Osama widow`s brother wants Pak to release her

Yemeni student Zakaria al Sada, whose sister was shot and wounded in the US mission that killed Osama bin Laden, has asked Pakistan to release his sibling and the widow of the al Qaeda chief, reports claimed on Monday.

Last Updated: May 16, 2011, 10:14 AM IST

London: Yemeni student Zakaria al Sada, whose sister was shot and wounded in the US mission that killed Osama bin Laden, has asked Pakistan to release his sibling and the widow of the al Qaeda chief, reports claimed on Monday.

In an interview at a cafe in Yemeni capital Sana`a, the 24-year-old third-year student of mass communication at Sana`a University, said since bin Laden was dead there was no reason to keep his sister Amal, 29, in Pakistan.

"Amal should be brought back to be with her family," he said.

Amal was shot in the leg during the raid on the Al Qaeda leader`s mansion in Abbottabad May 2. She is now being kept incommunicado at a military hospital near Islamabad.

Her family, from Ibb in northern Yemen, has asked the Pakistani and Yemeni governments to allow her to return home with her child with the Al Qaeda leader. The family has not spoken with her since her wedding to bin Laden in 1999.

She was wed to bin Laden in a traditional arranged marriage fixed by a man named Rasdah Mohammed Saeed - also known as Abu al-Fida - who is now a member of the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Though the family knew who bin Laden was, it had no objection to the wedding that took place prior to the 9/11 atrocities, he said.

Bin Laden at a time was seen by Yemeni people as an Islamic warrior who fought the Russians in Afghanistan.

"In 1999, bin Laden was respected as a freedom fighter and who fought against the Soviet occupation," said al Sada. "This was before Sep 11. That is why my father consented to the match. He was not a wanted man then. No one considered him to be a terrorist."

Bin Laden paid a $5,000 dowry for Amal, who went to Afghanistan to wed him and soon after bore him a daughter, Safia.

Describing his sister, al Sada painted a picture of a pious woman.

"She has always been a very kind and polite girl. She was absolutely my parents` favourite daughter and I remember how she used to gather us and give us lectures on good Islamic manners and taught us how to be kind to others," he said.

When the al Sada family found out that Amal was shot in the US raid and, even though Pakistani authorities have said she will be released, it is worried that both the CIA and Pakistan`s ISI will consider her a "high-value" asset and keep her in detention.

"My mother cries constantly. At first, it was reported that she had actually been killed, and that put our family through undue suffering. However, we know that if the US wanted to get rid of Amal, they would have simply killed her along with bin Laden. That fact eases our worries slightly," he said.

"But Amal had nothing to do with Al Qaeda or terrorism of any kind. No law can incriminate her and international law dictates that she should be returned to her family."

He said the family does not know how many children Amal had conceived with bin Laden. They know of only one child but suspect that at least one of the other 12 children found in the Pakistan mansion was hers.

"This is a humanitarian situation - these children have seen their father killed in front of their eyes and they should be treated by a psychiatrist. Amal was also shot for no reason, she wasn`t even armed," he said.

IANS