Spanish lawmaker to sue FBI over bin Laden images

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A Spanish lawmaker has vowed to sue the FBI for using an image of his face to create a digitally enhanced picture of slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

A scandal had already erupted in January 2010 over the use of Gaspar Llamazares' image to create a computer-generated picture of an aged bin Laden who was then being hunted by US forces.

Despite those apologies, Spanish media said the bin Laden image was put up on the FBI site again on Friday, although it was no longer available on the site on Tuesday.

"I am going to sue the FBI because they have not corrected that image in any way except for a small, insincere apology," Llamazares told Spanish radio Cadena Ser on Monday.

Llamazares, a member of parliament for the United Left coalition, said parts of an image of his face had been used to create digitally enhanced pictures of two people.

"The two people for whom they used parts of my face have been assassinated," he added.

Spanish media said he was referring to bin Laden and to Al-Qaeda number two Atiyah abd al-Rahman, who was killed in Pakistan in August.

When the bin Laden photo dispute first broke out in January 2010, US ambassador to Spain Alan Solomont told the Spanish government he was "sorry and dismayed".

At the time, an FBI spokesman said a technician had taken the image off the Internet and used the Spanish politician's hair and forehead to re-create the bin Laden picture.

US Navy SEALs killed bin Laden and flew off with his body from the Pakistani army town of Abbottabad on May 2.

© 2011 AFP

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