This article gives bin Laden’s final wife’s name as Amal Ahmed Abdul Fatah [some say al Sadah] and her age as 24 [though most sources say she is 29, some 27]. This article says she had a daughter, Safiyah, with bin Laden. In 2002, Amal reportedly gave an interview to a Saudi woman’s magazine, Al Majalla
, in which she explains how, after the 9/11 attacks, she made her way out of Afghanistan back to Yemen with assistance from Pakistani officials [when she was either 14 or 19, with a newborn or else heavily pregnant and she never arrived, stayed there forever, or almost immediately came back. According to Time Magazine
, one of bin Laden’s former aides in Yemen insists that Amal never reached home]. This happened 2 months after the US began bombing Afghanistan. The article continues: “After bin Laden’s young bride — Amal was then 19 — was turned over to the Pakistani authorities, she and her daughter Safiyah were released and allowed to fly home to Ibb, a town not far from Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, where her father worked as a minor civil servant [though she might’ve gone there for the child to be born]. But bin Laden might’ve (must’ve?) somehow arranged for Amal to rejoin him and his kids in Pakistan. Then there’s the question of whether Pakistani authorities were aware that bin Laden’s wife had returned to their country. Robert Grenier, a former director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center and a security expert, says it’s not impossible to imagine that the Pakistanis could have let Amal leave the country and failed to detect her return. [Why is this being said? What is someone trying to convey?] “The Pakistanis would want to get her back home,” Grenier tells TIME.
Pakistan refused [at least this was reported at first] to let US officials anywhere near Amal, under guard in a hospital. [Other sources have the US interviewing all three wives at once — including Amal — for half an hour.] The article also states: “Cultural taboos aside, she may know too many uncomfortable truths.” [Like what? For whom?] “To me, it’s astonishing that she came back to join him [in Pakistan],” says the source with former ties to al-Qaeda. “None of the other fighters brought back their wives.” Did Pakistani authorities know that she had returned from Yemen?
The passport of a Yemeni woman found at the compound appears to be hers [meaning Amal] — but the name is not an exact match. Yemeni officials say they can’t conclusively identify the passport and the Pakistanis have not made any request to repatriate anyone at the compound. [Is this important? How can I tell?] CNN
Terrorism Analyst Paul Cruickshank says it is not surprising the compound in Abbottabad attacked on Sunday included several children — although it’s not known how many were bin Laden’s. “He was trying to train up his sons to follow in his footsteps; he had many of his daughters around him in as well in Afghanistan.” But this article said that only one
wife remained. [Others say three.]
The Yemeni government is apparently pressuring the family not to speak publicly about their notorious in-law, bin Laden, Ahmed [a relative] said. “From what I know, the government would give the Sadah family an extremely difficult time and always warns them from talking to the media,” he added. “The government tells them that the information or comments they give would be misunderstood or misinterpreted and could hurt the family more than the government.” [Is this true concern or a veiled threat?] "DailyIndia"
on 17 May says Amal’s Yemeni father says he did not receive any money from Osama for the marriage, though other sources say a dowry of $5,000 was wired by bin Laden or, alternatively, $5,000 worth of gifts and jewelry were sent to the father.
This article includes a quote about the marriages of Osama bin Laden by Brian Ross: “By the time bin Laden moved to his mansion in Abbottabad, he was left only with Amal Ahmed, he had divorced one of his other wives, and three others had moved to Syria.” [This article sourced this from ABCNews.go.com entitled “Osama bin Laden’s Young Wife, Wounded in Raid, Identified” 3 May 2011 by Brian Ross, no URL
It is not clear how many of the dozen other children in the compound were bin Laden’s. Pakistani officials say bin Laden’s wife and daughter are now recovering in a military hospital in Rawalpindi, and they have released Amal’s passport photograph [shown above]. The photograph shows a pale young woman with generous lips. In accordance with Islamic convention, her face is framed by a head scarf and she is wearing no lipstick or make-up. Later Pakistani press reports suggest that bin Laden may have had several other wives staying with him, but his original spouses are believed to be in Syria, Saudi Arabia and in Iran, possibly under house arrest. [What? Is nothing straightforward?]
Pakistani officials who have been debriefing the women portray life in the compound as an Islamic version of Desperate Housewives
. “It’s a well-known fact that when you have two older wives and then this young one comes along half their age, they don’t like it,” said one. [You’re kidding me, right? This is a bit too manipulative to go unnoticed.] While the CIA
may have lost track of some of the wives in Iran, it seems likely that Amal had been under surveillance since her 2002 interview. [What is the implication here?]
Why does her passport appear to say her last name is Abdul Jabbar?
Why do there seem to be multiple versions of everything connected with bin Laden?