Judges Wary of Release of Bin Laden Photos

A Pakistan army soldier stands on top of the house where it is believed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden lived in Abbottabad, Pakistan on Monday, May 2, 2011. Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed thousands of people, was slain in his hideout in Pakistan early Monday in a firefight with U.S. forces, ending a manhunt that spanned a frustrating decade. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

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By Aaron Hepker

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal appeals court judges seem skeptical of a group's efforts to force the government to release photos and video taken of Osama bin Laden during and after a raid in which the terrorist leader was killed by U.S. commandos.

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, is seeking the images through a Freedom of Information Act request. The Central Intelligence Agency found 52 responsive records, but withheld all of them, citing exemptions for classified materials and information specifically exempted by other laws.

Judicial Watch argued before a federal appeals court panel Thursday that the government didn't provide a specific enough basis for denying the request. But Judge Merrick Garland said the government cited specific concerns that the images could be used by al Qaida for propaganda and to incite anti-American sentiment.

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