Conflict & Justice

Osama bin Laden's wives to leave Pakistan and return to homeland


This frame grab from the Saudi-owned television network MBC (Middle East Broadcasting Center) shows alleged terror mastermind Osama bin Laden gesturing an undated videotape broadcast by the Dubai-based MBC April 17, 2002.

The wives of Osama bin Laden, held in Pakistan after being caught in the middle of a US raid that killed the Al Qaeda leader in May, were given permission Thursday to return to their homeland, the Guardian reported.

Two of the three wives, Khairiah Sabar and Shiam Sabar, will return to Saudi Arabia. A third wife is set to leave Pakistan, but not for her native land, Yemen, because authorities there have refused to accept her. Instead she may be offered a new home in Qatar, the Guardian reported.

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After the US Navy Seals raided bin Laden's house in Abbottabad, discovering and killing the Al Qaeda leader, the three women were detained by the Pakistani military and about 12 children were taken into Pakistani custody.

Khairiah Sabar and Siham Sabar’s Saudi citizenships were restored after relatives campaigned to have them return to their homeland, the Daily Telegraph reported. Originally Saudi Arabia refused to accept them because bin Laden had been stripped of his Saudi citizenship in 1994. The two women were born in bin Laden’s home town, Jeddah. Khairiah married bin Laden in 1985 and Shiam in 1987, the Guardian reported.

Eight of the children in Pakistani custody will travel with the two women back to Saudi Arabia, the Daily Telegraph reported. However, the Saudi ambassador in Pakistan told reporters he had no knowledge of the arrangement.

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