Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Bin Laden’s Wife: Someone Betrayed Us on the Night He Was Killed | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55375247

Osama bin Laden, Reuters

Islamabad – Amal Ahmad al-Saddah, Osama Bin Laden’s fourth and youngest wife, has finally spoken about the night US forces raided their home in their compound in Abbottabad and killed her husband on May 2011.

Amal recently recounted the story of the night her husband died at the hands of US special forces, Seals, and the clashes with the sons and daughters of Bin Laden.

Amal recounted the events to Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clarke, for their book “The Exile: The Flight of Osama bin Laden” which was mentioned in British newspaper Sunday Times. Along with Amal, six of her children, Osama’s second wife Khairiah, third wife Seham and son Khalid, 22, were all in the house.

She said that they all gathered on the top floor of the main house, “they want me, not you,” he finally said, instructing his wives to go downstairs with the children.

Amal refused to move, while his oldest daughters, Miriam and Sumaiya, hid on the outside balcony with some of their younger half-siblings. Amal, bin Laden and their son Hussein were alone, listening as the US forces charged into their house.

Bin Laden, Amal and their young son Hussein remained in the room, “It was clear,” she thought, “our safe house was a death trap and someone from our inner circle had betrayed us.”

Amal’s story tells how after six years of isolation, Osama had no emergency procedure aside from some euros sewn into his underwear along with emergency numbers for his deputies in Waziristan.

Meanwhile, the Seals blasted a locked door and entered the house before heading upwards.

Amal was right in front of her husband and rushed towards the Seals as they entered the room. She tried to push them away, but was shot and collapsed onto the bed. Bin Laden was shot and as more Seals entered the room, more rounds were fired into his body.

She knew she had to play dead if she wanted to survive, so she closed her eyes and tried to slow her breathing. Her son Hussein was near her and he had witnessed everything. The Seal picked him up, threw water on his face and put him down next to his mother.

Amal remembered how both Mariam and Sumaiya were grabbed and held over their father’s body, demanded to identify the man, as his second wife Khairiah sat beside him.

It was then when Amal realized that after six years cooped up in this airtight place, the end they had never dared to discuss had come and gone in minutes.

Osama’s youngest wife had caused many problems to Pakistani authorities when she was detained. She was on hunger strike for the way authorities treated her. She continued her strike because local authorities wouldn’t allow her to leave. A relative said she never received proper medical treatment after her wound during the raid.

Amal is from Yemen and has five children with Osama.

Osama’s wives were part of a long diplomatic debate. His two older widows are of Saudi origins but they were stripped from their nationalities in 1994 when Osama was stripped as well on the account of extremist activities.