The Associated Press has retracted a photograph released late Sunday night purporting to show the dead body of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.
AP announced that it cannot independently verify that the person in the photo is Osama bin Laden nor can it confirm the source.
The photo was prominently displayed by the Daily Mail‘s front page until about half an hour ago (unfortunately I didn’t get a screenshot), although it has now been quietly removed.
However, it wasn’t “released late Sunday night” – running the bogus image through the TinEye image search engine shows that it has been kicking around on conspiracy websites since at least November 2010; the AP and the Daily Mail should have been able to perform such a basic fact-check.
I suppose we should be grateful they didn’t fall for the photo here.
UPDATE: Tabloid Watch has a more comprehensive post, documented with screenshots. The Daily Mail, the Sun, the Mirror, and the Telegraph have all carried the photo, which in fact can be dated to at least 2009.
Meanwhile, Jared Earle, who alerted journalists to the fakery on Twitter, notes that the elements showing Bin Laden’s face are from an old photo, while Nick Cantle points out that the injuries come from a picture of a dead insurgent.
(H/T to Gen JC Christian)
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