WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon says Osama bin Laden's body was placed into the waters of the North Arabian Sea after adhering to traditional Islamic procedures -- including washing the corpse -- aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
At a briefing for reporters at the Pentagon, a senior intelligence official said that before the burial the U.S. used multiple means to positively identify bin Laden. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the Pentagon, said a woman believed to be bin Laden's wife identified him by name during the U.S. raid that killed him in Pakistan.
"Preparations for at-sea [burial] began at 1:10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time and were completed at 2:00 a.m.," an official said.
The burial followed traditional Muslim burial customs, the official said, and bin Laden's body was washed and placed in a white sheet.
"The body was placed in a weighted bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker," the official added.
Afterward, Bin Laden's body was placed onto a flat board, which was then elevated upward on one side and the body slid off into the sea.
The deceased terrorist was buried at sea because no country would accept bin Laden's remains, a senior defense official said.
CIA and Defense Department officials are sure it was the body of bin Laden. CIA specialists compared photos of the body with known photos of bin Laden and said with 95-percent certainty it was the terrorist leader, a senior intelligence official said.