Yemeni family of Bin Laden widow demands her return

Published: May 18, 2011
Pakistan says Yemen has not requested extradition of the woman.

Pakistan says Yemen has not requested extradition of the woman.


The Yemeni family of the youngest widow of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden demanded on Tuesday that she be repatriated along with her five children from Pakistan where she is being detained.

The brother of Amal Abdulfattah told AFP he had received assurances from the Yemeni ambassador in Islamabad that she is “in good health” despite sustaining a gunshot wound to the leg during the US commando raid that killed bin Laden.

“We want her to be repatriated with her five children – three daughters and two sons,” said Zakariya Abdulfattah.

“The eldest among them is Safiya who is less than 10 years old,” he added.

A Yemeni human rights organisation said on Tuesday that it was working to repatriate Amal Abdulfattah, 29.

The National Organisation for Defending Rights and Freedoms (HOOD) is acting “on behalf of the family of Amal,” part of the Al-Sada tribe of Ibb province, southwest of the capital Sanaa, lawyer Abdulrahman Baraman said.

US intelligence services have reportedly interrogated three of bin Laden’s widows who were picked up in the US commando raid in Abbottabad in which the al Qaeda leader was killed.

“We will call on the Yemeni government to demand the release and repatriation of Amal, who is detained and being questioned in Pakistan by the Americans,” said Baraman.

“She is innocent. Her only crime was having married Osama bin Laden,” he added.

He said that HOOD was planning to contact international human rights organisations to ask for their help in securing the release of Abdulfattah.

Pakistani authorities have said that neither Yemen nor Saudi Arabia – the country of origin of the other two widows – have requested the extradition of the women, who were found along with their 13 children in the villa compound where bin Laden was killed on May 2.

The young widow was married to bin Laden in 1999 through a local matchmaker, the brother said, adding that she travelled to Afghanistan to join her husband.

Saudi-born Bin Laden was already married to two other women – the first of whom was his Syrian cousin Najwa al-Ghanem.

“We agreed that he could marry Amal because we knew that he was a good Muslim, very pious, but we did not know much more,” Abdulfattah said, insisting that the dowry paid for his sister was “very modest.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (3)

    May 18, 2011 - 11:22AM

    Osama’s widow should be repatriated as she has done no wrong. It appears that news about Osama’s ill-health was incorrect otherwise how can a man requiring periodic dialysis produce so many children in the past ten years ?Recommend

  • chebbo
    May 18, 2011 - 1:01PM

    All his Widows should repatriated back to their country of origin with due respect. They should never be handed over to the Americans for any reason whatsoever. They are innocent and should be treated like innocent. O men, have fear of Allah, the Almighty, the Most Beneficient!Recommend

  • K-R-Siddiqui
    May 18, 2011 - 1:14PM

    Its terrible what the ordeal has been for the survivors of that incident..But really? who are you kidding? They actually expect us to believe that the family had no clue abt OBL? You have got to be kidding me!…I was born in the 80s I knew who he was for the better part of my life….And maybe the dowry was “modest” considering who OBL was…Excuse me but this is simply too unreal for ANY person with common sense to digest. I would very much like to know how and who introduced the family to OBL…its high time we call a spade a spade…Recommend

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