According to Reuters, the Defense Department reported it does not have custody of any photos of the body and the CIA refused to comply with the request, citing security concerns. The judge refused to override the judgement of the intelligence agency.

The al Queda leader was killed in Pakistan as the result of a Navy SEAL raid on May 1.

President Obama decided last May not to release the photos of the slain leader's body to the public in a decision fraught with controversy even, reportedly, within the administration.

“That’s not who we are,” Obama said in an interview with “60 Minutes.” “We don’t trot out trophies.”

Several members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, including Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBarr to allow some lawmakers to review less-redacted Mueller report as soon as next week Collins backs having Mueller testify The Hill's 12:30 Report: Inside the Mueller report MORE (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), and prominent Republicans including Sarah Palin advocated the administration release the photos, but House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerTrump appears alongside Ocasio-Cortez on Time 100 list Resurrecting deliberative bodies Trump's decision on health care law puts spotlight on Mulvaney MORE (R-Ohio) sided with the president on the issue, calling it "a responsible decision."

Judicial Watch almost immediately filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain photos of the al Qaeda leader’s dead body. 

“It is important to trigger this FOIA process because it would put this in a regular order. The way this has been handled in regard to the document response is bumbling. This at least would force them to put pen to paper,” Tom Fitton, the group's president, told The Hill last May.