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Judges support U.S. refusal to release bin Laden death images

By Carol Cratty, CNN
updated 12:26 PM EDT, Tue May 21, 2013

(CNN) -- A federal appeals court Tuesday backed the U.S. government's refusal to make public photos and video of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, taken after he was killed by U.S. Navy Seals two years ago in Pakistan.

A three-judge panel turned down an appeal by Judicial Watch, which had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the images. The government argued that releasing the images could result in attacks on Americans.

"It is undisputed that the government is withholding the images not to shield wrongdoing or avoid embarrassment but rather to prevent the killing of Americans and violence against American interests," the judges said.

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