US Rejected Osama Son's Request for Death Certificate

Because it actually doesn't exist, says exchange revealed by WikiLeaks
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2015 3:28 PM CDT
US Rejected Osama Son's Request for Death Certificate
This undated file photo shows Osama bin Laden.   (AP Photo, File)

WikiLeaks released a boatload of new documents today, this time from the Saudi Foreign Ministry, and one item in particular caught the eye of the Washington Post. It involves an exchange between a son of Osama bin Laden and the US government over the al-Qaeda leader's death certificate. Abdullah bin Laden asked for the certificate in the aftermath of the raid that killed his father, but a general counsel at the American embassy in Riyadh informed him that he was out of luck. Glen Keiser wrote that no death certificate existed, as is "consistent with regular practice for individuals killed in the course of military operations."

But he suggested an alternative: Noting that the US had closed the criminal case against bin Laden because he was dead, Keiser wrote that Abdullah bin Laden could request the order making that closure official, something called an order of "nolle prosequi" ("we shall no longer prosecute"). That would be the closest thing to proof of death. He even provided the necessary request form, adding, "I hope that these U.S. Government documents are of assistance to your and your family." It's not clear whether bin Laden's son followed through on the suggestion. (More Osama bin Laden stories.)

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