Court: US can keep Osama bin Laden before/after raid photos under wraps

WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court is backing the U.S. government's decision not to release photos and video taken of Osama bin Laden during and after a raid in which the terrorist leader was killed by U.S. commandos.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia turned down an appeal Tuesday from Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, which had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the images.

The court said that the CIA properly withheld publication of the images. The court concluded that the photos used to conduct facial recognition analysis of bin Laden could reveal classified intelligence methods -- and that images of bin Laden's burial at sea could trigger violence against American citizens.

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