Osama bin Laden lived on the run in Pakistan for nine years before he was killed last May by American commandos, according to a Pakistani police report of an interrogation of one of his wives obtained by the New York Times
During that time, bin Laden fathered four children and moved among at least five safe houses, his youngest wife, Amal Ahmad Abdul Fateh, told Pakistani investigators.
Her account, according to the Times, raises questions about how the world’s most wanted man was able to move himself and his family undetected all over Pakistan.
The report, which the Times said was dated Jan. 19, contains little detail about Pakistanis who may have helped bin Laden evade detection. The report also contains no direct quotes from Fateh, only paraphrasing of what she told investigators.
Fateh, who was wounded in the American raid that killed her husband, is one of bin Laden’s three widows. All three, along with two of bin Laden’s children, are still under house arrest in Pakistan but are expected to be charged with immigration violations, which could carry a five-year jail sentence.
The Times said Friday the report, by a joint investigative panel of civilian and military officials, was first reported on Thursday by the Pakistani newspaper Dawn.
Officials in Washington told the Times the report appeared to be consistent with what is known about bin Laden’s movements, but they could not confirm every detail.
In the account related in the report, Fateh apparently married bin Laden in 2000 and lived with him and his two other wives on a farm near Kandahar, Afghanistan. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the report says the family scattered.
She went to Karachi, where several other senior al-Qaida figures were also in hiding, and bin Laden apparently went deep into the mountains along the border with Pakistan.
The Times said the report detailed how she was later reunited with bin Laden in 2002, at least 10 months after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. The report said bin Laden then took his family into the mountains of northwest Pakistan, but stayed clear of the tribal belt where the search for the al-Qaida leader was focused.
From there, they moved to various locations before finally arriving in 2005 at the house in Abbottabad, which is where bin Laden was killed by a Navy SEAL team last May.
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