Islamabad, Apr 27: Pakistan has deported all 14 family members of Osama Bin Laden to Saudi Arabia, bringing an end to speculations about the fate of his family after the Al Qaeda chief’s death in 2011.
The family, escorted by a heavy contingent of security forces, boarded the chartered Saudi plane to Jeddah from Benazir Bhutto International airport, where security had been increased manifold. The Saudi Ambassador was also present at the airport.
According to an Interior Ministry statement, the family chose Saudi Arabia as the their next home country.
Bin Laden was killed by U.S. troops on May 2, 2011, after he was found to be living with his three wives and 11 children at a mansion in the garrison town of Abbottabad. U.S. troops transgressed into Pakistani territory on a stealth helicopter before raiding the mansion and killing Laden.
Earlier, Saudi authorities had refused to accept Bin Laden’s widows and children directly from Pakistan, as top officials said the Saudis wanted Islamabad to re-route them through a third country.
Pakistan had announced the deportation of Bin Laden’s widows on April 18, 2012 following a court order two weeks ago which had handed the family a 45-day detention sentence for illegally entering and living in Pakistan.
Pakistani officials describe Bin Laden’s long presence in Abbottabad as a security lapse and reject suggestions that members of the military and intelligence service were complicit in hiding him there. (ANI)