Bin Laden wives 'not tied to terror'

2012-04-29 19:32
Riyadh - Saudi Arabia has no evidence that Osama bin Laden's wives and family members deported from Pakistan have been involved in terrorism, an official Saudi statement said on Sunday in an apparent indication that authorities would allow the group to remain in the kingdom.

The statement also provided more details of the secrecy-shrouded arrival of the late al-Queda leader's family, saying they were met in the Red Sea city of Jiddah by other members of bin Laden's extended clan.

Pakistan said the 14-member group, including three of bin Laden's widows and their children, were deported after weeks of negotiations on Friday.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency, citing an "official source," said there "is no information or evidence of the family's involvement or participation in any criminal or illegal acts."

It added that the deportations were handled on "humanitarian, legal and religious" grounds, further suggesting the kingdom would allow the group to remain. One of the widows is Yemeni and the other two are Saudi citizens.

Relatives of bin Laden's Yemeni widow, Amal Ahmed Abdel-Fatah al-Sada, said on Friday that she had received assurances from Saudi officials that she and her five children could remain in the kingdom.

Bin Laden was killed in a May 2 2011, raid on his compound in Pakistan by US Navy Seals.

The widows were later interrogated by Pakistani intelligence agents and convicted - along with two adult daughters - of illegally entering and living in the country. Their 45-day prison term, which was spent at a closely guarded house in Islamabad, ended earlier this month.

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Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  osama bin laden  |  saudi arabia  |  security
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