Bloomberg News

Bin Laden’s Family Heads to Saudi Arabia

April 26, 2012

Pakistani policemen escort a minivan carrying family members of slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, in Islamabad, as they leave for the airport before their departure to Saudia Arabia, on April 26, 2012. Photographer: Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images

Pakistani policemen escort a minivan carrying family members of slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, in Islamabad, as they leave for the airport before their departure to Saudia Arabia, on April 26, 2012. Photographer: Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan deported the family of slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to Saudi Arabia early today after his three widows and two older daughters completed short jail sentences for illegally entering the country, according to the family’s lawyer.

Police found the women in bin Laden’s fortress-like compound at Abbottabad on May 2, hours after U.S. commandos attacked in helicopters, killing bin Laden and then flying his body out of the country. An unconfirmed number of the women’s younger children also were detained.

A Pakistani court this month said two Saudi women, Siham Sharif and Kharia Hussain Sabir, were among the widows, according to court documents cited by the Express-Tribune and other Pakistani newspapers. Bin Laden’s third wife in Pakistan was Amal Ahmad Abdul Fateh, a citizen of Yemen.

The court ordered the women deported after they served 45- day jail terms.

Bin Laden’s family of 14 -- the three widows and 11 children -- flew to Saudi Arabia, the family’s lawyer, Muhammad Aamir, said in a telephone interview from Islamabad.

“They are the responsibility of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s security, not Pakistan’s worry anymore,” he said.

The Yemeni widow and 5 of her children will be flown to Yemen later, after spending some time in Saudi Arabia, the lawyer said.

Bin Laden’s family was being been held in a suburban-style two-story villa in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters last month.

Pakistan in February demolished most of the hideout where bin Laden had lived since 2005. A four-member commission named by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is investigating why the army failed to detect bin Laden’s presence or prevent the U.S. attack.

To contact the reporters on this story: Khurrum Anis in Karachi at kkhan14@bloomberg.net; Haris Anwar in Islamabad at hanwar2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Williams at mwilliams108@bloomberg.net; John Walcott at jwalcott9@bloomberg.net


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