Osama bin Laden already buried at sea

Osama bin Laden released a tape warning of "severe" reaction to Muhammad cartoons.(AP) (AP)

May 2, 2011 1:17:34 AM PDT
ABC News' John Karl first reported that U.S. officials planned to bury terrorist Osama bin Laden's body at sea, to avoid it becoming a shrine for terrorists.

Jake Tapper quotes a senior administration official as saying: "We are ensuring it (bin Laden's body) is handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition. It's something we take seriously and therefore it's being handled in an appropriate manner.?"

Under Islamic tradition, ABC's Zunaira Zaki reports, the body would be washed by Muslim men and buried as soon as possible. That is usually by the next prayer (Muslims pray five times a day), although there may be delays under certain circumstances for situations requiring autopsies or other tests. The body is usually buried in a simple white sheet -- whether buried in the ground, or at sea.

Just before 3:45 a.m Monday, the Associated Press reported that bin Laden was already buried at sea, but the official who spoke with the AP on condition of anonymity did not say where the burial had occurred.