Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Arabia accepts Bin Laden’s family on “humanitarian” grounds – Source | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – Osama Bin Laden’s 3 widows and 10 children and grand-children entered Saudi Arabia on Friday after being held for almost a year by the Pakistani authorities following the death of the Al Qaeda chief. Five members of the Bin Laden family had been sentenced to 45-days imprisonment on 2 April for illegally entering Pakistan; the entire Bin Laden family had been scheduled to be deported from the country last week following the end of the sentence but this deportation was held up for “bureaucratic” reasons.

Yemeni Ambassador to Pakistan, Abdu Abdul Rahman, confirmed that the Bin Laden family had arrived in Saudi Arabia on Friday morning via private jet from Islamabad the previous day. This jet carried Bin Laden’s widows – two Saudi nationals and one Yemeni national – as well as their children.

Rahman also revealed that Yemeni-born Amal Bin Laden had entered Saudi Arabia with Yemeni documents, adding that she wishes to remain in the country in order to stay close to the extended Bin Laden family, as well as in order to perform the umrah pilgrimage. He added that following this, Amal Bin Laden may return to Yemen, accompanied by her brother Zakaria.

A senior source also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Riyadh had accepted a request from Bin Laden’s widows to allow the family into the country, adding that Saudi Arabia had granted Bin Laden’s Saudi wives and children official documentation to enter the country, whilst granting his Yemeni wife and children visas.

The source also confirmed that Riyadh had allowed Bin Laden’s widows to enter the country from a “humanitarian” standpoint, adding that Saudi authorities are confident that they and the children were not involved in Al Qaeda operations.

The arrival of Osama Bin Laden’s widows and children in Saudi Arabia is expected to see the distribution of the Bin Laden inheritance to all his children, including his 5 children from his Yemeni wife.

Islamabad announced that it had deported Osama Bin Laden’s three widows and 10 children – along with the brother of Bin Laden’s Yemeni wife Amal – from the country on Friday, almost one year after the former Al Qaeda chief was killed in a US raid.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced on Friday that 14 members of the Bin Laden’s family were deported from the country to Saudi Arabia after completing their trial period.