Admiral William McRaven testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. File picture: Evan Vucci


Washington - A newly-released email shows that 11 days after the killing of Osama bin Laden, the US military's top special operations officer ordered subordinates to destroy any photographs of the al-Qaeda founder's corpse or turn them over to the CIA.

The email was obtained by the conservative legal group Judicial Watch.

It shows that Admiral William McRaven, who heads the US Special Operations Command, told military officers on May 13, 2011, that photographs of Bin Laden's remains should have been sent to the CIA or already destroyed.

Bin Laden was killed by a special operations team in Pakistan 11 days earlier.

McRaven's order came 10 days after The Associated Press asked for the photographs and other documents under the US Freedom of Information Act.