Osama’s youngest bride in US-Pakistan tug of war


London : The US might have eliminated Osama bin Laden, but this has left Washington and Islamabad locked in a diplomatic stand-off over the fate of the Al Qaeda founder’s youngest bride.

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Amal al Sadah is at the centre of an international custody battle after Pakistan refused to give the US permission to speak to her Wednesday, the Daily Mail reported.

The 27-year-old from Yemen, is said to have attempted to shield her husband as US Navy Seals mounted their assault on Osama’s sprawling hideout in Abbottabad city, some 110 km from Pakistani capital Islamabad.

She was shot in the leg but had to be left behind after one of the helicopters meant for evacuating the US forces crash landed. She was captured by Pakistani forces.

She is today trapped in an international custody battle, with Pakistan and the US trading slurs over whether Islamabad sheltered Osama for a decade.

With the accusations flying thick and fast, Pakistani officials refused the Americans permission to interrogate Amal at the military hospital in Rawalpindi where she is being treated for a bullet wound in the calf.

They said that Amal would be sent back to Yemen once she recovered. That would prevent the US from learning key details about Osama’s time in Pakistan.

It will also support accusations that the Pakistan’s spy agency ISI effectively protected Osama and does not want details of links between Pakistan and Al Qaeda to be known to anyone.