CHICAGO (Reuters) - Nearly two-thirds of Americans agree with President Barack Obama’s decision not to release graphic photos of the dead al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, according to an NBC poll to be released on Monday.
Obama said in a television interview this week that he opted against releasing post-mortem photos of bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, because it could incite violence and be used as an al Qaeda propaganda tool.
The NBC poll found 24 percent of respondents strongly believed the photos should be released, and 52 percent strongly believed they should not be released.
Another 12 percent said they agreed with the president, although not as strongly.
NBC said the poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Obama said the photos would do little to assuage those who question whether bin Laden was killed in the U.S. raid on his Pakistani compound on May 2.
“We’ve done DNA sampling and testing, and so there was no doubt we had killed Osama bin Laden,” Obama told CBS’ “60 Minutes” program, according to an excerpt released by the White House. “The fact is you will not see bin Laden walking on this earth again.”
Al Qaeda confirmed bin Laden’s death in an Internet message on May 6 and vowed not to abandon armed struggle.
Reporting by Eric Johnson; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst