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Osama bin Laden conspiracy theories race across the world

The quick burial of Osama bin Laden and the decision not to release photos of his body are sparking wild rumors, not just in Pakistan and the Arab world, but also in Europe and the US.

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Tourists look at newspapers printed with the portrait of Osama bin Laden in front page, at a news stand on "La promenade des Anglais" in Nice, southeastern France, Tuesday, May 3.

Lionel Cironneau/AP

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Less than 48 hours after the White House announced the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and his burial at sea, "conspiracy theories" are racing across the planet.

The quick burial of Mr. bin Laden and the decision not to release photos of his body were part of a White House strategy to prevent revulsion throughout the Muslim world. But the lack of public proof of his death is sparking wild rumors, not just in Pakistan and the Arab world, but also in Europe and the US.

Among the radical assertions bouncing around the Internet: bin Laden was dead before the attack; he is still alive; the DNA that was supposed to be bin Laden's was inconclusive; and that the White House concocted a raid just to ensure President Obama's reelection. That's just to name a few.

IN PICTURES: Global reaction to Osama bin Laden's death

The glut of conspiracy theories suggests a more general breakdown of traditional media’s authority in an era of text-messaging, Twitter, and instant “clarity” by far-flung experts, analysts say.

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