View Full Version : Spanish MP's photo 'used for Osama Bin Laden poster'

David Butler
01-16-2010, 09:17 PM
More photo tomfoolery -

I can't help thinking the section heading "Low level intelligence" is most appropriate -

A Spanish politician has said he was shocked to find out the FBI had used his photo for a digitally-altered image showing how Osama Bin Laden might look.

Gaspar Llamazares said he would no longer feel safe travelling to the US after his hair and parts of his face appeared on a most-wanted poster.

He said the use of a real person for the mocked-up image was "shameless".

The Spanish newspaper El Mundo said an FBI spokesman had admitted the agency had taken a picture from Google Images.

The digitally-altered photos of the al-Qaeda leader, showing how he might look now, aged 52, were issued by the US state department on Friday.

Officials said they had adapted a 1998 file image to take account of a decade's worth of ageing, and possible changes to facial hair.

'Low level' intelligence

Mr Llamazares, 52, the former leader of the United Left coalition in parliament, said he could not believe it when he was first told about the similarity between himself and the new photo-fit of Bin Laden.

He said he soon realised that his forehead, hair and jaw-line had been "cut and pasted" from an old campaign photograph.

Bin Laden's safety is not threatened by this but mine certainly is
Gaspar Llamazares

"I was surprised and angered because it's the most shameless use of a real person to make up the image of a terrorist," he told a news conference.

"It's almost like out of a comedy if it didn't deal with matters as serious as Bin Laden and citizens' security."

The FBI claimed to have used "cutting edge" technology, but Mr Llamazares said it showed the "low level" of US intelligence services and could cause problems if he was wrongly identified as the Saudi.

"Bin Laden's safety is not threatened by this but mine certainly is," he said, adding that he was considering taking legal action.

El Mundo quoted FBI spokesman Ken Hoffman as saying a technician "was not satisfied" with the hair features offered by the FBI's software programme and instead used part of a photo of Mr Llamazares posted on the internet.

"The technician had no idea whose image he had found and no dark motive for using it," he told the newspaper.
The FBI did not respond immediately when asked for comment on Saturday, requesting that questions be sent to it by e-mail.


Magda Hassan
01-17-2010, 05:57 AM
"The technician had no idea whose image he had found and no dark motive for using it," he told the newspaper.

Why were they using anything other than Bin Laden's image and why were they touching it up in the first place? Bin Laden is probably dead anyway so why don't they use this image: :goodnight: It would make as much sense as their nonsense.

I hope he sues them for heaps.

Magda Hassan
01-19-2010, 02:36 AM
Spanish politician to sue FBI over Bin Laden photo
Sun, 17 Jan 2010 07:01:26 GMT

The FBI acknowledges having used Gaspar Llamazares as the model in a Bin Laden photo-fit.


Spanish politician Gaspar Llamazares threatens to prosecute the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for using his photo to produce al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's modern image.

Llamazares, the former leader of Spain's United Left communist party and the caucus's current spokesperson in the parliament, has expressed 'stupefaction' over the FBI's misuse of his picture to compose a digitally-enhanced photo of the al-Qaeda leader, warning the agency of legal action unless justification is provided.

"Firstly I will ask the FBI for an explanation, which they haven't given me yet, and then I will reserve the right to take legal action," Llamazares told CNN.

"In the last few days I have seen the security services involved in some very strange things, some major failures, but I would never have believed they could have affected me so directly," he added.

He also said that FBI technicians had "cut and pasted" his forehead, hair and jaw-line from a photo used in a previous campaign to produce the altered image of Bin Laden.

The 52-year-old politician rebuked the FBI for undermining his security with the "low level" of US intelligence services.

"Bin Laden's safety is not threatened by this but mine certainly is," he noted.

The US State Department was forced to withdraw the doctored image, distributed globally last week, admitting to have used a picture of 'a bearded Spanish politician' to reproduce Bin Laden's photo-image.

The FBI originally claimed to have applied "cutting edge" technology for the mock-up.