Wife's account traces bin Laden's movement

March 30, 2012 at 7:51 AM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 30 (UPI) -- Osama bin Laden used five houses and fathered four children while in hiding after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on U.S. soil, a wife told Pakistani investigators.

The testimony of Amal Ahmad Abdul Fateh, bin Laden's youngest wife, provided an account of life on the lam for the al-Qaida founder and his family in the years between the 2001 attacks and the U.S. raid in May that killed bin Laden at his home in Abbottabad, Pakistan, at age 54, The New York Times reported.

The Times said the Jan. 19 police report paraphrased her recounting and lacked detail about Pakistanis who aided her husband in eluding pursuers. It was first mentioned in the Pakistani newspaper Dawn Thursday and the Times later obtained a copy.

Authorities are interested in bin Laden's three widows, under house arrest in Islamabad, because they might be able to answer some questions that have frustrated Western intelligence agencies since the 2001 attacks. Investigators say the older wives, identified as Kharia Hussain Sabir and Siham Sharif, have been uncooperative but Fateh, who was wounded in the May raid, has spoken to officials.

The women's lawyer said he expects the wives and two adult children to be indicted Monday on charges of breaking Pakistani immigration laws.

In Washington, U.S. officials told the Times they couldn't confirm all information in the report, but it seemed to be consistent with what is known and believed about bin Laden's movements.

Among other things Fateh told investigators was bin Laden took his family deep into rural mountain areas of northwest Pakistan, but not the tribal region focused on by the West, the Times said. She said they moved among several safe houses and that two of his children were born in public hospitals while the family was in hiding.

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