Taliban Demand Release of Bin Laden’s Widows
The Pakistan Taliban will attack government, police and military officials if three of the late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s widows are not released from Pakistani custody, a spokesman for the militant group said on Friday.
Pakistan’s government has charged bin Laden’s three widows with illegally entering and staying in the country, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Thursday.
“If the family of Osama bin Laden is not released as soon as possible, we will attack the judges, the lawyers and the security officials involved in their trial,” Ehsanullah Ehsan of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) told Reuters.
“We will carry out suicide bombings against security forces and the government across the country.”
Malik did not specify which court was dealing with the case. The three women will have to stand trial, but it was not clear what punishment they face if convicted.
Bin Laden was killed in a secret US raid in the northern Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad in May last year.
The al Qaeda leader’s body was flown out by American special forces, but his three wives and an undisclosed number of children were among the 16 people detained by Pakistani authorities after the raid.
Two of the wives are Saudi nationals, and one is from Yemen, according to the Pakistani foreign ministry.
Pakistan had previously said that it would repatriate the women after a government commission probing the bin Laden raid had completed its questioning.
The commission has interviewed the family members for clues about how the al Qaeda chief managed to stay in the country undetected.