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US forces captured Al Qaeda chief alive then executed him – Bin Laden's daughter - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Islamabad, Asharq Al-Awsat –The surviving members of Bin Laden’s family have revealed, during interrogation with the Pakistani authorities, that the US forces that stormed the Abbottabad compound where the Al Qaeda chief was hiding captured him alive, and later executed him at point-black range. Osama Bin Laden, who was living on the ground floor of this three-story building, was reportedly dragged towards the helicopter hovering above the compound by the US Navy Seal team before being executed, Bin Laden family members told Pakistani investigators.

Osama Bin Laden’s teenage daughter, Safia Bin Laden, reportedly witnessed her father’s execution at the hands of the US commando team. She said that she witnessed her father being captured alive, and later being executed at point-blank rage in a room on the ground floor of the residential compound.

Washington initially announced that Bin Laden had fired upon the American Special Forces soldiers, using his wife as a human shield, however the US later acknowledged that the Al Qaeda leader had not been armed when he died, although some reports claim that Bin Laden may have been reaching for a weapon or making a threatening movement.

As for the legality of the killing, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that “the team had the authority to kill Osama Bin Laden unless he offered to surrender, in which case the team was required to accept his surrender if the team could do so safely. The operation was conducted in a manner fully consistent with the laws of war. The operation was planned so that the team was prepared and had the means to take Bin Laden into custody. There is simply no question that this operation was lawful.”

Osama bin Laden’s wife, who was injured during the US raid on the residential compound in Abbottabad, was later taken into custody by the Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence [ISI]. She told the Pakistanis that she was a Yemeni national.

Pakistani authorities told Asharq Al-Awsat that two of Osama Bin Laden’s daughters, Eman Bin Laden, 22 years old, and Mayram Bin Laden, 26 years old, were also in the Abbottabad compound at the time of the US raid, receiving minor injuries during the US operation to kill the Al Qaeda leader. Both Bin Laden daughters were given medical treatment and transferred to safe locations by the Pakistani authorities.

Pakistani authorities also arrested another woman, thought to be the wife of the former Al Qaeda leader, after the US Navy Seals successfully completed their mission, taking Bin Laden’s body away with them, but leaving surviving members of the family behind. The woman, identified as Amal Ahmed Abdul Fatah said she was of Yemeni origin and claimed to be the wife of the Al Qaeda chief. She received minor injuries during the US raid, either fainting or being rendered unconscious, perhaps by being shot.

As for the Bin Laden family members taken into custody, a senior Pakistani official said that “the Pakistani government is providing all necessary medical treatment to them at the best possible facilities.”

The Pakistani authorities are reportedly facing problems in legally identifying the surviving members of the Bin Laden family, particularly as none of them are carrying any identification documents. However Osama bin Laden’s Yemeni wife was in possession of a Yemeni passport.

The Pakistani government has announced that the surviving members of the family will be sent back to their countries of origin; however a Pakistani official acknowledged that “this will be very difficult since they don’t have any travel documents.”

The US Navy Seal team reportedly left behind four dead bodies of people killed in the raid. Reuters news agency recently released photographs taken about an hour following the US assault on Bin Laden’s compound, showing three dead men lying in pools of blood. The photos were taken by a Pakistani security official who entered the compound following the early morning raid on Monday and show two men dressed in traditional Pakistani garb, and another dressed in a t-shirt. These bodies have yet to be identified, although they are thought to be that of one of Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguards, his trusted courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti who inadvertently led US intelligence to Bin Laden’s hideout, and Osama Bin Laden’s son, most likely Ibrahim Bin Laden, aged 21.

When the Pakistani security apparatus reached the Abbottabad compound following the successful US operation, they reportedly found 11 members of the Bin Laden family with their hounds bound by plastic tags waiting for them. Other reports in the Pakistani media suggest that as many as 16 people were found in the Bin Laden residential compound; two women, and 14 children aged between 2 – 12 years old.

The Pakistani authorities also found a woman’s corpse in the compound, but she is not thought to be Osama Bin Laden’s wife, who was shot in the raid but not killed. The Pakistani authorities took Bin Laden’s wife, and his teenage daughter, into custody. Bin Laden’s wife also told the Pakistani investigators that they had only been living in this residential compound for the last five months.

In addition to Osama Bin Laden’s body, the US forces also reportedly took a second person away with them, although it is not clear who the second person that the US Navy Seals took with them is, or whether this person was alive or dead. The second figure, whether this is a dead body or a live prisoner, is most likely thought to either to Bin Laden’s son, or the trusted courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti.

The residential compound where Osama bin Laden was killed belonged to Muhammad Arshad Khan, a Pakistani man aged 45. He was also living in the residential compound alongside his wife and three children. Khan’s brother, Tariq, also reportedly frequently visited the residential compound. The two are thought to be aliases of trusted Al Qaeda courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti and his unnamed brother who were most likely killed in the attack.

A Pakistani official told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Bin Laden family had a number of pets, including rabbits, a cow, and a dog. He also said that the compound had a vegetable patch.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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