Navy SEAL Kept Secret Pic of bin Laden Corpse: Report

Matt Bissonnette's business dealings now under investigation
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2016 9:17 AM CST
Navy SEAL Kept Secret Pic of bin Laden Corpse: Report
This undated file photo shows al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo, File)

A former Navy SEAL who took part in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden kept a secret photo of the terrorist's corpse, sources say. Matt Bissonnette—who landed in hot water over his best-seller about the 2011 raid—turned over a hard drive containing the photo to US authorities on the condition that he not be prosecuted for unlawfully possessing classified material, two sources tell the Intercept. Bissonnette's lawyer notes a criminal investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service was "closed through declination by the DOJ in August 2015." However, a new one sprouted when emails on the hard drive raised suspicions that Bissonnette may have profited from links to military suppliers while a SEAL.

About five years ago, Bissonnette—who worked as a liaison to equipment and tech suppliers—founded Element Group, a company that did business with a Defense Department contractor called Atlantic Diving Supply, which sold equipment to SEAL Team 6. Sources say ADS made "payments of at least several hundred thousand dollars" to Element Group, per the Intercept. When Bissonnette left the Navy, "we found out he had other companies and side deals going on," a former SEAL Team 6 operator says. "That's when Element Group shut down." A former SEAL says Bissonnette enlisted four colleagues to join Element Group as consultants, including a SEAL involved in the bin Laden raid who will soon be forced to retire. The full piece is here. (More Matt Bissonnette stories.)

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