Three wives and nine children, including one grandchild of slain terrorist leader Osama bin Laden are to be deported to their native countries. Deportation was scheduled for yesterday but was delayed when a brother of one of the wives had a problem with his passport, according to the Associated Press.
The Pakistani government has held the family members for 11 months since the secret U.S. raid on the bin Laden compound in the city of Abbottabad. They resided in that walled compound since 2005.
The wives along with two adult daughters were charged with entering the country illegally and after a trial a deportation order was obtained, while the women served a short jail sentence.
Much has been learned during the one-year detention of the bin Laden wives about how they were able to live in Pakistan for that length of time, moving from place to place without the world's knowledge.
Pakistani citizens assisted bin Laden and his family, but no one from the government has been named as part of the group, ABC News reported. Information was gleaned from a police report obtained by the news organization.
"Osama bin Laden did not live deep in rugged caves in the Afghan border region as was the popular belief, after the attacks of September 11, 2001 but stayed in various houses in major Pakistani cities. While he was hiding, bin Laden managed to father four children -- at least two of whom were born in government hospitals in Pakistan."
Two of the bin Laden wives are Saudi nationals and the youngest of the women Amal Abdulfattah is Yemeni. Abdulfattah told Pakistani investigators that of the five children she had with her husband, four of them were conceived during the family's time in the country.
Their trip out of Pakistan will close that chapter of the bin Laden saga. It will not end the already rocky relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan, which was exacerbated when the mission to capture or kill bin Laden was carried out without prior knowledge of the Pakistani government.
The deportation procedures are a big hazy on details after the snafu with the Saudi passport of one wife's brother. The UK Telegraph reported on information given to the AFP news agency in France by an attorney for the bin Laden family members. Pakistan said it is awaiting instructions from Yemen and Saudi Arabia, while the Saudi government has yet to receive the names of all those who will take up residence in their country.
The Abbottabad home was bulldozed months ago under orders from the government, ostensibly to keep it from becoming a shrine to the fallen leader.
Image: Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Federal Government