Fact Check

Hillary Clinton Meets Osama bin Laden

A photograph of Hillary Clinton shaking hands with Osama bin Laden is a fabrication created for a Photoshop contest.

Published June 5, 2015

Photograph shows Hillary Clinton shaking hands with Osama bin Laden.

A photograph of Hillary Clinton shaking hands with terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden has circulated online (divorced from its original context) ever since it was created for a Photoshop contest held back in 2007 by the web site FreakingNews.com, in which entrants were instructed as follows:

Senator Hillary Clinton officially declared her bid for presidency 2008. Making her announcement Hillary said "I'm in." This is the phrase she rarely heard from Bill in their bedroom.

In this contest you are asked to photoshop anything connected to Senator Hillary Clinton running for president of United States. Examples may be photoshopping magazine covers, campaign photos, or future presidency achievements.

When the image was first created it was captioned "going for the terrorist vote." Since then, however, the photograph has been passed around the Internet accompanied by several different background stories, including one claiming that Usama Bin Laden had donated money to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and another that maintained the picture was proof that Hillary would be too friendly with terrorists if she were elected president. (It should be quite obvious to most viewers that Hillary Clinton could not possibly have publicly met and posed for photographs with Usama bin Laden in the post-9/11 world.)

This isn't the first time that a photo from Freaking News has escaped the confines of the Photoshopping web site and entered the rumor mill. In February 2015, an image of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Usama bin Laden created for Freaking News in 2008 began circulating online billed as a "newly declassified photo." That picture, too, was a digital fabrication, as noted by the nature of Freaking News' disclaimer:

Freaking News is a photoshop contest site focusing on news, politics, and celebrities. Actual news stories fuel our photoshop contests with scores of wacky doctored pictures.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.