The United States defended its decision to dispose of
Osama bin Laden's body in the ocean, saying Monday it was the best way to comply with Islamic traditions for handling the dead, dpa reported.
Barack Obama's senior adviser for counterterrorism, John Brennan, said the US wanted to meet the Muslim practice of burying the dead within 24 hours and finding a country willing bury the body would have been difficult in that timeframe.
"Going to another country, making those arrangements, requirements, would have exceed that time period, in our view," Brennan said. "And so, therefore, we thought that the best way to ensure that his body was given an appropriate Islamic burial was to take those actions that would allow us to do that burial at sea."
Elite US forces killed bin Laden on Sunday at a compound in Pakistan and whisked his body out of the country. Leading up to the operation, US officials consulted with experts about the best way to ensure a burial was consistent with Islamic practices.
"The US military has the ability to ensure that that burial is done in a manner that is, again, consistent with Islamic law, as well as consistent with what the requirements are for a burial at sea," he said. "And so that burial was done appropriately."
Brennan said that the appropriate people participated in the burial but did not specify if any Muslim cleric was present.