ISLAMABAD: One of Osama bin Laden’s wives told Pakistani interrogators that the al Qaeda leader and his family had been living for five years in the compound where he was killed by US forces this week, a security official said on Friday.
The official, who identified the woman as Amal Ahmed Abdulfattah, the youngest of bin Laden’s three wives, told Reuters she was wounded in the US raid on Monday.
The security official said Abdulfattah told investigators: “We have been living there for the past five years.”
Pakistani security forces took between 15 and 16 people into custody from the compound after US forces removed bin Laden’s body, said the security official. Those detained included Bin Laden’s three wives and several children.
Separately, a senior intelligence official briefing journalists on Thursday evening said that Bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, fell out six years ago over the distribution of money. He gave no other details.
U.S. special forces used helicopters to attack the compound in Abbottabad.
Pakistani security officials say neither bin Laden nor his comrades offered any resistance during the raid.
“From the clues, evidence what we have got is they stormed in with firing shots and knocked them down,” a security official said.
Another security official on Thursday said their killing was “cold-blooded”.
Pakistan’s military top brass have expressed anger that the United States did not inform them of the attack beforehand.
In his first comment on the raid, Pakistan army chief General Ashfaq Kayani on Thursday threatened a review of military and intelligence cooperation should the United States repeat similar unilateral action.
He also told senior military commanders that it had been decided to reduce the strength of US military personnel in Pakistan to the “minimum essential”.
The army has admitted intelligence failures over the presence of Bin Laden in the country and ordered an inquiry into these “shortcomings”.
“We didn’t know Osama bin Laden was hiding in this house until we took these people into custody and they confirmed that he (Bin Laden) has been killed,” another security official said.