|Spanish Lawmaker's Photo Used for Bin Laden Poster |
A composite image shows Osama bin-Laden in April 1998, left, and two digitally enhanced and aged images released Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010 on the U.S. Department of State's web site rewardsforjustice.net showing what bin-Laden could look like today with a full beard and with his hair trimmed. AP Photo/U.S. Department of State.
By: Harold Heckle, Associated Press Writer
MADRID (AP).- A Spanish lawmaker was horrified to find out the FBI used his photograph as part of a digitally enhanced image showing what Osama bin Laden might look like today, he said Saturday, calling into question the crime-fighting agency's credibility in battling terrorism.
Gaspar Llamazares of the United Left party said he would no longer feel safe traveling to the United States after his hair and facial wrinkles were taken from the Internet and appeared on a wanted poster updating the U.S. government's 1998 photo of the al-Qaida leader.
"I was surprised and angered because it's the most shameless use of a real person to make up the image of a terrorist," Llamazares said at a news conference Saturday. "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 said in a statement Saturday that it was aware of the similarities between their age-progressed image "and that of an existing photograph of a Spanish public official."
"The forensic artist was unable to find suitable features among the reference photographs and obtained those features, in part, from a photograph he found on the Internet," the statement sent to The Associated Press said.
The photo appeared on a U.S. State Department Web site rewardsforjustice.net, where a reward of up to $25 million is offered for bin Laden, wanted in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. The FBI said the photo of bin Laden will be removed from the Web site.
Llamazares said he planned to ask the U.S. government for an explanation and reserved the right to take legal action.
The State Department told a reporter to call back Tuesday after the U.S. federal Martin Luther King Day holiday on Monday.
Llamazares said he couldn't believe it when he was first told about the similarity, but he quickly realized the seriousness of the situation.
The 52-year-old politician said he would not feel safe traveling in the U.S. now, because many airports use biometrics technology that compares the physical characteristics of travelers to passport or other photographs.
"I have no similarity, physically or ideologically, to the terrorist bin Laden," he said.
They do share on characteristic both are 52.
Jose Morales, spokesman for Llamazares' party, told the Associated Press that no one in Spain had any idea that important security computer images such as the retouched bin Laden photo were built up from photographs of real people. Llamazares, the former leader of his party, was elected to Spain's parliament in 2000.
"A technician has cut and paste in Photoshop a photograph he found out there on the Internet, and you don't have to be in Quantico the agency's Virginia training facility to do that," Morales told the AP.
Llamazares said it was worrying to see elite security services like the FBI resorting to such sloppy techniques, especially in the light of recent security alerts like the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound airplane.
"It might provoke mirth, but it demonstrates that what we're seeing from security services isn't exactly recommendable," he said.
Bin Laden is believed to be hiding in the lawless Pakistan frontier bordering Afghanistan. His exact whereabouts have been unknown since late 2001, when he and some bodyguards slipped out of the Tora Bora mountains, evading air strikes, U.S. special forces and Afghan militias.
The U.S. State Department Web site shows the photos and bounty on bin Laden and 41 others wanted for terrorism.
Morales said Llamazares had received calls from Spain's Prime, Foreign and Interior ministers, all expressing their concern and assuring him the government would ask the U.S. for explanations.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
January 17, 2010
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's Photo of the Kremlin Gets $1.7 Million at Auction
Exhibition Surveys the Impact of Picasso and His Circle in Paris
Photographs by Finnish Artist Ilkka Halso at Galerie Wagner + Partner
Spanish Lawmaker's Photo Used for Bin Laden Poster
Site Specific Installations to be Presented at Bologna Art First 2010
Photographs of War by David Levinthal at Stellan Holm Gallery
ARCOmadrid_ 2010 Introduces New Concept with Focus on Los Angeles
Cuban Artist José Bedia has First Show at Heriard-Cimino Gallery
William Eggleston's First Retrospective Comes to Chicago
Incisive Overview of African Americans as Artists and Subjects at Babcock Galleries
David Risley Gallery Presents a Solo Show by Tamar Guimaraes
New Work by Brooklyn Artist Brian Alfred at Haunch of Venizon
Clark Art Institute Offers Exhibition of Highly Mysterious Works of Art
This MLK Holiday, Work has Begun on Memorial in DC
13 New York Area Artists to Show their Work at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art
Lesley Heller Moves to the Lower East Side and Opens New Workspace
Overview of Michael Smith's Work Presented at Ellen de Bruijne Projects
Bonhams to Sell 1,000,000 Sampson and Horne Pottery and Furniture Collection
Diana Thater Creates Complex Visual Environment at the Santa Monica Museum of Art
Pushkin Museum to Offer Picasso Retrospective
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Ancient erotic frescoes get makeover at the Contemporary Art Museum in Casoria
2.- One million dollar Pablo Picasso painting yours for just $135 in online charity raffle
3.- Robert L. Oswald, Brother of Lee Harvey Oswald Disputes Last Week's Sale of Coffin
4.- Australian psychedelic artist Martin Sharp, who designed posters for Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan, dies
5.- Skull find shows young women were sacrificed in China more than 4,000 years ago
6.- Istanbul monastery, considered the most important of Constantinople, 'to be turned into mosque'
7.- Detroit Institute of Arts statement regarding City of Detroit's eligibility to file for bankruptcy
8.- Christie's sets a new world auction record for a painting by Edward Hopper
9.- Ryan O'Neal defends taking ex-lover's Warhol picture in University of Texas lawsuit
10.- French film and installation artist Laure Prouvost wins Great Britain's Turner prize
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|