Decision to Seal Bin Laden Pics Gets Mixed Reaction

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President Barack Obama will mark the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on Thursday when he meets with the families of 9/11 victims at New York City's ground zero.

"We've been heartbroken for 10 years. This was the first piece of good news as the capture of this murderer," Jim Riches, the father of a 9/11 victim, said.

The president's visit comes a day after he sharply rejected calls for him to release photos of bin Laden's dead body.

"It is very important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool," the president said.

Some of the victim's families agreed with Obama's decision.

"I agree with his reason for not sharing them if it would incite people," Patricia Reilly, whose sister was killed in Tower 2 of the World Trade Center, told ABC News.

"People who are bent on attacking us again are still going to do it," she said. "But there is no reason to give people on the fence a reason to do something terrible." 

Others, however, were disappointed, believing graphic evidence of bin Laden's demise would provide some sense of closure.

"I know why people don't want the photos released," Bill Doyle, whose father was killed in Tower 1, told ABC News. "But I know a woman whose husband was identified because they found his heart. How much more gruesome can the photos of bin Laden be?"

Meanwhile, a series of fake photos of a dead bin Laden have begun circulating on the Internet. Also, some followers of the terrorist leader in the Middle East say they don't believe he is dead.

The White House said the decision to seal the bin Laden death photos matched the opinions of U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

But CIA Director Leon Panetta didn't appear to be on the same page, predicting earlier this week that the picture would be released.

"I think we have to reveal to the rest of the world the fact that we were able to get him and kill him," he said.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani also says the public should see the photo.

"The pictures are eventually going to get out. Why not put them out now, satisfy at least the rational people," Giuliani said. 

In the meantime, some members of the U.S. Congress are questioning Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's refusal to elevate the national terror alert in light of bin Laden's death. 

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CBN News
Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at