U.S. tests bin Laden's DNA, used facial ID: official

WASHINGTON Mon May 2, 2011 2:56am EDT

An ''age progressed'' combination photo of Osama Bin Laden (Usama bin Ladin) provided by the U.S. Department of State and the FBI on January 15, 2010. The digitally enhanced pictures of Osama bin Laden shows how the al Qaeda leader might in 2009. REUTERS/U.S. State Department/Handout/Files

An ''age progressed'' combination photo of Osama Bin Laden (Usama bin Ladin) provided by the U.S. Department of State and the FBI on January 15, 2010. The digitally enhanced pictures of Osama bin Laden shows how the al Qaeda leader might in 2009.

Credit: Reuters/U.S. State Department/Handout/Files

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is conducting DNA testing on slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and used facial recognition techniques to help identify him, a U.S. official said on Monday.

Bin Laden was identified by the assault force that killed him in a firefight in Pakistan in which he resisted and was shot in the head, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Results of the DNA tests should be available in the next few days, the official told Reuters.

The strike force was on the ground for less than 40 minutes and the operation was watched real-time by CIA Director Leon Panetta and other intelligence officials in a conference room at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, the official said.

"When word came in that the operation was a success, CIA officials in the conference room had a rather large applause," the official said.

(Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria; Editing by Will Dunham)

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