News24

Bin Laden's wife wanted to be 'martyred'

2011-05-12 13:01

Ibb - Osama bin Laden once gave his wives the option of leaving Afghanistan, but his young Yemeni bride was determined to stay and be "martyred" alongside him.

The pledge early in her marriage to the terror leader, recounted by her family, reflected the determination of Amal Ahmed Abdel-Fatah al-Sada, now 29-years-old, to rise above her divorced mother's social standing.

It came, they said, before the September 11 2001 attacks and the decade-long manhunt that ended on May 2 when US commandos killed the al-Qaeda leader in a raid on his compound in Pakistan.

Amal al-Sada was shot in the leg as she rushed the Navy Seals, according to US officials. She is now in Pakistani custody, along with her daughter and two other bin Laden wives, according to Pakistani officials, who say they eventually will be repatriated.

Amal al-Sada's family said that they saw her only once after her marriage in late 1999 to the al-Qaeda leader - during a month-long visit to Afghanistan the following year. Communication was largely limited to messages delivered by couriers.

The interviews with the AP took place in the family's apartment in a two-storey structure made of white, black and red rocks in Ibb, an agricultural town nestled in the mountains about 160km south of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa. Shops occupy the ground floor.

Going down in history

The family portrayed Amal al-Sada as a simple but determined and "courageous" young woman, religiously conservative but not fundamentalist. She was a high school dropout but was eager for knowledge and to realise something more than their modest life seemed to offer.

Amal al-Sada always told her friends and family that she wanted to "go down in history", recalled her cousin, Waleed Hashem Abdel-Fatah al-Sada.

The door for fame opened in 1999 when her older sister's husband arrived at her uncle's home with a proposal. A Saudi named Osama bin Laden was looking for a bride.

Joining Dr Mohammed Ghalib al-Baany - her sister Farah's husband - was a man named Rashad Mohammed Saeed, also known as Abu al-Fedaa. They were both friends of bin Laden, the family said.

Her uncle, Hashem al-Sada, recalled telling Amal al-Sada that he knew bin Laden was from a "devout and respectable family" in Saudi Arabia but didn't know them personally. He said he wasn't aware bin Laden "was wanted by the Americans" for the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

"The choice is yours," the uncle said he told her. "It's your future."

$5 000 bride price

He said his niece's response was direct: "This is destiny from God, and I accept it."

That she hadn't met bin Laden, whose family was of Yemeni origin, was of little concern. Most marriages in Yemen are conducted either through intermediaries or through the selection of the prospective spouse through a picture.

This marriage was no different.

Weeks after the proposal, the uncle signed the marriage contract as her guardian and Abu al-Fedaa signed on behalf of bin Laden. The al-Qaeda leader arranged for $5 000 to be paid to the bride's family, according to Yemeni traditions.

After two wedding parties, including one in a Sanaa hotel, Amal al-Sada left Yemen. Accompanied by Abu al-Fedaa, she flew to Dubai and then to Pakistan, before making the trip to Afghanistan to meet her bridegroom.

Her father, Ahmed Abdel-Fatah al-Sada, said they later learned through a courier that she had given birth to a daughter named Safiya.

Tight security

Members of the family then went to Afghanistan to visit Amal al-Sada and the baby. Although they said the visit took place before the 9/11 attacks, this would be no easy trip.

They spent more than 20 days in a hotel in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, under the watchful gaze of fighters loyal to bin Laden, according to the father. Among them were two men who had been on the same flight from Yemen.

One night, he said, a car took them to the Afghan border. Then came a six- or seven-hour ride in another vehicle until they reached a large tent guarded by mujahedeen. Inside the tent was an opening to an underground passageway.

They walked in the passageway for about 30 minutes before emerging on the other side. Then another vehicle took them to bin Laden's cave, according to his account.

The father said he was greeted by his daughter. The following morning bin Laden arrived along with other al-Qaeda leaders and Afghan tribal officials. There was a celebration honouring the Yemeni family's arrival, complete with a 21-gun salute and a lavish lunch attended by dozens of people.

Bin Laden was a "kind and noble" man, the father recalled. He described the al-Qaeda leader as "easygoing and modest, giving you the feeling that he was sincere".

Wish for martyrdom


The father recalled bin Laden apologising for the family's delay in Pakistan, saying it was a security matter out of his control.

On the final day of the visit, the cousin recalled bin Laden telling his two wives - the other one at the time was from Syria - that they could either stay with him in Afghanistan or return to their home countries.

He said Amal al-Sada quickly put the matter to rest.

"I want to be martyred with you and I won't leave as long as you're alive," he recalls her saying. Even when bin Laden told them that he was "subject at any moment to death", Amal al-Sada cut him short. "I've made my decision," she said.

Amal al-Sada's cousin recalled her describing bin Laden as a "noble" man who treated her well.

"'It's true that my life is one of moving between caves in Afghanistan, but despite the bitterness of this life ... I'm comfortable with Osama," she apparently told her father.

Assassination attempts


Bin Laden is believed to have spent most of his time during this period in a house in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar but was known to have visited al-Qaeda training camps in remote areas. He went into hiding after the September 11 attacks.

Amal al-Sada's uncle said the terror leader complained about Arab leaders, particularly Sudanese President Oman al-Bashir, who he said "sold him for nothing", a reference to bin Laden being forced to leave Sudan for Afghanistan in 1996.

According to the uncle, bin Laden said he was the focus of several "assassination" attempts by Arab and US intelligence services, including airstrikes, and that one mosque in which he was delivering a sermon was struck by a cruise missile.

"I was injured ... and a lot of people were killed," bin Laden reportedly said. "But I was spared from death because God wished it."

In August 1998 the US fired cruise missiles at four militant training camps in Afghanistan in retaliation for the bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Bin Laden was believed to have been at one of the camps but left a few hours before the attack.

The cousin said bin Laden told the family during their visit to Afghanistan "of a big event that will occur in the world".

Later, when the cousin and Amal al-Sada's father were listening to news of the 9/11 attacks, the father said: "Osama bin Laden did it."

Comments
  • Barry M - 2011-05-12 13:26

    I hear that now that OBL is off the map she's been approached by Steven Hirsch from Vivid Entertainment.

      IandI - 2011-05-12 13:50

      I thought she was being martyred by OBL almost every night:-)

  • Prophet - 2011-05-12 13:29

    Conspiracy is say

  • I <3 SA - 2011-05-12 14:00

    you see now what happens if you don't meet your groom until after the marriage, you end up with OBL!

  • gadija ismail - 2011-05-12 14:39

    Landl contrary to popular believe muslim men dont abuse their wives,no more than any other race and religion.so speak of what you know!

      slg - 2011-05-12 15:21

      It is however largely a chauvinistic religion, like just about all religions

      capetonian - 2011-05-12 16:24

      Christopher Hitchens says it all in the title of his book: "God is not great - religion poisons everything"

      slg - 2011-05-15 19:39

      God is great, both the masculine and feminine expressions of God, but religions are largely poison to humanity.

  • Ebrahim - 2011-05-12 14:57

    I thought Osama used her as a human shield,oops sorry i forgot, The US story changed so many times, eish confused.

      slg - 2011-05-12 15:21

      You are confused and being silly

      alessandroz067 - 2011-05-12 15:57

      slg the silly little boy at it again #beinganass

  • USAMAH - 2011-05-12 15:27

    Yep , so much for the misconception that Muslim men abuse and mistreat their wives . Their wives are often ( IN A very SMALL MINORITY , NOT ALWAYS ) treated better than any western woman can ever imagine being treated . The Messenger Muhammad ( PEACE BE UPON HIM ) is reported to have said " The best among you is him who is the best to his wife . " FOr this reason mainly , non muslim women are converting to Islam in droves and Islam , today , is the fastest growing religion in the world DESPITE ANYBODY NOT LIKING TO HEAR ABOUT IT , or denying this fact .

      slg - 2011-05-12 21:32

      You're making up nonsense, Usamah. This is clear.

      Shai-hulud - 2011-05-13 09:00

      Yeah, it might be the fastest growing religion, but only because muslims have dozens of children with their dozens of wives, and definately not because "non muslim women are converting to Islam in droves". What's your opinion on Aisha,the child that Mohammed married when she was 6 and he was in his fifties? They consummated (had sex) the marraige when she was 9. The word peodophile springs to mind.She was his favourite wife. How about that??? Also, what happens to women who don't obey their muslim husbands? Beatings? Caning? Stoning? Disappearing ,never to be seen again? How romantic. They are probably to scared to speak up about this for obvious reasons... along with there being no freedom of the press or freedom of speech in muslim countries. Just wonderful.

  • USAMAH - 2011-05-12 15:33

    On the final day of the visit, the cousin recalled bin Laden telling his two wives - the other one at the time was from Syria - that they could either stay with him in Afghanistan or return to their home countries. He said Amal al-Sada quickly put the matter to rest. "I want to be martyred with you and I won't leave as long as you're alive," he recalls her saying. Even when bin Laden told them that he was "subject at any moment to death", Amal al-Sada cut him short. "I've made my decision," she said. She was given the choice to leave him and go home safely , she chose to stay with him . If this was supposed to be how an alleged Muslim ' terrorist' treats his wife to inspire her with such loyalty and love, then I think you'd all really be astonished to know well how the rest of the Muslim men treat their wives .Something for all of you to really think about - the Us has the highest statistics of spouse abuse IN THE WORLD !! Amal al-Sada's cousin recalled her describing bin Laden as a "noble" man who treated her well. "'It's true that my life is one of moving between caves in Afghanistan, but despite the bitterness of this life ... I'm comfortable with Osama," she apparently told her father.

      slg - 2011-05-12 21:22

      Do you find this a positive choice that she made, for positive reasons?

      Shai-hulud - 2011-05-13 09:15

      Yeah whatever. Not much freedom of speech and freedom of the press or womens rights in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria etc. Otherwise we would hear a lot more about atrocities committed against women, animals, children, non-muslims, etc.

      NiceGuy - 2011-05-13 10:34

      USAMAH. Your are brain washed to believe westren women are changing to islam for better treatment in marraiges. and by the way OBL treated his wife so well but could murder thousands of other mens wives and mothers with no regrets. But then agian that makes him a matyr we murder in the name of islam. He who is a friend of christianity or judisim will not be accepted by Allah. You serve a merciless god and not Allah.

  • Malcolm - 2011-05-12 16:24

    Yebo Alesandross, fortunately not a virgin between the dots, as I would end up bending to obl, or maybe having to squat on his wife. I 've never been into bondage, but by the looks of all the robes, it could be interesting foreplay.

  • Malcolm - 2011-05-12 16:29

    Usamah, Yes, Western men probably do have a worse record with how they treat their woman. However, they generally only get away with treating one woman like sh1t. Muslims generally treat Many women like sh1t, since they have many wives. Still not sure where all these virgin women come from though, unless they are not virgins and are being shared.

      USAMAH - 2011-05-12 17:02

      Islam is the fastest spreading religion in the world , especially amongst Western women. No point in denying the facts , no matter how much you might dislike it !!

      Shai-hulud - 2011-05-13 09:17

      Usamah , it might be the fastest growing religion, but only because muslims have dozens of children with their dozens of wives, and definately not because "non muslim women are converting to Islam in droves".

  • Malcolm - 2011-05-12 16:36

    No Landl, I think when you get to Bin Ladens age, and you have a culture of many wives, she probably only has a bit of robe untangling every few months.

      slg - 2011-05-12 21:25

      Marry your daughter off to a Muslim. How about if your daughter decides to marry a Muslim. Do you see the difference? Can you see the chauvinism in the first one?

      Ingwe - 2011-05-13 07:44

      Usamah your statement 'Marry your daughter off to a Muslim' says everything about you and your male chauvinism. Your daughter, if you have one, is a human being and as such she should be allowed to make her own decisions, she should be allowed to marry whom ever she wants not who you want to marry her off to. Epic Fail there Usamah.

      Ingwe - 2011-05-13 08:43

      Ah I see Usamah has deleted his comment I think even he realized that what he said was wrong.

  • Jakob - 2011-05-13 08:13

    lets martyr babylon and all its whores and the white house and this whole NWO..

      slg - 2011-05-14 06:56

      Still smoking da ganja Jakob?

  • kubs - 2011-05-13 08:32

    Divorces,broken familys..thats the norm for non muslim familys..The facts prove it.Thats excactly what Osama was fighting for.Keeping Westerners and their sick,twisted cultures away from Islamic nations.Thats all he wanted.

      Ingwe - 2011-05-13 08:47

      He was also fighting to force his own sick twisted ideas onto Westerners. If you hate the west so much why don't you go and live in a country that is more suited to your ways, it seems quite simple to me. In my eyes a women is not mt servant she is my equal.

      Shai-hulud - 2011-05-13 09:20

      Muslim women don't have much choice in the matter. They are slaves who must obey their masters. In the western world people at least have the choice to decide who they wan't to be with or not be with.

      kubs - 2011-05-13 09:36

      Osama's wife threw hersef in the line of fire to protect Osama..would a slave do that or run for her life?..

      Ingwe - 2011-05-13 10:25

      kubs according to many of the conspiracy theorist on news24 Bin Laden was not there when the raid went down, so how did his wife thrown herself in the line of fire to protect him. It looks like the story of him not being at the house and dying in 2001 is beginning to unravel.

  • USAMAH - 2011-05-13 09:15

    There are thousands of Muslims who would love to live in Muslim countries . Unfortunately we are not allowed to . 1. Saudi Arabia the worst Us backed government in the Muslim world only happily allows Americans and Brits ( Muslim or not ) to live freely in their country . I am a South African . I have never held a gun nor do I have suicidal tendencies . I am totally against civilian bombings in any part of the world . I believe firmly in that which the Noble Quraan tells us to do " YOu are the best of people...... ( NOT JUST FOR ANY REASON EXCEPT ) that YOU FORBID FROM EVIL AND CALL TOWARDS THAT WHICH IS GOOD" If I wre to try and live in Saudia - Another ' state' of the US I would be treated like a criminal and thrown into prison indefinately for my pro- Palestinian views .I would be tortuered for being an anarchist and an enemy of the state .Saudi Arabia , far from being an Islamically run country is an Amerixan lackey , who only promote themselves as an Islamic government to stay in control of the vast oil wealth that they have usurped from the Muslims . They have no right to the wealth which they squander , while the Vast majority of the African an Asian Muslimworld live in dire poverty. 2. As for being able to live in Afghanistan , or Somalia or even Pakistan I would be arrested for terrorrism the moment I set foot in any of these countries even if I were unarmed or a woman .Since the War on terror has started no muslim is allowed entry into any of these countries

      Shai-hulud - 2011-05-13 10:27

      You know what buddy? In America or Britain or Israel (yes Israel), you would have more freedom, religious or otherwise, than you would have in any muslim country. Why don't you go and try Iran or Syria on for size.

      kingkong - 2011-05-13 12:06

      ANd why do you think that is. You have a history. Your views are exacly why they dont want people like you there. You waisting your life away. set yourself free mate

  • USAMAH - 2011-05-13 09:29

    The US or the puppet governments would arrest / detain / harrass/ interrogate me , despite my having absolutely no terrorist links or not having spent time in any Madressah.If it finally happens and I somehow do manage to enter any Muslim country , including any of tha Arab states I would be tailed and followed by US and undercover Government officials . Muslims are not allowed to enter Saudi arabia for tourism . Non - muslims are . We are not allowed to form any prayer groups or hand out even innocent literature ( posters , flyers etc..) as we might be fuelling anti - Us sentiment . Foreigners in Saudi Arabia ( esp. Muslims from Asia ) are treated worse than trash by Saudi citizens . Only as stated previously , UK and US citizens are shown any respect . Saudi Arabia for all it's oppressive policies has the full support of the US and other Western Governments . Even Saudi citizens who are not linked to the US and the West are frequently harrassed / arrested and interrogated for no reason . Not being linked to the royal US backed family means that you will be sidelined in every sphere of government and also in as far as finding a decent job goes . The Saudis are in love with America , so are their so - called religious scholars , who are understood in the west as being Islamic ' hardliners ' . Nothing can be further from the truth.The Saudi ' Islamic ' scholars are nothing but State paid Agents who pass laws in the name of Islam to ensure that their Saudi and US master stay

      Shai-hulud - 2011-05-13 10:29

      You are filled with hatred for everything non-muslim. In America or Britain or Israel (yes Israel), you would have more freedom, religious or otherwise, than you would have in any muslim country.

      NiceGuy - 2011-05-13 10:41

      and you this nonesense. why are the muslims in America not complaining and still live. Follow the leader OSL and believe this nonesense. Yes American are not perfect and they are bullies but they do not hate you as you hate them

      slg - 2011-05-14 06:57

      I would arrest, detain and interrogate you

  • USAMAH - 2011-05-13 09:43

    Stay in control of Saudi Arabia's oil wealth for the next 100 years . Saudi arabia and the other Arab States which are finally facing downfall at the hands of their ' long - oppressed people are nothing more than US allies , irrespective of what you might read in mainstream media . They have nothing but their own and US interests at heart . They happily even allow the US to run illegal torture faclities in thier countries . At any point if someone like me were to openly critisize the Us in any Arab or Muslim country like Pakistan , I would be , WITHOUT ANY TRIAL, be whisked away to these facilities to be tortured , and I would never be seen again . It' s Happened , nobody can deny it . If I did make it to Afghanistan to live as a peacefull citizen , it wouldn't be long before the US army or their buffoons, trhe Afghan forcesw target me with a PRedator drone and Assassinate me for being an Al; Qaeda operative . If I need to visit Tunisia I am unable to dress in Islamic garb . THey simply wouldn't ever allow me to enter Tunisia dressed as a Muslim ... and this rule has been applied since forever .. Weelll before ALqaeda or the Taliban ever existed . As for the misconception that Muslim don't treat their wives as their equals . You're right . A woman and a man can never be equal just as potatoes and tomatoes can never be equal . They can never be equal as they have been physiolgically created differently .

      JournoRev - 2011-05-13 09:59

      u seem to be spouting the same bulls**t that got thousands of innocent americans killed usamah. religiousness is one thing and i am tolerant of all, but to use religion as a shield for terrorism is another. osama did not deserve death, that was the easy way out. whether or not he treated his many wives well is also not the issue. he deserved to be tortured and humiliated and made to pay for all the pain and suffering he brought upon the innocent. he deserves to burn for all eternity. do u condone your muslim brothers behaviour? coz ur mindset is going along the same path...

      slg - 2011-05-14 06:58

      Saudia Arabia is in control of its oil wealth. Which Marvel comic are you reading now?

  • USAMAH - 2011-05-13 09:57

    Even in the Olympics , the most ignorant person will be able to tell you that no woman can compete in the men's 100 metres . The West , in it's false claim of liberation ,has degraded the woman . It has made her ashamed of what she really is , a woman , ashamed of being what she was meant by GOD to be a mother . The western concept of ' woman's lib ' is a farce . The woman in the west is forced to earn her own living , forced to compete with men for jobs , forced to leave her children to be raised by stragers . She is considered free when she serves on dozens of men as a waitress or an air hostess , but a prisoner if she serves only her one husband , she is liberated when she has to leave home to teach or care for the children of strangers as a child minder or teacher , but oppressed when she chooses to stay at home and nuture her ow children . The problem that many Muslims have with the West is misunderstoo as a problem with Western people or inventions . Not so . It ia rather with Western culture . As much as a Westerner wouldn'tv want an Islamic culture to be forced on them , equally Muslims do not want or need western lifestyles or values imposed on them.For this reason , we don't need people who havn't understood the reason behind,and never probably will,wearing the veil to impose on us their way of exposing their women to every pervert lurking on the streets. We Muslims find it inapprpriate that women, weaker by nature,should compete in the working world the man's world

      diranp - 2011-05-13 10:10

      Your comments are based on generalizations, utter nonscience. Please tell me, how do you justify blowing up your own kind ( Women and Children )

      Ingwe - 2011-05-13 10:19

      Usamah you are sick please get some help

      Shai-hulud - 2011-05-13 10:26

      You know what buddy? In America or Britain or Israel (yes Israel), you would have more freedom, religious or otherwise, than you would have in any muslim country. Why don't you go and try Iran or Syria on for size.

      NiceGuy - 2011-05-13 10:55

      USAMAH. I rather have my wifeworking if she so choices than tohave her blow herself up leaving our children without a mother

      Shai-hulud - 2011-05-13 11:15

      What's your opinion on Aisha,the child that Mohammed married when she was 6 and he was in his fifties? They consummated (had sex) the marraige when she was 9. The word peodophile springs to mind.She was his favourite wife. How about that???

      Barry M - 2011-05-13 12:30

      Dude........you have clearly got way too much time on your hands. Not only that you are way too good at rabbiting on and not actually making any sense! I suggest that you find yourself a different pastime!

      slg - 2011-05-14 07:00

      It's not a "Western concept of women's lib". It's women's concept. The so-called West didn't create it, women did.

  • JournoRev - 2011-05-13 10:05

    all opinions should be respected,but usamah is just full of crap. spouting nonsense about western and islam, as if that's the real issue. and so what if women are physiologically different to men? that does not make them inferior in any way. mental capacity (which u clearly have a severe lack of) accounts for equality. go spout ur silly "religious" opinions to ppl who care.

  • kubs - 2011-05-13 11:11

    People have to realize that due to over population and limited resources the earth cannot sustain live as we know it for much longer..A drastic reduction in the population is required and the most effective way to do this is war..I suspect that the West are conniving behind closed doors to nuke the middle east and any African countries that protest..Far fetched but possible believe me

      Ingwe - 2011-05-13 11:22

      More drivel from kubs

      slg - 2011-05-15 19:42

      Anything is possible Kubs. Is it probable? No. Will it happen? Highly unlikely.

  • Mbulelo Dyasi - 2011-05-13 11:33

    Fact is the matter Bin Laden is dead. Islam people should put this behind them and move on and enjoy life.

  • shannon correia - 2011-05-13 12:10

    There are plenty of women in the Western world who choose to be stay at home moms. I think its good of them but thats just my opinion. The point is though, usama, they have a CHOICE.

  • Raymond - 2011-05-13 22:37

    Was it Love At First Fright or Fright at First Sight.?

  • mike.werckle - 2011-05-15 09:09

    as

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