U.S. official: Pakistan says U.S. can meet Osama wives
(AP, ABC7) - A U.S. official says Pakistan has informed the U.S. that it will grant access to Osama bin Laden's wives, a key request by the White House.
Despite simmering relations between the two countries over the unannounced raid by Navy SEALs on Pakistani soil, the official said the U.S. expects to have access to bin Laden's three wives soon.
It’s been reported one of them already admits she never left the same floor as bin Laden, and they didn't go near windows or have fresh air.
The White House said Monday that it was very interested in interviewing the women, who could provide information about bin Laden's life in hiding. The women have been in Pakistani custody since the SEALs helicoptered away from the compound with bin Laden's body.
"I think Osama bin Laden maybe was intelligent enough or smart enough to give each wife a duty to do,” said Imam Omar Abu Namous ot the Islamic Cultural Center in New York.
Biographers say bin Laden's youngest wife, 29-year old Amal, was his favorite. They had three children together and she's the one shot in the leg during the raid trying to protect bin Laden. The cleric who helped arrange the marriage says the teenage girl from Yemen was a gift.
“She wanted to be a martyr for she is a true Muslim woman," Sheikh Rashad Ismael said.
The others wives, known as Umm Hamza and Umm Khalid, are from Saudi Arabia and highly educated. They are also in Pakistani custody.
“Women clearly are attracted to the message of Osama and to have the opportunity to be within his family would be appealing, even for some of the educated woman,” said Manal Omar.
John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is headed to the region in hopes of smoothing relations.