April 28, 2012 09:00
Pakistan has deported Osama bin Laden's family to Saudi Arabia, nearly a year after the al-Qaeda leader was killed in a U.S. raid.
Intelligence officials say bin Laden's three widows -- two Saudi nationals and a Yemeni -- and their children were taken to the airport near Islamabad shortly after midnight Thursday, where a plane was waiting to take them to the kingdom.
Saudi officials have not commented on the deportation.
Earlier this month, a Pakistani court convicted bin Laden's widows and two of his daughters on charges of illegally residing in the country and sentenced them to 45 days detention to be followed by deportation.
The widows, several of bin Laden's children and at least one grandchild were detained after U.S. special forces killed the al-Qaeda leader during a covert operation in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad on May 2 of last year. They were formally arrested last month and received credit for time already served, shortening their sentence to two weeks.
Pakistan's Interior Ministry said Friday that 14 members of the bin Laden family had been deported to the "country of their choice, Saudi Arabia."
It is unclear if bin Laden's youngest wife will stay in Saudi Arabia or return to her homeland of Yemen.
According to a Pakistani police report, Amal Ahmed Abdulfattah told police the al-Qaeda leader spent nearly 10 years on the run in Pakistan following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. She said the family moved to different safe houses around the country.
The 30-year old Yemeni said she gave birth to four of bin Laden's children while in Pakistan, with two of them born in government hospitals.
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