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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 18 May 2021

On the run: Osama bin Laden lived in 5 houses

A widow of the al-Qaeda has told investigators that he lived in five safe houses in Pakistan and fathered four children, two of them born in government hospitals.

the guesthouse inside Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan
the guesthouse inside Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan
Image: AP Photo/Shaukat Qadir, File

OSAMA BIN LADEN lived in five safe houses and fathered four children – two of them born in government hospitals – while on the run in Pakistan.

The claims have been made by his youngest widow to investigators, also in Pakistan.

The details of bin Laden’s life as a fugitive are contained in the interrogation report of Amal Ahmed Abdel-Fatah al-Sada, bin Laden’s 30-year-old Yemeni widow. They appear to raise fresh questions over how bin Laden was able to remain undetected for so long in Pakistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks, despite being the subject of a massive international manhunt.

Details from the report were first published by the Pakistani newspaper Dawn. The Associated Press obtained a copy on Friday.

Al-Sada is currently in Pakistani custody, along with bin Laden’s two other wives and several children. They were arrested after the US raid that killed bin Laden in May in his final hideout in the Pakistani army town of Abbottabad. The US Navy SEALs shot her in the leg during the operation.

Mohammed Amir Khalil, a lawyer for the three widows, said the women would be formally charged for illegally staying in Pakistan on April 2. That charge carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.

Since the raid that killed bin Laden, it has been known that he lived mostly in Pakistan since 2002.

Al-Sada’s account says she flew to Pakistan in 2000 and travelled to Afghanistan where she married bin Laden before the September 11 attacks.

After that, the family “scattered” and she travelled to Karachi in Pakistan. She later met up with bin Laden in Peshawar and then moved to the Swat Valley, where they lived in two houses. They moved one more time before settling in Abbottabad in 2005.

According to the report, al-Sada said that two of her children were born in government hospitals, but that she stayed only “two or three hours” in the clinics on both occasions. The charge sheet against the three women says that they gave officials fake identities.

During the manhunt for bin Laden, most US and Pakistani officials said that bin Laden was likely living somewhere along the remote Afghanistan-Pakistan border, possibly in a cave.

The fact he was living in populated parts of Pakistan raised suspicions elements in the Pakistani security forces may have been hiding him. US officials have said they have found no evidence this was the case.

Read: Osama Bin Laden may have been betrayed by oldest wife>

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Associated Press

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