Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET
Four months after Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. raid in Pakistan, one of the al-Qaida leader’s sons requested a death certificate for his father in a letter to the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia, according to documents released by Wikileaks.
It was not immediately known how Wikileaks obtained the documents, nor whether they are authentic.
The reply, dated Sept. 9, 2011, comes from the consul general at the U.S. embassy in Riyadh and says that no certificate of death was issued. “This is consistent with regular practice for individuals killed in the course of military operations,” the letter, from embassy Consul General Glen Keiser, reads.
According to Wikileaks release, Keiser wrote that instead Abdullah bin Laden could rely on a document requesting the dismissal of a criminal indictment against his father in U.S. federal court “in light of his death.”
“I am providing a copy of the original English-language request to the court,” the letter reads, ending: “I hope that these U.S. Government documents are of assistance to you and your family.”
The letter is part of a release of 500,000 documents related to Saudi Arabia that Wikileaks is in the process of publishing. Some 60,000 — most in Arabic — have already been published, according to a statement by the website.
NPR’s Deborah Amos reports from Riyadh that “Revelations have come slowly from this massive data dump, but there are hints of intrigue and unpaid bills from Saudi royals and close monitoring [of] the nuclear talks with Iran.”