ISLAMABAD: A young daughter of Osama bin Laden, now in custody with a Yemeni wife of the al Qaeda leader, saw her father shot dead, a Pakistani intelligence official said Wednesday.
The official from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency said up to 12 women and children who survived the US raid on their villa were now in custody.
The child, reported to be 12 years old, “was the one who confirmed to us that Osama was dead and shot and taken away,” said the official.
Four bodies were retrieved from the daring covert attack, including one of bin Laden’s sons, said the official, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity.
Up to three women and nine children, including the young Yemeni woman who was shot in the leg and a daughter of the Saudi-born mastermind, are in detention, he said.
Intelligence officials said the group were being interrogated. “There are a lot of questions we want to ask them,” another official said.
The Pakistani government said Tuesday that family members of Bin Laden were “being looked after” and would be handed over to their countries of origin.
The ISI official said Pakistan had shared intelligence with US agents as early as 2009, which ultimately led to the compound where bin Laden was killed early Monday.Islamabad is under pressure to explain how al Qaeda’s top man had been able to live undetected for months right by the country’s military training centre, before he was killed by US Navy SEALS.
Pakistan’s top foreign ministry official, Salman Bashir, earlier told the BBC: “We had indicated this compound as far back as 2009 as a possible place”.
The ISI official told AFP that its agents had raided the house in 2003 in a failed operation to find al Qaeda number three Abu Faraj al-Libbi, before the compound “slipped from our radar”.
Clarifying Bashir’s comments on Wednesday, the ISI official said that intelligence provided in 2009 did not directly relate to the suspect compound.”The intelligence that was provided eventually led the Americans to that compound (but) our information that was provided did not lead us directly to that,” he said.
A US official on Monday told AFP that three other men and a woman were killed in the operation.Two of the men worked as trusted couriers for bin Laden and the third was believed to be an adult son, the official said.