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Homeland Security

Pakistan Sends Bin Laden Family to Saudi Arabia

RIA Novosti

02:01 27/04/2012

MOSCOW, April 27 (RIA Novosti) - Pakistani authorities deported early on Friday fourteen members of slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's family to Saudi Arabia, CNN reported citing Pakistani officials.

Bin Laden’s three wives and 11 children were detained by Pakistani authorities immediately after the secret raid of U.S. commandos on his hideout in the northwestern town of Abbottabad on May 2, 2011.

Bin Laden, who was behind the 9/11 attacks against the United States, was killed in the raid and his compound was demolished in February.

The three widows were sentenced on April 2 to 45 days of house arrest for living in Pakistan illegally. Their detention ended last week.

"The family was kept safe and sound in a guest [safe] house," CNN cited a Pakistan Interior Ministry statement. "They have been deported to the country of their choice, Saudi Arabia, today."

Two of the widows are from Saudi Arabia, and the third is from Yemen.

Pakistani Taliban threatened in March to carry out suicide bombings against security forces and the government across the country if Islamabad did not release bin Laden’s family.

The unauthorized raid by U.S. forces on Pakistan’s territory sparked an angry reaction from Islamabad, which was in turn accused by some U.S. officials and media of harboring the world's most-wanted terrorist, although Pakistan has dismissed the allegations.

Following bin Laden’s death, Al-Qaeda appointed last year the leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad Ayman al-Zawahiri as its new leader.

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