New York: It seems all was not well in Osama
bin Laden`s safe house in Pakistan towards the end.
At least that is what the account of a retired Pakistani
army Brigadier tends to suggest as he talks about "poisonous
mistrust" between Osama`s three wives with one been accused of
betraying him to US intelligence.
Osama used to stay on the top floor of his Abbotabad safe
house in Pakistan, sharing his bedroom with his favourite and
The trouble began when his eldest wife showed up and moved
into the bedroom on the floor below.
The mistrust grew so much that one of bin Laden`s older
wife pointing fingers at his "favoured wife" for betraying
Seeking to find out the truth about bin Laden`s years in
Pakistan, retired Pakistani brigadier Shaukat Qadir retraced
the last few days of the world`s most wanted terrorist
revisiting bin laden`s house in Abbottabad.
"As a former soldier, I was struck by how badly the house
was defended," Qadir said in the New York Times.
"No proper security measures, nothing high-tech ? in fact,
nothing like you would expect".
Qadir claims that bin Laden`s fifth and youngest wife Amal
Ahmed al-Sadah told Pakistani interrogators that her husband
underwent a kidney transplant operation in 2002.
He said he had also heard of poisonous mistrust between
bin Laden`s wives.
"In the cramped Abbottabad house ...tensions erupted
between Sadah, described as `the favored wife` and Khairiah
Saber, an older woman who occupied a separate floor," Qadir
said in the New York Times report.
In interrogation, Sadah accused her rival of having
betrayed their husband to American intelligence.
Bin Laden`s youngest wife also told interrogators that her
husband shaved his beard and disguised himself as an ailing
Pashtun elder as he leapfrogged between safe houses across
northwestern Pakistan, eventually regrowing the beard after
finally settling in the Abbottabad house in 2005.
Qadir`s investigation "offers tantalizing possibilities
about bin Laden`s circumstances and the suspicions that drove
relations between Pakistan and US to the brink," the NYT said.
The former army official`s probe lasted eight months and
took him into the tribal belt and Afghanistan to interview old
He says he also spoke with officials Pakistani
intelligence agency ISI.
A former Obama administration official who read Qadir`s
report has agreed with some of his findings, like a claim that
bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, suffered serious
disagreements that led to Bin Laden`s being pushed to the
The official however was puzzled by the account about bin
Laden`s wives, citing previous American intelligence reports
that had indicated that the first wife Saber was the closest
Saber proved to be "defiant, difficult and refused to
engage," with the CIA, which has interrogated bin laden`s
wives, the American official said.
American experts feel several of the conclusions that
Qadir draws in his report are highly contentious, like a
belief that Qaeda operatives betrayed their leader to earn
America`s reward money.
"They wanted Bin Laden gone, and they wanted a share of
the $25 million," Qadir said.
This claim has been rejected by Peter Bergen, a terrorism
analyst who called it a "ridiculous" notion.
Qadir`s report was "larded with strange conspiracies",
Bergen said, adding that it was indicative of a broader
culture of conspiracy theories in Pakistan.
Qadir agrees that his conclusions are based on conjecture,
and admits that his ISI briefers may have concealed crucial
"I`d be a bloody fool if I didn`t see that...I don`t say
this is the entire truth. But it`s the closest you will get at
this point in time", he said.