early a year after American commandos killed Osama bin Laden, new details are emerging of the notorious al Qaeda leader's life in hiding after the 9/11 attacks. The additional pieces of the puzzle come from an interrogation report of Amal Ahmad Abdul Fateh, bin Laden's 30-year-old Yemeni widow, who is currently in Pakistani custody. Experts warn that the report is not totally reliable, given that Fateh's words are paraphrased by a Pakistani police officer. Nevertheless, it is "the most detailed account yet" of bin Laden's post-9/11 life, says Declan Walsh at The New York Times. Here, five takeaways from bin Laden's life on the run:
1. Bin Laden didn't hide in a cave
While U.S. intelligence officials openly suspected that bin Laden could be hiding in a cave near the rugged Afghan-Pakistani border, he actually shuttled between different houses in Pakistan, some of which were close to major cities. After 9/11, bin Laden's family "scattered" from its base in Afghanistan, Fateh says. She joined her husband in Peshawar, in northwest Pakistan, in 2002, and they lived in a scenic area nearby called Swat. In 2003, they moved to Haripur, not far from the capital of Islamabad, and in 2005 they moved to Abbottabad, the garrison town where bin Laden was eventually found and killed.
2. He fathered four children after 9/11
Fateh says she gave birth to four of bin Laden's children in the nine years they lived in hiding. On at least two occasions, she had the babies delivered in a government-run hospital, spending about two to three hours there each time. She reportedly claims to have given the hospital staff forged identification documents.
3. Bin Laden's family had accomplices
Prior to joining bin Laden in Peshawar, Fateh lived in the city of Karachi, and was moved around as many as seven times with the help of bin Laden's older son and "some Pakistani family" that remains unidentified. The houses in Swat, Haripur, and Abbottabad were arranged by two brothers identified as Ibrahim and Abrar. Ibrahim is thought to be Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, a so-called message "courier" for bin Laden who was killed during the commando raid in Abbottabad. Abrar was also killed in the raid.
4. Now, his wives are going on trial...
Fateh and two of bin Laden's other wives, both of whom are from Saudi Arabia, are to be tried on Monday for allegedly entering Pakistan illegally. If convicted, they could each face five years in prison. The three wives were previously going to be deported, and the new trial is raising suspicions that the Pakistani government is reluctant to let them leave the country and be questioned by others, including the U.S. The two other wives are reportedly refusing to speak with Pakistani officials, but Fateh, who was shot in the leg during the Abbottabad raid, has been more open.
5. ...And Pakistan is coming under renewed suspicion
"There is now even more reason for Pakistan to take a long, hard look at its record against terrorism," says Pakistan's Dawn newspaper. Bin Laden was in Pakistan for at least nine years, which either means Pakistan's intelligence agency is "incompetent," or "something more sinister" is afoot. "Who facilitated his movements and his stops, and were they ordinary citizens or members of law enforcement or intelligence agencies?" Pakistan needs to find the answers to these questions, "both for its own sake and that of the world's security."
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