The international community and the human rights organizations should pay some attention to the widows of the late Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, two of his brothers-in-law said.
They said that nobody knows what is going to happen to them in Pakistan, especially that all indications show that they are being probed. Their comments came during Al Arabiya’s talk show Wageh Al Sahafa, which is produced and presented by prominent Saudi journalist Dawood Al Shirian.
The guests included Bin Laden brother-in-law Dr. Saad Al Sharif and the cousin of the late Al Qaeda leader’s Yemeni wife Waleed Hashim Al Sada, as well as the head of the Saudi Human Rights Society Dr. Mufleh Al Qahtani.
Bin Laden was killed in a US raid in Pakistan on May 2. Dr. Qahtani described his killing in front of his wives as an inhuman act that contradicts with international law and traditions.
Bin Laden’s brother-in-law Dr. Sharif said that he had met the late Al Qaeda leader when he proposed to marry his sister Siham—who was to become his fourth wife—and that he had played an important role in convincing his sister to get married to him. At that time, Bin Laden was still young and his sister was impressed by his “jihadist” spirit.
Dr. Sharif revealed many things about the true character of Bin Laden including how he lived a very simple life and that he was very keen to have many wives in order to have as many children as possible—as he thought this would support his “jihadist” ideology. All his wives used to move with him everywhere he went either in Sudan or Afghanistan.
Dr. Sharif said that he had so many differences with Bin Laden and they all their discussions used to end with arguments, especially when they were together in Sudan. It once went so far that Bin Laden accused him of being “an agent” of Saudi security.
Dr. Sharif described how his sister Mrs. Siham came to visit them once, but she seemed so “worried” and she couldn’t stay more than ten days, especially that Bin Laden insisted to keep their children with him while she was only accompanied by her youngest child at that time.
Dr. Sharif sympathized with his sister and said that it was really enough for her what she had passed through along the past years.
Walid Al Sada, the cousin of Bin Laden’s widow Amal Al Sada, said that a Yemeni mediator helped in the marriage of Bin Laden with his cousin. He described her as being very smart and she used to say “Oday I will be remembered by history.”
Mr. Sada said that the family never heard any news about Mrs. Amal ever since she left to Afghanistan. The only thing that we know is that she has a daughter named Safeya. The family even learned this information by mere coincidence. But Mr. Sada mentioned that Mrs. Amal’s father once visited her in Afghanistan and when he returned back he spoke very well about Bin Laden and described him as a very generous and kind person.
Mr. Sada denied as “completely fabricated” that his cousin Mrs. Amal ever returned to Yemen or spoke to journalists.
He said that after the death of Bin Laden, Mrs. Amal’s family tried to contact her through the Yemeni embassy in Pakistan, but there was no response from the Pakistani part. He called for the human rights organizations to help him and his family in getting in touch with her, as it was clear—as he said—that the Yemeni government was not interested in giving any help in this regard.
Regarding the legal rights of Bin Laden’s widows, Dr. Qahtani said that “the conditions that accompanied Bin Laden’s death were quite weird. He could have been arrested.” He said that according to the Islamic legislations, the widows of Bin Laden should be criminalized, unless they are proved guilty of any crime.
The countries to which those widows belong have the right to send legal representatives to attend their trials, Dr. Qahtani said. They have to probe whether any of his wives stayed with him by force.
(Abeer Tayel, a senior editor at Al Arabiya English, can be reached at: email@example.com)