March 3, 2012
Directors of the private U.S. security firm Stratfor did not believe that Osama bin Laden was buried at sea, according to Stratfor emails leaked by WikiLeaks.
At 5:26 a.m. on May 2, the morning after Barack Obama announced the successful raid on bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound, Stratfor CEO George Friedman sent an email with the subject “[alpha] OBL“ that said:
Reportedly, we took the body with us. Thank goodness.
Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice president for intelligence, followed that up at 5:51 a.m. with an email titled “[alpha] Body bound for Dover, DE on CIA plane“ that said:
Than [sic] onward to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda.
At 1:36 p.m. Burton replied to a thread named “Re: OBL’s corpse” with the message:
Body is Dover bound, should be here by now.
Friedman— author of numerous articles and books on national security, warfare and intelligence— founded the Austin, Texas-based company in 1996.
Burton is a former Deputy Chief of the Department of State’s counterterrorism division for the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). The DSS assists the Department of Defense in following leads and doing forensic analysis of hard drives seized by the U.S. Government in ongoing criminal investigations.
WikiLeaks has published 637 out of what they say is a cache of 5 million internal Stratfor emails dated between July 2004 and December 2011 obtained by the hacker collective Anonymous around Christmas.