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May 9th, 2011
06:25 PM ET

Source: U.S. needs permission to interview bin Laden wives

Abbottabad, Pakistan (CNN) - Pakistan will allow the United States to question or take into custody the apparent wives of Osama bin Laden only if their "country of origin has been asked for permission," a senior Pakistani intelligence source told CNN on Monday.

Pakistani officials have said bin Laden's family members will be repatriated to their home countries after initial interrogations. One of bin Laden's wives is from Yemen, the official said, while a well-placed U.S. official who would not speak on the record said the other two are from Saudi Arabia.

All three were taken into Pakistani custody after the May 2 raid by U.S. commandos that killed bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda terrorist movement. The raid succeeded in scratching the man behind the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington off the U.S. most-wanted list, but it has strained ties with a key American ally in the battle against al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The 29-year-old Yemeni wife, Amal Ahmed Abdulfattah, was wounded during the raid. The U.S. official identified the other two women as Khairiah Sabar, also known as "Umm Hamza," and Siham Sabar, or "Umm Khalid."

The official identified the other men killed in the raid as bin Laden's son Khalid; two couriers, known around the town of Abbottabad by the aliases Arshad Khan and Tariq Khan. The official would not provide their real names.

"Allegations of complicity or incompetence are absurd," Gilani said. "We emphatically reject such accusations. Speculative narratives in the public domain are meant to create despondency. We will not allow our detractors to succeed in offloading their own shortcomings and errors of omission and commission in a blame game that stigmatizes Pakistan."

Updated: 6:25 p.m.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Pakistan
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Joe G. (Illinois)

    The Middle East needs stability.. Like the rest of the world.

    If Burak Obama implies desires to “Change the wheel” as he implied about Washington’s Bureaucracy, then we Americans more than the Al Qaeda need to question what’s in all those pizza’s being delivered to the White House door. Americans are the ones loosing their limbs, getting maimed for life.

    May 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm |