Pious, dutiful & young: Osama’s ideal wife

17-year-old Amal al-Sadah was the “perfect match" for Osama bin Laden, says the matchmaker.

Updated: May 11, 2011, 16:14 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden might have been killed in a covert US operation in Abbottabad on May 01, but several interesting details about other aspects of world’s most dreaded man’s life are now being revealed.

The latest: Osama, known as the personification of evil, had a long list of attributes that were must in the women whom he would take as his fifth wife.

As per a report in a leading news daily, Laden had entrusted the task of finding a perfect bride for him to one of his trusted lieutenants, Rashad Mohammed Saeed Ismael, a Yemeni sheikh who was in his early 20s then and working as a preacher and a leading member of al Qaida in Kabul in September 1999.

As the story goes, Ismael received a phone call from his master Osama, who wanted him to find a pious, dutiful, young (preferably aged 16-18) and well mannered girl hailing from a decent family to take as his fifth wife.

The Qaeda founder also wanted his would-be bride to be patient enough to endure his “exceptional circumstances”.

Osama’s wish was the command for Rashad, who began searching for a girl, who possessed all qualities described to him by his master. Rashad’s search ended after he spotted the then 17-year-old Amal Ahmed al-Sadah, his former student and the daughter of a civil servant in Yemen.

Amal, according to Rashad, was the “perfect match" for Osama bin Laden, who was 44-year-old then.

In 2000, Osama‘s matchmaker Rashad returned to his home town of Ibb, a verdant city in Yemen`s south-west, to make the necessary arrangements for the wedding.

He approached Amal and made her familiar to bin Laden and his ideology and his crusade for his Muslim brethren - suppressed by the Americans.

The girl "dutifully accepted" Osama’s offer and subsequently a dowry of $5,000 was wired to Amal`s family, also triggering a bout of pre-marriage celebrations in preparation for the young woman`s departure to Afghanistan.

Shortly after that, Rashad, Amal and her elder brother left Yemen for Pakistan. They first reached Karachi and from there they moved to Quetta, where they stayed for a few days waiting for Osama’s guards to come and pick her up and take her safely into Afghanistan.

The report further reveals that Osama-Amal wedding took place in Kandahar, which was then the heart of the Taliban`s operations.

The wedding ceremony was an all-male affair carried out in traditional Yemeni fashion. The men sang and danced and a lamb was slaughtered at Osama’s feet as distinguished guests sung him songs.

Now, ten years later, Sheikh Rashad, said to be a leading al Qaeda operative in Yemen, is desperately trying to save Amal and her daughter from the hands of the US and wants to bring them back from Pakistan.

Amal and her daughter are currently under the custody of Pakistani authorities and likely to be quizzed by the US investigators for possible lead to help them crack al Qaeda’ global terror operations.

Amal’s case has triggered fears that if US causes any hurt to Osama’s wife and his daughter it will lead to huge friction between the West and the Islamic world. On her part, Amal seems to be more concerned with the fate of Laden’s family, especially his wives, than the death of her husband, who always wanted to die like a martyr at the hands of the US.