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Bin Laden widow denies details of leaked statements

Courtesy: Zakaria al Sadah

In this photo, taken in Pakistan, Amal and Osama bin Laden's three youngest children (on the right) stand beside three of bin Laden's grandchildren (on the left).

Amal al Sadah, the youngest widow of Osama bin Laden, has denied information included in a confidential Pakistani document, listing details of her life with her late husband. The three-page document, obtained by NBC News, is divided into nine sections -- each one paraphrasing a statement or statements made by Amal to investigators while in Pakistani custody.

The contents of the document were first reported on Thursday by correspondent Azaz Syed of Pakistan's Dawn newspaper.

According to her brother, Zakaria al Sadah -- who spoke with her after the first report was published and asked her about its contents -- Amal denies ever having given any such statements to investigators, adding that most of the information included in the document is factually incorrect. The family's lawyer in Pakistan, Atif Ali Khan, clarified that while Amal might have spoken to various investigators during her time in custody, she denies having provided the level of detail in the document. Neither he nor Zakaria al Sadah would go into detail about which specific pieces of information were incorrect.


The document offers the most detailed narrative yet of where and when bin Laden and his family managed to move through Pakistan, ultimately landing in their final hideaway, just two and a half hours north of the country's capital of Islamabad. According to the document, Amal entered Pakistan legally in July 2000, arriving on a visa issued for seeking medical treatment from the Pakistan Embassy in Sana'a, Yemen. After crossing the border into Kandahar, Afghanistan, she was married to bin Laden and stayed with him there, along with his three other wives.

After the attacks on 9/11, the family "scattered," according to the document. Amal moved with her eldest daughter to Karachi, then reunited with her husband in Peshawar, moving with him to Swat, Haripur, and finally Abbottabad. Amal and bin Laden had five children together, whose ages now range between two and 12. The youngest daughter and son -- Zainab and Hussain, respectively -- were born in Abbottabad, but her older son, Ibrahim, and second daughter, Aasia, are listed as having been born in hospitals in Pakistan.

Amal and her children have been in Pakistani custody for 11 months, since the night of the U.S. forces' raid in Abbottabad that killed her husband. Her brother, Zakaria, is currently in Pakistan working to secure their release so he can take them back home, to Yemen.

Zakaria Al Sadah says he has been able to see his sister, nieces, and nephews nearly a dozen times over the last year during brief, supervised visits. In an interview with NBC News, al Sadah said he takes toys and books for the children each time he visits and avoids talking about the night of the raid, but ultimately just wants for them to be able to start a new life back home.

His mission has been complicated by the ongoing work of a special Pakistani commission, which needed to interview Amal and other family members as part of their investigation into Osama bin Laden's presence in Pakistan, and by the government's recent decision to charge the women for illegally entering and remaining in the country.

Listed in the document is a legal justification for those formal charges against Amal, which reads "she stayed in Pakistan after the expiry of her valid visa, hence, her stay in Pakistan was illegal, which is an offense under section 14 of the Foreigners Act of 1946." The government, according to this argument, has the power to deport her back to Yemen.

Zakaria al Sadah told NBC News he is now putting his faith in the Pakistani judicial system, which he trusts to do the right thing. The family is to be formally charged on Monday.