Mrs Clinton said the raid was "38 of the most intense minutes" in her life, but her expression and the fact that her hand is covering her mouth might not convey any special significance.
The US secretary of state, who suffers from allergies, says she was embarrassed that her hand gesture may have only been her trying to stifle a cough or sneeze.
The secretary spoke at a press conference with Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini ahead of a diplomatic meeting on Libya.
Mrs Clinton added that the battle against al-Qaeda continues despite bin Laden's death.
"Let us not forget that the battle to stop al-Qaeda and its affiliates does not end with one death. We have to renew our resolve," Mrs Clinton said.
"The death of bin Laden deals a significant strategic blow to al-Qaeda," she said, adding: "His ideology of hatred and violence is thankfully being rejected in what we see going on in the Middle East and Africa."
"Our resolve is even stronger following bin Laden's death because we know it will have an impact on those who are in the battlefield in Afghanistan."