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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

The Green Recruitment Company: Operations Manager - Anaerobic Digestion / Biogas

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Operation...

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Maintenance Person

£7 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care organisation take pride in del...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker

£7 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care organisation take pride in del...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent