The photograph of a bearded man with a bloodied and bruised face was shown on Pakistani TV and posted on a variety of UK websites, including the Daily Mail, The Times and The Sun. It was quickly removed, though, after being exposed on Twitter.
According to The Guardian, the image was actually first published by Middle East news website Themedialine.org back in April 2009, alongside a warning that its authenticity had not been confirmed.
Twitter users claim that the image is actually a composite of two other photographs, with one being a genuine portrait of Bin Laden taken in 1998.
At 11pm EST last night, US president Barack Obama confirmed that Bin Laden was killed in a "firefight" during a ground operation at a compound outside of Islamabad, Pakistan.
US officials have said that the al-Qaida leader was buried at sea, but the lack of an official photo of Bin Laden's body has led to a variety of conspiracy theories about whether the US actually got their man.
American authorities said that they identified Bin Laden by facial recognition, although there has been no confirmation whether DNA testing was also used, reports Sky News.
As a Muslim, Bin Laden would have to have been laid to rest as quickly as possible, but Islamic law also stipulates that people can only be buried at sea if they died there.
Speaking to Sky News, former British ambassador to the US Sir Christopher Meyer said that Obama will surely soon release firm proof of Bin Laden's death.
"I imagine we will see proof. I can't concede the US president would go out to make a statement to the world that Bin Laden is dead without being able to produce evidence that he is dead," Meyer said.
"I think we will see some evidence - DNA or photographic - to prove there is not still some phantom Osama bin Laden riding the Tora Bora mountains."
Previous similarly high-profile killings have been backed up by concrete evidence, including photographs of Uday and Qusay Hussein - the sons of Saddam Hussein - being released by US authorities to prove their deaths. When Saddam himself was executed, video footage and photographs were used to give final proof of his demise.
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Watch US president Barack Obama address Osama Bin Laden's death below: