now people are asking to see the evidence proving bin Laden is dead.

"We have released a tremendous amount of information to date," Obama's top counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said. "At the same time we don't want to do anything that is going to compromise our ability to be as successful the next time one of these guys needs to be taken off the battlefield."

As for the releasing of death photographs, Brennan said that is "something to be determined." But he added they're going to do everything they can to prevent denials of bin Laden's death.

Public Demands Proof

From Pakistan to the U.S. people expressed their skepticism about the death of the man who is perhaps the most infamous terrorist ever known.

"I won't believe it until I see it with my own eyes. Like Sadam I wouldn't have believed it until I saw his body," tweeted MaryGlazerOut.

Eric Solochier, 22, a senior at Penn State University said his dad was one of the firefighters who helped clean up New York City the day following 9/11, so bin Laden's death would be especially meaningful to him -- he wants to believe it, but he's not convinced.

"There has to be some sort of visual or DNA test. You can obviously photoshop anything you want," said Solochier. "They should submit video. It would be somewhat gruesome but it's something we should be able to see. "

A senior at the University of Texas who wished to remain anonymous because of his participation in ROTC said that although bin Laden's death is a blow to al-Qaeda, he still finds it hard to believe.

"It's been nearly six years since we have heard a great deal about him or his potential whereabouts, and rumors of bin Laden's death (even from natural causes) extend as far back as December of 2001," he said.

It may have been those very rumors that led Obama to pass up an opportunity to bomb bin Laden's compound. As ABC News' Jake Tapper reported earlier today, Obama recognized that kind of destruction would leave no trace of bin Laden's death.

Instead, Obama opted for a far more difficult mission with a Navy SEAL team, and now the White House is grappling with whether to release the DNA evidence and photographs that they worked so hard to obtain.