Osama Bin Laden's eldest wife may have collaborated with CIA

 

Osama Bin Laden, physically and mentally frail and holed-up in a secret compound in a Pakistan garrison town, may have been sold out to the Americans by his eldest wife who was furiously jealous of the al-Qa’ida leader’s preference for a younger bride.

An eight-month investigation carried out by a retired senior Pakistani army officer, Brig. Shaukat Qadir, suggests Bin Laden’s eldest wife, Khairiah Saber, was so upset that after she moved into the house in February last year that she collaborated with the CIA teams that were hunting him. “Absolutely, I’m sure about it,” said Mr Qadir, speaking yesterday from Rawalpindi. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

The retired officer has based his investigation on interviews with officials from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and access to transcripts of interviews with Bin Laden’s three wives who were living with him in the Abbottabad house. The widows remain in Pakistani custody and who have this week been charged with visa offences.

Mr Qadir was also permitted rare access inside the compound, where he was shown blood-stains purportedly belonging to Bin Laden, who was shot dead by US special forces. He said the motivation to invest his own money and time in the issue was the number of contradictions that appeared in the various accounts of the CIA’s surveillance operation and the eventual raid to kill Bin Laden, who was codenamed Geronimo.

In the aftermath of the US raid on Pakistan territory, Mr Qadir said that along with many of his countrymen, he felt “ashamed”. In addition to completing and circulating his 64-page report, he has given evidence to the official government inquiry looking into the affair.

Several of Mr Qadir’s suggestions seem fanciful. He says, for instance, that Bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, may also have tried to give up the location of the al-Qa’ida leader. He cites as supporting evidence his belief that neither the courier nor his brother, picked up their automatic weapons to defend Bin Laden when American troops stormed the building. Other conclusions, such as Bin Laden’s break with his former deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri fit with what other analysts believe.

If correct, Mr Qadir’s account also provides new detail about the way Bin Laden made his way to Abbottabad from South Waziristan, via Swat and Haripur, arriving at the compound in the Bilal Town neighbourhood in the spring of 2005. He reveals that Pakistani officials found supplies of imported food, including dates, in the house. He makes no conclusions about whom, if anyone, within the Pakistani establishment was aware of his whereabouts.

Yet it is the detail about the domestic discord within Bin Laden’s home that will catch the eye of many. While Bin Laden lived on the third floor of the property with his youngest wife, Amal Ahmed Abdel-Fatah al-Sada, a Yemeni who was 19 when they married in 1999, another wife, Siham Saber, lived in another room on the same floor.

That arrangement seems to work until the arrival of his eldest wife, Saudi-born Khairiah Saber, in early 2011. She had long been jealous of the youngest wife, said Mr Qadir, and was a fierce character. In his account, the retired officer quotes an ISI interrogator who questioned the eldest wife, saying: “She is so aggressive that she borders on being intimidating. Short of torturing her, we cannot get her to admit to anything. And, we will not torture women or children.”

Bin Laden, who was 54, had two marriages before he married Khairiah Saber. Both ended in divorce. He has more than 20 children with his various wives. One of his sons Khalid, was shot dead the Abbottabad compound, which the authorities knocked-down last month. Officials, deeply embarrassed about the entire affair, said it had been done to prevent it becoming a shrine.

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk