Osama Bin Laden told his children not to follow him on the path of terrorism and to live peacefully in the West where they would get a good education, his brother-in-law has revealed.
Zakaria al-Sadah, whose sister is the fifth wife of the Al-Qaeda leader, said Bin Laden did not want his children and grandchildren following in the same path of terrorism like him.
“He told his own children and grandchildren, go to Europe and America and get a good education,” said Zakaria al-Sadah, according to an interview in The Sunday Times.
Pakistani officials are refusing to release three of Osama Bin Laden’s wives and nine of his children who are being held in a tight security compound in Islamabad.
According to Zakaria al-Sadah, who was recently reunited with his sister, Osama Bin Laden’s children have been left traumatized by the raid carried out by US Navy Seals on May 2 last year.
The children were discovered hiding in Osama Bin Laden’s compound in the Pakistan city of Abbottabad.
Zakaria al-Sadah, a 24-year-old journalism student, says the children will not eat and have not seen the sun for nine months.
He said the worst affected was his 12-year-old daughter Safiyah, who held the head of her injured mother during the attack.
Amal, a 29-year-old Yemeni, and the two other wives, Khairiah and Siham, have gone on hunger strike to protest against their imprisonment, according to Zakaria al-Sadah.
Zakaria al-Sadah, who fears his sister could be charged with committing crimes against Pakistan, thought he would be given permission to take the children back to Yemen when he was asked to visit last November.
But Pakistani officials believe they could be hiding information and have so far refused to issue them with passports.
Zakaria al-Sadah said: “These children have seen their father killed and they need a caring environment, not a prison – whatever you think of their father and what he has done.”
“They have never had a normal life. They do not know what it is like to see the sun and to run around the garden. It breaks my heart to see them.”
The wives are said to have remained loyal to their husband and were openly hostile to the U.S. officials who interviewed them after the raid.
None have been charged with any crime.
Amal, the youngest of the three widows, was shot in the leg as she lunged at Navy Seals to try to protect her husband during the raid.
She was reportedly given the chance years earlier to leave her marriage to the world’s most wanted terrorist but chose instead to be “martyred” by his side telling family and friends that she wanted to “go down in history”.
She lived in the Abbottabad compound with the two elder wives Khairiah Sabar, a child psychologist, and Siham Sabar, a teacher of Arabic.
Each wife and her children were allotted their own floor and Osama Bin Laden would spend time with each group.
Khairiah, who was reportedly the “spiritual mother” of the family, had slipped back into Pakistan to rejoin her husband after she had escaped to Iran and the Saudi Arabia.
Siham fled Afghanistan and went into hiding for several years, until she was called to return to the terror leader.
Under Islamic law, a man may have only four wives at one time. Osama Bin Laden married six times, but divorced his second wife in the 1990’s and annulled the fifth marriage within 48 hours.