Nearly three years since the US Navy Seals operation which killed Al Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden, new and gruesome details have emerged of the circumstances of his death - and suggest a new possible reason for why photos of his body were never released.
The Daily Mail has revealed that US commandos involved in the raid on Bin Laden's hideout in Obottabad, Pakistan, "took turns" firing at least one hundred bullets into the body of the arch-terrorist, even after confirming the kill.
The Special Operations Forces Situation Report website - a well-known and trusted source in security circles - cited two reliable sources as confirming the claims that "operator after operator took turns dumping magazines-worth of ammunition into Bin Laden’s body".
Author Jack Murphy decried the allegations as excessive.
Even if it was "morally, legally, and ethically appropriate to shoot the body a few times to ensure that he is really dead and no longer a threat," he argued, "What happened on the Bin Laden raid is beyond excessive."
"The level of excess shown was not about making sure that Bin Laden was no longer a threat. The excess was pure self-indulgence," Murphy accused.
The report suggests that the level of damage to Bin Laden's body could have been a major factor in the decision not to release photos "proving" his elimination.
US President Barack Obama had previously argued that the reason photos - of either the body or his funeral at sea - were not published was in order to prevent them being used in Al Qaeda propaganda material.
The latest claims suggest a more likely motive would have been both to avoid provoking retribution by Al Qaeda, as well as triggering public revulsion at the way the attack was carried out.