Maryam, the wife of a Pakistani al Qaeda operative, Ibrahim, has made a shocking revelation about how the global terror network chief, Osama bin Laden, once narrowly escaped unnoticed by police in Swat district.
She said that the tall Arab [Bin Laden] and his family were once stopped by a policeman in a bazaar in Swat. “They [including Bin Laden] were stopped for speeding by a policeman,” the Abbottabad Commission report quoted Maryam as saying. The report was leaked to Arab television channel Al Jazeera.
But Ibrahim very quickly settled the matter and they drove away unnoticed, she added.
Ibrahim, his brother Ibrar and their family had been serving Bin Laden from the day he managed to sneak into Pakistan from neighbouring Afghanistan, according to the report. Then the Bin Laden family left for Mansehra and later shifted to Abbottabad.
The report reveals that Ibrahim’s nine-year-old daughter, Rahma, once asked her father why “the uncle who lives upstairs [Bin Laden]” in the Abbottabad compound never visited the bazaar. Her father said: “He [Bin Laden] was too poor to go out and buy anything.” Since then, Rahma referred to Bin Laden as ‘Miskeen Kaka (poor uncle)’.
Maryam, hailing from Shangla district, her four kids and husband served the al Qaeda chief in his Abbottabad compound. One day her daughter, Rahma, saw Bin Laden on television and immediately recognised him as her ‘Miskeen Kaka’. Ibrahim – whose brother Ibrar and his wife Sharifa also served the Bin Laden family – stopped his family members from interacting with the Bin Laden family.
Then Maryam asked for the real identity of ‘Miskeen Kaka’ who was always referred to as the sheikh. But one day, Ibrahim admitted that Rehma was right and that ‘Miskeen Kaka’ was in fact Osama bin Laden. Then she asked Ibrahim how had he taken upon himself such a huge responsibility to serve and protect such a globally wanted man, Ibrahim said it was the will of Allah. During their six-year stay in Abbottabad, Maryam never saw Bin Laden once.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2013.