Internal emails exchanged amongst US military officers have revealed that no sailors watched al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's burial at sea from the ship and that traditional Islamic procedures were followed during the ceremony.
The emails, obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act, are the first public disclosure of government information about the al-Qaeda leader's death, reports The Age.
Bin Laden was killed on May 1, 2011, by a Navy SEAL team that raided his compound in the garrison town of Abbottabad in Pakistan.
"Traditional procedures for Islamic burial was followed. The deceased's body was washed (ablution) then placed in a white sheet. The body was placed in a weighted bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up, whereupon the deceased's body slid into the sea," read an email sent on May 2 by Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette.
The email also included a cryptic reference to the intense secrecy surrounding the mission.
Recipients of the email included Admiral Mike Mullen, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General James Mattis, the top officer at US Central Command.
Although the Obama administration has pledged to be the most transparent in American history, it is keeping a tight hold on materials related to the Bin Laden raid, the paper said.