Bin Laden widows charged for illegal stay in Pakistan: Malik

Published: March 8, 2012
Former al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden’s children are living comfortably in a five-bedroom house in Islamabad, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Former al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden’s children are living comfortably in a five-bedroom house in Islamabad, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Authorities have brought charges against former al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden’s three widows for illegally entering and living in the country, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Thursday. 

The al Qaeda leader was killed in a secret raid by US Special Forces in Abbottabad in May last year after a decade-long manhunt.  His three wives and an undisclosed number of children were among the 16 people detained by Pakistani authorities after the raid.

“They (the wives) were presented before the court. After that, they are on judicial remand, and are being kept in a proper, legal manner,” Malik told reporters. “Cases have been registered against the adults, not the children.”

The children, he said, were living comfortably in a five-bedroom house in Islamabad. “A house has been bought for them to live in.”

Two of the wives are Saudi nationals, and one is from Yemen, according to the Pakistani foreign ministry.

Malik did not specify which court was dealing with the case, or where the women were being held.  They will have to stand trial, but it was not clear what punishment they faced if convicted.

Authorities had previously said they will repatriate the women to their home countries after a judicial commission probing the Bin Laden raid had completed its questioning.  The commission has interviewed the family members for clues about how the al Qaeda chief managed to stay in the country undetected.

The youngest widow, Amal Ahmed Abdulfattah, told investigators in May that Bin Laden and his family lived for five years in the compound in Abbottabad where he was killed.

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Reader Comments (42)

  • Much Amused
    Mar 8, 2012 - 6:15PM

    “A house has been bought for them to live in,” How much more absurd will it get. A poor nation paying for luxury while ordinary citizens rot in rat infested over crowded facilities trying to get justice. I say send them to Saudi or Yemen or where ever and stop spending on them.


  • Nadir
    Mar 8, 2012 - 6:18PM

    Waa jee! Foreign nationals, illegally residing in Pakistan, recieve tax payer funded 5 bedroom houses in Islamabad! Good to know they are living comfortably..but what off Pakistani children?


  • Raheel
    Mar 8, 2012 - 6:21PM

    The government is demolishing his whereabouts but providing shelter to his children…strange !! Government should send them back to their own country.We do not want even the impressions of Osama bin Laden..!!


  • Kashif Shams
    Mar 8, 2012 - 6:52PM

    Send them back to their countries. We had enough of all this.


  • jamal
    Mar 8, 2012 - 6:54PM

    why dont we send them back to their home country or country of their parents. they definitely are not pakistanis even thought they were probably born in pakistan as their parents were in pakistan illegally


  • Its (still) the Economy Stupid
    Mar 8, 2012 - 6:55PM

    DIfferent location same lifestyle


  • sars
    Mar 8, 2012 - 6:57PM

    Too sad about the families, specifically the children of his many (direct and indirect) victims,
    They are not living in any comfort, having lost their fathers and brothers to a cause spearheaded by this coward. Poor pakistanis blood is much cheaper to spill in your cause for world domination. Arab blood is too pure eh?


  • Reddy
    Mar 8, 2012 - 6:57PM

    they found an immediate replacement for a mansion,i have not seen this enthusiasm in accommodating people when pakistan ran over by overwhelming floods


  • alicia
    Mar 8, 2012 - 7:05PM

    What is the point of such statements? Tomorrow BBC,CNN etc. will all come up with headlines like”After accommodating the father for 6 years Pakistan authorities now accommodating Bin Laden’s children” or “Pakistani authorities financing a luxury life style for osama’s kids”. Why does he have to advertise the idiotic doings of the government and army to the world?
    Secondly those kids are living in luxury what about Pakistani kids who sleep next to rat-infested gutters or who cannot afford a proper meal? I mean we did vote them in to take care of Pakistani children.Recommend

  • Bhindian
    Mar 8, 2012 - 7:11PM

    We destroyed their house so it is our responsibility to provide another one.


  • Ahmee (PAKISTANI)
    Mar 8, 2012 - 7:30PM

    What a pity my country men are dying roofless/food-less and here a dead terrorist’s family has VIP treatment. Exile them to their country or put them behind bars.

    Pakistan and Pakistanis must come first!!!


  • Mar 8, 2012 - 7:58PM

    Who issued visas to them?


  • Dadyal
    Mar 8, 2012 - 8:02PM

    @Ahmee (PAKISTANI):

    They are orphans and muslims. We are duty bound to help our fellow man and some deserve better.


  • numbersnumbers
    Mar 8, 2012 - 8:16PM

    It was not “their house”! The Abbottabad compound was built and paid for by others!


  • Ali. Mir
    Mar 8, 2012 - 8:31PM

    What is going on Mr Interior Minister?
    Why is Pakistan tax payer paying for their cost of living
    send them back to the countries who have issued them passports and countries of their mother


  • enlighten moderate
    Mar 8, 2012 - 8:36PM

    its good..We need to treat them well.they have no where else to go..if we reject them too they too will join al Qaeda ranks which is bad for Rest of the World..I believe they do deserve a chance.


    just put urself in that position and make comments.they are innocent!


  • amjad ali
    Mar 8, 2012 - 8:38PM

    we have to not give them shelter let them to go there homeland…….try to solve our domestics issues.


  • Martx
    Mar 8, 2012 - 8:42PM

    I Don’t Work 6 Days a Week Paying Taxes To ‘Comfortably’ Accommodate A Dead Terrorist’s Children Deport Them IMMEDIATELY!


  • HoneyBee
    Mar 8, 2012 - 9:11PM

    These children born in Pakistan are Pakistani nationals and registered with NADRA……


  • Vinayak
    Mar 8, 2012 - 9:38PM

    It is right that the children are looked after in a proper way. After all they should not be punished for the crimes committed by their father. Pity for them is that it seems nobody among Bin Laden’s wives want to take care of them.


  • Jadugar
    Mar 8, 2012 - 9:46PM

    Mr. Malik, You and your Govt. still haven’t got your priorities straight, Your ministry by now should have eradicated the terrorists, criminals and the list goes on, rather then making news about a dead terrorist family, but then we are expecting to much out of you Recommend

  • smj
    Mar 8, 2012 - 9:54PM

    WHAAAAT?? Govrnment bought a house for them in Islamabad? How much dumber we can be??? what about millions of “PAKISTANI WIDOWS AND ORPHANS” whose husbands were killed by the actions of this criminal laden?? Don’t we owe them anything??

    Throw these remains of Laden, back to their countries. They dont belong to Pakistan.


  • Umair
    Mar 8, 2012 - 11:41PM

    If you let Rymond Davis go then why not this poor lady :/


  • Dr Khan
    Mar 9, 2012 - 12:55AM

    really disgusted by the amount of hate abd intolerance here. How can any human wish cruelty upon children. And these are orphans. Are we really Muslims? Really disappointed at the level of gross intolerance and racism, yes racism! Disgusting, really. Shows how polarized Pakistani liberals are, honestly, Pakistanis dont even know how to be liberals, theres always intolerance and extremism, no matter what brand of religion or politics you play. Sad. Recommend

  • Maulana Tharra
    Mar 9, 2012 - 1:04AM

    Check her papers again; may be she was on spousal dependent visa!Recommend

  • yajsingh
    Mar 9, 2012 - 1:30AM

    and Bin Laden come with a visa stamped. yeh right!


  • Raj - USA
    Mar 9, 2012 - 2:43AM

    It is out of fear for Al Quaida. Army, Government and politicians are afraid that Al Quaida may take revenge on them. So, they bought the house for the children. Zawahiri and many from Al Quaida are still in Pakistan and everyone cares for his life. No harm in the government taking care of them. But is there any need to give them a 5 bedroom house. They could have been sent back to their relatives also. Or, who knows, those with real power may want to groom these children as future strategic assets. They have their Father’s name to carry the reputation.


  • Bakir Mukeem
    Mar 9, 2012 - 2:49AM

    They are potential witness to everything that happened in Abbottabad, if they are sent to any other country they will be picked up within seconds by CIA and a new drama based on “thier statements” will be in media, pakistan can not afford to have another drama, it already has a lot on its plate.


  • Ch Allah Daad
    Mar 9, 2012 - 3:14AM

    If Osama had been alive, no one would have dared to write against his family. Cowards are bragging too loud, its another proof that Osama is dead.


  • MarkH
    Mar 9, 2012 - 3:16AM

    It seems the authors of many comments don’t know the difference between housing and VIP pampering. If you can’t see why that bugs your fellow Pakistanis, you lack basic cognitive abilities.


  • Raj - USA
    Mar 9, 2012 - 3:19AM

    They did it with Unanimous Resolution of the Parliament and the Assemblies of Punjab and Sind. Any problem with that ?Recommend

  • Truthbetold
    Mar 9, 2012 - 4:08AM

    “Bin Laden widows charged for illegal stay in Pakistan: Malik”
    This must certainly be a sick joke! It looks like the Establishment is grasping at straws to deny its role in hiding and supporting Bin Laden and other international terrorists in Pakistan. The Pak army/ISI establishment must be thinking the global community is a bunch of fools if they think they can hide the proverbial elephant under the carpet. Recommend

  • Nadir Hussain Afridi
    Mar 9, 2012 - 4:11AM

    He was a high value asset with even higher nuisance value, pakistan was hiding him to negotiate with US authorities in case they needed him for election compaign purposes, now that he is dead and Obama came out as a hero, US is negotiating with pakistan to re-open NATO supply routes or they will make public the details of his sponsored stay in Abbottabad.


  • Sajid
    Mar 9, 2012 - 4:22AM


    They are orphans and muslims. We are duty bound to help our fellow man and some deserve better.

    You are right, since we have already taken care of all the other homeless orphaned Children of Pakistan


  • Babloo
    Mar 9, 2012 - 5:02AM

    Saudi Arabia does not want them and has told Pakistan , you found them, you keep them.
    5 bed room house in Islamabad ? Why 5 bedrooms ? Is that how anyone awaiting trial in Pakistan is kept ? Why such a special treatment and under what provisions of the law ? What makes Osama’s 3 wives so special ? If his wives are so special requiring such special treatment, I wonder how much more special treatment would Osmama himself would have received. He must have been like a crown prince.


  • O B Server
    Mar 9, 2012 - 7:26AM

    There are millions of foreigners living illegally in Pakistan. Why not charge them as well or better still deport them?
    Why dramatise Bin Laden family only? Pakistan will not get any credit for it.


  • O B Server
    Mar 9, 2012 - 7:34AM

    @ Ch Allah-Daad
    There is absolutely no proof that Osama is dead. There was a news item other day that Osama did not have sea “burial”. He may well be alive in the hands of his captors. He is worth more alive than dead to the Americans.


  • Akthar
    Mar 9, 2012 - 7:46AM

    OBL Wives may be persecuted if they are sent to their home countries. So, we should help the family and the children in Pakistan. Just remember, OBL was a Hero for both US & Pakistan during the Cold War. & OBL has never harmed Pakistan.


  • Singh
    Mar 9, 2012 - 9:35AM

    What about OBL was never in Pakistan & US just stage act of midnight?


  • Tony C.
    Mar 9, 2012 - 10:44AM

    Perhaps Pakistan should send an account, for the five bedroom house, to President Obama. It was his decision to make the children fatherless, and thus dependent on the Pakistan Government for their upkeep. Just a thought.


  • Bitter Reality
    Mar 9, 2012 - 12:48PM

    Today I Realized how fanatic, cruel, insane and selfish we are. Who are much annoyed just because govt provided shelter helpless children and women (at present). Why you consider yourself Pakistani first????? Where humanity comes miles before religion and state. If these children were destined to be Osama’s then whats their fault???? I can clearly depict how much loving, caring, generous and broadminded we are as a human, after reading all comments. All those claiming that these children should not be provided shelter with our taxes are bigger terrorist of humanity than Al Qaeda Chief.


  • Realistic!
    Mar 10, 2012 - 11:32AM

    @Bitter Reality:
    Brother, dont be bitter! Be realistic. People who are themselves drowning will be selfish and insane. Pakistan is in deep economic trouble, and has to beg for its own existance. So people are rightly upset!
    However govt has a compulsion to hold on to the wifes and kids. If they are deported, they will spill the beans about pakistan hiding them. They have to be kept away from world, just as AQ Khan has been.
    Media is happy as it gets new storyline, and “DR” Rehman malik gets to say great things for media amusement!”


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