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Bin Laden fathered 4 children while in hiding
Former al-Qaeda leader’s youngest wife tells investigators of life on the run
ISLAMABAD – Osama bin Laden fathered four children as he hid in Pakistan after the 9/11 attacks, his youngest wife told interrogators, according to a police report seen by AFP March 30.
Amal Abdulfattah's account provides rare details of the al-Qaeda leader's life from when he fled Afghanistan in late 2001 until his death at age 54 last May in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Abdulfattah, from Yemen, was arrested by Pakistani authorities after bin Laden's death. They also arrested two of his Saudi wives and five children.
The three detained widows face charges of illegally entering and residing in Pakistan. Abdulfattah, 30, was wounded while trying to protect her husband, according to official reports.
The Pakistan police report, dated January 19, said Abdulfattah was born into a family of 17 children and married bin Laden because "she had a desire to marry a Mujahedeen," the term for "holy warrior."
The report, from the office of the inspector general of police in Islamabad, recommended immediately deporting Abdulfattah and her children.
After arriving in Pakistan in July 2000 on a three-month visa, in the company of her sister and brother-in-law, Abdulfattah travelled to Kandahar, Afghanistan, capital of the Taliban regime at the time.
The date of her marriage to bin Laden was not specified, but the police report said afterward she moved in with him and his other two wives.
"She further revealed that after the 9/11 terror attacks, they all scattered and she came to Karachi with one of her daughters, Safia," the report said. Safia, her first child by the al-Qaeda kingpin, was born in Kandahar in 2001.
She stayed in Karachi for eight to nine months, moving between homes arranged for them by Pakistani families and bin Laden's oldest son, Saad.
Abdulfattah then met up with the fleeing bin Laden in Peshawar. The report suggests that the pair did not part from that moment until the raid in Abbottabad.
They stayed for eight or nine months in Swat, then for two years in Haripur, 90 minutes by car from Islamabad, before moving to Abbottabad in 2005.
During this time, Abdulfattah had four other children by bin Laden, by then the most-wanted man in the world. In Haripur, their daughter Aasia was born in 2003, followed by a son, Ibrahim, the next year.
Abdulfattah gave birth to both in a public hospital, the police report said. The other two children, Zainab, a girl, and Hussain, a boy, were born in Abbottabad in 2006 and 2008.
Ibrahim and Abrar, two Pakistanis whom al-Qaeda had assigned to the family, organised their movements while on the run, according to the report.
Both men were killed with bin Laden in Abbottabad. They had been living in the compound, along with Ibrahim's wife, Bushra, bin Laden's son, Khalid, and the others.