Within hours of the attack on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001 it was being claimed the massacre was masterminded by the CIA, or the Israeli intelligence service Mossad, and that thousands of Jews had been warned to stay off work on the day.
Others said Bin Laden was in a hospital under U.S. care when the attack took place. Senior military officials confirmed to CNN there were three sets of pictures of Bin Laden.
The first set was taken during the raid itself, and is thought to show two dead brothers, and Bin Laden's dead teenage son. The second, and most 'identifiable' set of pictures were taken of his mutilated body at an Afghan airbase.
These are the most troubling set of images as they show 'massive open head wounds' - but are the most clear pictures of Bin Laden's face. The third set were taken aboard the USS Carl Vinson, and show a washed and shrouded Bin Laden being lowered into his watery grave.
Yesterday Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said: ‘This news is only coming from one side, from Obama’s office, and America has not shown any evidence or proof to support this claim.
‘On the other side, our sources close to Osama Bin Laden have not confirmed or denied the news. Therefore the Islamic Emirate consider any assertion premature.’
However, shadowy Al Qaeda spokesmen usually regarded as reliable have effectively accepted that Bin Laden is dead by vowing vengeance and continuing war on the West.
The internet is abuzz with claims that Bin Laden died long ago – perhaps of liver or kidney failure, perhaps killed in the allied assault on the Afghan Tora Bora mountains in 2001, perhaps assassinated at some other time.
The argument goes that his body was kept hidden, and his death a secret, so that America could justify the continuation of the War on Terror, along with billions in military expenditure. Only now, some suggest, has America decided it is time to announce his death, along with an elaborate cover-story.
Some were even suggesting yesterday that the news was suddenly released to divert attention from evidence-less claims that Barack Obama was not born in America, so is not lawfully president.
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