Pakistani children buy balloons to celebrate the Muslim Eid holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan in Karachi, Pakistan.
Osama bin Laden fathered four children as he hid out in Pakistan after the 9/11 attacks, his youngest wife told interrogators, according to a police report.
Amal Abdulfattah’s account provides rare details of the al-Qaeda leader’s life from when he fled Afghanistan in late 2001 until his death aged 54 last May during a US Navy SEAL operation in Abbottabad, in Pakistan.
Abdulfattah, from Yemen, was arrested by Pakistani authorities following the US raid on bin Laden’s compound near the Pakistani capital Islamabad, along with two of his Saudi wives, and her five children…
The report, from the office of the inspector general of police in Islamabad, recommended Abdulfattah and her children be immediately deported.
After arriving in Pakistan in July 2000 on a three-month visa, in the company of her sister and brother-in-law, Abdulfattah travelled to Kandahar, in neighbouring Afghanistan, at the time capital of the Taliban regime.
The date of her marriage to bin Laden was not specified, but the police report said afterwards she moved in with him and his other two wives.
“She further revealed that after the incident of 9/11, they all scattered and she came to Karachi with one of her daughter’s, Safia,” the report said. Safia, her first child by the al-Qaeda kingpin, was born in Kandahar in 2001. She stayed in Karachi for eight to nine months, moving between homes arranged for them by Pakistani families and bin Laden’s oldest son Saad.
Abdulfattah then met back with the fleeing bin Laden in Peshawar, in northwest Pakistan. The report suggests that the pair did not part from that moment until the raid in Abbottabad.
They stayed for eight or nine months in Swat, then for two years in Haripur, 90 minutes from Islamabad, before moving to the garrison town of Abbottabad in 2005.
During this time, Abdulfattah had four other children by bin Laden, by then the most-wanted man in the world. In Haripur, Aasia, a girl, was born in 2003 and Ibrahim, a boy, was born the next year. On both occasions Abdulfattah gave birth in a public hospital, the police report said. The other two children, Zainab, a girl, and Hussain, a boy, were born in Abbottabad in 2006 and 2008…
The continued detention of bin Laden’s wives has led to accusations that Pakistan is attempting to muzzle them to stop them from providing details that could embarrass Islamabad or add to suspicions it knew where bin Laden was.
The only debatable question is how much of the Pakistan government had knowledge of Bin Laden’s presence? And for how long?
Two of the rescued children
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission
Police in the Pakistani city of Karachi have rescued 54 students from the basement of an Islamic seminary, or madrassa, where they said they were kept in chains by clerics, beaten and barely fed.
Police raided the Zakariya madrassa late on Monday on the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan’s commercial hub. They were now investigating whether it had any links to violent militant groups, which often recruit from hardline religious schools. Most victims had signs of severe torture, and had developed wounds from the chains, police said. The main cleric of the madrassa escaped during the raid.
“Those 50 boys who were kept in such an environment like animals,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told journalists…
“I was there for 30 days and I did not seen the sky or the sun even once,” Zainullah Khan, 21, told Reuters at a police station where the students were questioned and then released to their relatives. “I was whipped with a rubber belt and forced to beg for food…”
Many people are too poor to afford non-religious schools or feel state institutions are inadequate so they send their children to madrassas, where they memorize the Koran, learn Arabic and study the traditions of Islam.
Many madrassas offer free boarding and lodging. Some of the more extreme schools churn out fighters and suicide bombers for militant groups like the Taliban or al Qaeda.
Not exactly the newest ploy in the world for a religion to gather loyal recruits.
Religious schools in many countries are run as recruiting tools, as centers for rehabilitation, for free and later for profit. People who are poor enough, ignorant and/or illiterate, foolish enough to believe in a religion-based free lunch get what they pay for.
True Believers march in support of Pakistan blasphemy law
Police have arrested a Pakistani teenager accused of writing insulting comments about Muslim prophet Mohammed in a school exam, a senior police official said.
Police arrested 17-year-old Sami Ullah in Karachi after receiving a complaint from the local board of education, said Karachi police official Qudrat Shah Lodhi.
Lodhi declined to say what Ullah wrote in his high school exam for fear of violating Pakistan’s blasphemy laws himself.
The controversial laws say whoever defiles the name of the prophet shall be punished by death or imprisoned for life.
The laws came into sharp focus late last year when liberal Pakistani politician Salman Taseer was gunned down after leading a public campaign to change them
Taseer said the laws were being misused to persecute minorities.
A cautionary tale for those who would choose theocracy as a practical guide to governing a nation. Such foolishness, just a more specialized bigotry is the eventual result.
Pakistani officers arrested a man at Karachi airport on Sunday after batteries and an electrical circuit were found in his shoes as he tried to board a plane for the Middle East, an official said…
Mohammad Munir, Airport Security Force spokesman, said the bearded man, whom he named as Faiz Mohammad, was arrested when a scanner sounded an alarm.
The suspect was not found in possession of explosives, but Munir described the circuit discovery as “worrying”.
“He was on the way to board flight TG 507 for Muscat. After the machine gave the alarm, we checked him manually,” said the spokesman. “We have recovered four live batteries and a circuit, with a button to switch it on and off,” Munir said…
“The devices found from the suspect suggested that if he was carrying explosive material, he could have easily blown the explosives up in the plane,” said Munir.
So, what was this dude about doing? Was this a test run checking on the sophistication of Karachi security systems?
Or is he a beta-tester for Nike/Apple?
The arrest of a top Taliban commander in Pakistan highlights the militant nexus in Karachi, where crime bankrolls violence and the teeming metropolis offers the perfect hiding place.
Karachi, home to 16 million people, has two sea ports which are a gateway to the world and transit hub for NATO supplies heading to the war effort in neighbouring Afghanistan.
For decades Karachi has been connected with the criminal underworld and since the September 11, 2001 attacks, with extreme Islamist networks too…
While officials refuse to confirm details of how, when and where Taliban number two Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was arrested, American media reported that US and Pakistani spies captured him in Karachi.
“The arrest of a top Afghan Taliban commander proves the premise that some Afghan Taliban are present in Pakistan,” said security analyst Hasan Askari.
“Karachi has become the most attractive hideout for militants because it is a massive city and there are all kinds of ethnic and linguistic groups, where Pakistani and Afghan Taliban can disappear,” he added.
Around 2.5 million Pashtuns from the northwest are estimated to live in Karachi, a migration that began in the 1950s but accelerates with each successive offensive against Pakistani Islamists in the region…
This also serves to illustrate the steady turnaround in Pakistan’s commitment to a fight for democracy and modernity in their own land – since the departure of Musharraf and his Bush League lackeys.