'One in 11.8 quadrillion odds of mistaken identity for Osama'

'One in 11.8 quadrillion odds of mistaken identity for Osama'

In view of the conspiracy theories in circulation about alleged mistaken identity, the official elaborated in detail the steps taken by the United States to ensure that the person they killed in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad on May 2 was the real Osama bin Laden.

First, one of the women of the compound identified him to the assault team as bin Laden.
Second, using facial recognition methods, CIA specialists compared photos of the body to known pictures of bin Laden and were able to determine with 95 per cent certainty that the body was his. This process relies on points of similarity of unique facial features, including the shape and size of an individual's eyes, ears, and nose.

Third, the DNA analysis conducted separately by Department of Defence and CIA labs has positively identified bin Laden, the official told reporters at a Pentagon briefing.
DNA samples collected from his body were compared to a comprehensive DNA profile derived from bin Laden's large extended family.  Based on that analysis, the DNA is unquestionably his.

"The possibility of a mistaken identity on the basis of this analysis is approximately one in 11.8 quadrillion. I'll let you count the zeroes," the official said on condition of anonymity.
Fourth, from the initial review of materials, US officials assessed that much of this information, including personal correspondence between bin Laden and others, as well as some of the video footage would only have been in his possession, the official said, after a select group of reporters were shown five clips of Osama bin Laden.

"Finally, al-Qaeda released its own statement yesterday acknowledging the death of bin Laden. We expected that al- Qaeda would issue a statement after his death, but it is noteworthy that the group did not announce a new leader, suggesting it is still trying to deal with bin Laden's demise," the official said.

"It's also noteworthy that they acknowledged his death came in Pakistan. In the past, they have tried to obscure the reality of their presence in that country."