Osama bin Laden Wife, Children in Pakistani Custody

Osama bin LadenDespite being left out by the U.S. in the operation that led to the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, Pakistan said that it now has custody of one of the slain al-Qaeda leader’s wives and several children.

An intelligence official said in a Reuters report that one of the children personally witnessed the death of her father during an early Monday raid in the town of Abbottabad in Pakistan’s Orash Valley. The wife and children are being interrogated and would most likely be turned over to their respective country of origin, but not to the U.S. as mandated by Pakistani laws, the official reportedly said.

Reports that bin Laden lived for years in Abbottabad, a tourist destination that houses a military garrison and other establishments, have raised questions about whether Pakistan really did not know of the al-Qaeda mastermind’s whereabouts. “It makes us look like a fool or an idiot. It’s pretty embarrassing,” the official was quoted as saying.

However, Pakistan’s top official said Tuesday that the country also had a role in the killing of bin Laden. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said in a Washington Post opinion article that his administration did its part in setting up the operation by identifying an al-Qaeda courier, although “the events of Sunday were not a joint operation.”