Weekender

The young bride who tried to save bin Laden

Written By : Source: DAILYMAIL. By Daily Mail Reporter n Bin Laden had $750 (£450) sewn into his clothes, ready to flee n Terror chief also had two phone numbers
06 May 2011 12:00

image Written By : Source: DAILYMAIL. By Daily Mail Reporter

n Bin Laden had $750 (£450) sewn into his clothes, ready to flee
n Terror chief also had two phone numbers sewn into clothes
n Wife confronted US forces and was shot but not killed
n She was NOT the human shield who tried to protect him
n US and Pakistan in ‘custody battle’ over wife
n British bishop: ‘This isn’t justice, it’s revenge’
n Flags burned at pro-bin Laden protests in Quetta, Pakistan

This is the first picture of Osama bin Laden’s Yemeni wife who rushed Navy SEAL troops in a desperate bid to shield her fugitive husband.
Amal Al Sadah, 27 was shot in the leg as US forces stormed the compound in Pakistan, but had to be left behind after one of the evacuation helicopters crash landed.
She was captured by Pakistani forces. Today she was trapped in an international custody battle, with Pakistan and America locked in a diplomatic standoff over her fate as the two countries traded slurs over whether the Islamic state sheltered bin Laden for a decade.
US Special Forces meant to take the 27-year-old Yemeni citizen with them when they raided bin Laden’s compound but they left her behind after one of their helicopters crashed on landing, leaving them with no room to take her.
But with accusations flying that Pakistan shielded the international terrorist, officials refused the Americans permission to interrogate her at the military hospital in Rawalpindi where she is being treated for a bullet wound in the calf.
They said that Al Sadah would be sent back to Yemen once she has recovered. That would prevent the US from learning key details about bin Laden’s time in Pakistan.
It will fuel the charge that the Pakistani intelligence service the ISI effectively protected bin Laden and does not want details of links between Pakistan and Al Qaeda to see the light of day.
A slew of fresh details about the capture of bin Laden have emerged in the last 24 hours, which indicate the terror chief had a plan to escape alive if he ever came under attack.
Claims include a report that bin Laden had money and two phone numbers sewn into his clothes at the time of his death.
According to Politico, the terror chief had $750 worth of Euros hidden on his person suggesting that he was prepared to have to flee quickly if his lair came under attack.
CIA director Leon Panetta is also said to have briefed that bin Laden was not more strongly guarded because he believed his network was strong enough that he would get a heads-up about any raid.
A senior US official told Fox News the compound was ‘built for deception’ with barricades and a false wall set up to confuse intruders.
It was built in readiness for an assault, the official claimed, with barricades on each floor and the main door apparently blocked off by a brick wall.
Contradicting official US accounts of the kill mission, Osama bin Laden’s daughter claimed today he was captured alive in his Pakistani hideout and then shot by US special forces.
The report follows the news that a senior White House official told ABC news, ‘This was a kill mission.’
Arabic news network Al Arabiya quoted ‘senior Pakistani security officials’ who said the 12-year-old saw her father executed and his body dragged to a helicopter.
A Pakistani official rejected US accounts of a bloody firefight, saying: ‘Not a single bullet was fired from the compound at the US forces and their choppers. Their chopper developed some technical fault and crashed and the wreckage was left on the spot.’
The channel also said the surviving bin Laden relatives, including six children and one of his wives, had been taken to hospital in Rawalpindi.
There were also reports that bin Laden’s son Mohammed was captured by the US forces and flown out of the compound.
A CIA spokesman has categorically denied both the claims, with unnamed White House officials adding: ‘The only person other than the team who left Abbottabad was Osama bin Laden’s remains.’
In a particularly salacious account, the National Enquirer claimed that the Al Qaeda leader had begged for his life and said ‘it’s not me’ when he was confronted by the hit team.
In initial accounts of the firefight, US officials had claimed Bin Laden was armed with an AK47 rifle and was using his wife as a ‘human shield’ when he was shot.
Counter-terrorism official John Brennan had said. ‘There was family at that compound, and there was a female who was, in fact, in the line of fire that reportedly was used as a shield to shield Bin Laden from the incoming fire.’
But last night, the White House said bin Laden was not armed when a US Navy SEAL confronted and killed him during Sunday night’s assault on his compound.
The discrepancy between the two versions of events was put down to the ‘fog of combat’ by the White House.
Security officials said they did not recover any arms and explosives during their detailed search of the compound and the 13-roomed house, during which they removed two buffalos, a cow and around 150 chickens.
Over two days, the White House has offered several contradictory versions of events, including misidentifying which of Bin Laden’s sons was killed and wrongly saying bin Laden’s wife died in gunfire.
Explaining the ‘mix-up’, a US official said another woman had been killed.
She is believed to be the wife of bin Laden’s courier, Sheikh Abu Ahmed, who was also killed in the raid.
White House press secretary Jay Carney acknowledged that bin Laden did not have a weapon even though administration officials have said that the terror leader resisted during the raid.
Mr Carney said resistance does not require a firearm. He also confirmed bin Laden was shot in the head and in the chest.
He added: ‘bin Laden’s wife rushed the US assaulter and was shot in the leg but not killed. Bin Laden was then shot and killed. He was not armed.
‘The US personnel on the ground handled themselves with the utmost professionalism. He was killed in an operation because of the resistance that they met.’
In explanation of the discrepancies, Mr Carney said that officials had been trying to get information out as quickly as possible about the complex event witnessed by just a handful of people, and the storyline was being corrected.
‘We provided a great deal of information with great haste in order to inform you. And obviously some of the information was, came in piece by piece and is being reviewed and updated and elaborated on.’
The conflicting accounts risk fuelling a possible backlash against the killing, with fears of reprisal terrorist attacks around the world.
An Islamist party staged a protest earlier this week, with crowds chanting: ‘Down with America! Down with Obama!’ and ‘Jihad, Jihad the only treatment for America’.
The Pakistani Taliban, an Al Qaeda-allied group behind scores of bloody attacks in Pakistan and the failed bombing in New York’s Times Square, has vowed to take revenge.
‘Let me make it very clear that we will avenge the martyrdom of Osama bin Laden, and we will do it by carrying out attacks in Pakistan and America. We will teach them an exemplary lesson,’ Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan said.
Meanwhile, the White House said bin Laden’s death would not affect plans to begin withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan this summer.
An official with Pakistan’s ISI told the BBC 17 or 18 people were inside the compound at the time of the attack.
One of those in the building was a daughter of bin Laden’s who saw her father fatally shot by US forces, the official claimed.
Miss Al Sadah was just 17 when she and bin Laden wed in Afghanistan. She was born in Yemen and the marriage was reportedly arranged to strengthen the terrorist’s links with the Gulf state.
When her father gave her away he said he was ‘proud’ to do so. Bin Laden had sent her home to Yemen for her own safety but somehow she returned despite being under surveillance.
She has already told Pakistani investigators they had been living in the compound since 2005, according to Time magazine.
If Pakistan sends her back to Yemen without turning her over to US authorities for questions it will fuel suspicions about the country’s role in harbouring bin Laden.
The row over the wife erupted as Pakistan insisted the failure to capture the Al Qaeda chief was an ‘international intelligence failure’ and claimed that the Americans were tipped off two years ago about the compound where bin Laden was living.
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani sought to shift the focus of blame for the terrorist chief’s decade-long escape from justice. He said: ‘There is an intelligence failure of the whole world, not just Pakistan alone.’
He said Pakistan shared intelligence ‘with the rest of the world, including the United States,’ so if there were what he called lapses in Pakistan ‘that means lapses from the whole world.’
CIA director Leon Panetta has said the Pakistani authorities were not told in advance of the raid on bin Laden because ‘any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardise the mission – they might alert the targets’.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Salman Bashir complained, saying Pakistan has played a ‘pivotal role’ in the search for bin Laden.
He claimed the CIA was alerted in 2009 that bin Laden’s compound in Abbotabad was suspicious – but it took the Americans to prove the terror chief was there just a few hundred yards from Pakistan’s elite officer training school.
He said: ‘The fact is that this particular location was pointed out by our intelligence quite some time ago to the US intelligence. Of course, they have much more sophisticated equipment to evaluate and to assess.’
Mr Bashir added: ‘I know for sure that we have extended every co-operation to the US, including the CIA, as well as to other countries in so far as the campaign against terror is concerned.’
But senior figures in the US rejected that claim.
Dana Rohrbacher, a Republican congressman who sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee, used to be seen as Pakistan’s best friend in Washington. Yesterday he told the Spectator magazine: ‘I now consider Pakistan to be an unfriendly country. Pakistan has literally been getting away with murder.
‘For a long time we bought into this vision that Pakistan’s military was a moderate force and we were supporting moderates by supporting the military.
‘In fact the military is in alliance with radical militants. Just because they shave their beards, drink whisky and look Western they fooled a lot of people.’
US counter-terrorism chief John Brennan also asked the question that was reverberating around the world: ‘How did Osama bin Laden stay at that compound for six years or so and be undetected?’
He went on: ‘We have many, many questions about this. And I know Pakistani officials do as well.’
Mr Brennan said Pakistani officials were trying to determine ‘whether there were individuals within the Pakistani government or military intelligence services who were knowledgeable’.
The dead body of the terror mastermind’s son Khalid was originally understood to have been flown out with the Americans. But amid claims that the only body flown from the compound by the US was bin Laden’s, it is not clear what happened to his body.
Pentagon sources confirmed the Navy SEALs had planned to take bin Laden’s family with them as they left, but were forced to abandon the plan when one of the helicopters crash-landed.
It had apparently clipped a tail rotor on the wall of the compound and the pilot was forced to set down. No one was injured.
On Monday, thanks to sophisticated satellite monitoring, US forces knew they would be most likely to find bin Laden on the second or third floors.
They were apparently helped in identifying their target when Miss Al Sadah unwittingly screamed out his name in the melee. White House officials insist the Navy SEALs were given orders to capture bin Laden if he offered no resistance.
The commandos had been schooled in Arabic phrases which were to be shouted out in an attempt to get the terror leader to surrender.
But officials admitted they never expected him to do so, and it was unclear whether he was really been given the chance.
Confusion about the identities of those killed in the raid came despite the attack being viewed live by US President Barack Obama and other senior officials.
Secret photos of the dead bin Laden seen by US officials show a precision kill shot above his left eye, according to new claims.
Today Mr Obama announced that the photos will not be released for fear they would be turned into an icon.
A British bishop described bin Laden’s death as an ‘act of vengeance’ and warned or reprisals.
Rt Rev Michael Scott-Joynt, the Bishop of Winchester, said: ‘The more I consider it the more concerning I find it. The thing that troubles me most is the way some are speaking of justice being done.
‘What has actually happened, only too sadly understandably, is, I think, much more reasonably viewed as an act of vengence or revenge.
‘It’s a failure of the whole world order that nobody in a position of responsibility trusts that we have systems of justice to cope with such a vast set of crimes as this man is responsible for.’
He added: ‘It is too early to know whether the man resisted, whether he could have been captured and possibly brought to trial.
‘The reality is we are behaving much more in the sense of revenge than seeking the kind of dealings that could reasonably be described as justice.’
Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone also attacked the killing, claiming it made Mr Obama look like a ‘mobster’.
Mr Livingstone told the Evening Standard: ‘We should have captured him and put him on trial. It’s a simple point – are we gangsters or a Western democracy based on the rule of law?’
According to the US account, the assault team on the compound in Abbottabad came away with hard drives, DVDs, documents and more that might tip US intelligence to Al Qaeda’s operational details and perhaps lead the manhunt to the presumed next-in-command, Ayman Al Zawahri.
‘We’re moving with great dispatch to mine that’ material for insights into terrorist plots that may be in the works and for clues as to the location of senior Al Qaeda officials, said John Brennan today.
One US source said a ‘mother lode of intelligence’ had been taken from bin Laden’s compound including computer files, CD-Roms and other electronic information. It is being examined by US intelligence experts at a secret location in Afghanistan.
‘They cleaned it out,’ said one official. ‘Can you imagine what’s on Osama bin Laden’s hard drive? Hundreds of people are going through it now. It’s going to be great even if only 10 per cent of it is actionable.’
Giving further details, Mr Brennan said the aim now was to use the information from the raid to thwart possible ongoing terrorist plots. He added: ‘He seemed to be very active inside the compound. We know that he was in contact with some senior Al Qaeda officials.
‘So what we’re trying to do now is to understand what he has been involved in over the past several years, exploit whatever information we were able to get at the compound and take that information and continue our efforts to destroy Al Qaeda.


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