Osama Bin Laden Death Conspiracy Theories Are Still Going Strong Five Years After He Died

The royal family and Donald Trump are involved...

29/04/2016 14:51

Monday, May 2, will mark five years since al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces in Pakistan.

The ringleader of the terror group was shot dead by US Navy seals during a raid on his compound in Abbottabad in north-eastern Pakistan in 2011 - an incident which many hoped would bring about the end of the so-called War On Terror.

US forces said that bin Laden's body was taken to Afghanistan for identification before being buried at sea, according to the Islamic tradition of burial within 24 hours after death.

Faisal Mahmood / Reuters
The building where Osama bin Laden was killed has now been torn down

The announcement of his death saw celebrations around America as US president Barack Obama claimed that "justice has been done" after the terror attacks on 11 September.

But many questioned the circumstances surrounding bin Laden's death, including the decision not to release any images of his body or DNA evidence.

Unsurprisingly, it didn't take long for conspiracy theories surrounding his death to circulate.

Here are some of the most popular, and intriguing:

  • 1 He was not buried at sea
    Reuters Photographer / Reuters
    Some have claimed that bin Laden was not in fact buried at sea as the US claimed but was instead flown to America for a secret cremation.

    The Daily Mail reported that leaked emails from an intelligence firm said that the terror leader was not as American forces claimed but actually involved cremation in the US.
  • 2 He worked for the CIA
    Dado Ruvic / Reuters
    Writer James Corbett described Bin Laden’s death as a “retirement party for an old CIA asset, along the lines of Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963.”

    He claimed that Bin Laden had been used as a “war on terror boogeyman” but was being discarded by the CIA because he was “no longer scaring the populace”.

    Others have also claimed he received funding from the US in 1980s.
  • 3 His death was a set-up execution by the US
    Stringer Pakistan / Reuters
    US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh believes that the raid on Bin Laden’s compound which saw him killed was not actually an intense firefight but the only shots fired were by US Navy SEALs.

    He claims it was instead a Hollywood-like set-up which actually saw Pakistani hand over Bin Laden to be executed by SEALs.
  • 4 He died earlier but the announcement was delayed so as not to clash with the royal wedding
    Tom Hevezi/AP
    One of the most bizarre theories surrounding Bin Laden's death is that he died much earlier but the news was suppressed so as not to take the limelight away from the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

    Some have claimed that Bin Laden died on a Friday but that the news was kept quiet until the Sunday to avoid a clash.
  • 5 He died earlier but the announcement was timed to punish Donald Trump
    John Minchillo/AP
    Perhaps the oddest of all conspiracy theories.

    Donald Trump had been questioning Barack Obama’s citizenship so as revenge, the timing of the news was changed to punish him.

    The announcement was, according to some, deliberately timed to knock the now-presidential hopeful’s reality television show Celebrity Apprentice off the air.

Despite hopes that bin Laden’s death would be a victory in the War On Terror, the world has since seen the rise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, which started life as an al-Qaeda franchise.

According to Farhan Zahid, a counter-terrorism expert, IS (also known as Isis, Isil or Daesh) has now over-shadowed al-Qaeda.

He said: “Isis controls a large territory in Syria and Iraq after it successfully captured Mosul, while Al-Qaeda has no territory. Isis also controls oil rigs in Iraq and Syria and has substantial financial resources.

“Because of its tremendous successes and its proclamation of Islamic Caliphate (declaring all other groups invalid and requiring members to pledge allegiance to Baghdadi as caliph) potential jihadi now tend to join Isis rather than joining Al-Qaeda.

“Finally, at least 25 Islamist groups around the world have pledged allegiance to Isis, some that were formerly associated with Al-Qaeda. Most of these Islamist groups are small, with some exceptions, including Nigerian group Boko Haram.”

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