Spanish Lawmaker's Image Used for Bin Laden Age Progression
01/19/2010 - 10:40 ||
Spanish Lawmaker Gaspar Llamazares recently awoke to find his image splashed across the world's newspapers. Unbeknown to him, the FBI used a picture they had found of him online to create an age-progressed image of Osama Bin Laden.
They used Llamazares's likeness—without his knowledge or permission—to update the U.S. government's 1998 photo of the al-Qaeda leader in an attempt to give folks a more accurate portrayal of how Bin Laden may look these days. FBI spokesman Ken Hoffman told El Mundo that the agency used a picture taken from Google Images, but in a statement Saturday, the agency would only vaguely acknowledge similarities between their age-progressed wanted poster "and that of an existing photograph of a Spanish public official."
Llamazares was elected to Spain's parliament in 2000 and was formerly the head of the United Left party. The image that was used was originally taken for his 2004 general election campaign. The updated wanted poster was posted on the State Department website rewardsforjustice.net, but the FBI has removed the photo.
Llamazares said that he no longer feels comfortable traveling to the United States and is considering legal action. "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. "It's almost like out of a comedy if it didn't deal with matters as serious as bin Laden and citizens' security."
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