Bin Laden's Last Days Plagued By Bickering Wives

Family worried jealous first wife was going to betray Osama

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 8, 2012 2:01 AM CST | Updated Mar 8, 2012 5:33 AM CST

(Newser) – Not all was domestic bliss for Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad: The bickering of three wives haunted the final days of the al-Qaeda leader, who appeared far older than his age at the time of his death, according to a new report. Bin Laden mostly stayed holed up on the top floor of his Pakistani compound with his fifth wife—the youngest and his favorite—and another spouse. But his oldest wife moved in to the floor below in the months before bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs. The jealous woman caused dissension in the wifely ranks, and sources in the extensive bin Laden family worried she aimed to betray her husband, according to an account by a Pakistani army officer.

The fascinating glimpse into bin Laden's life is based on interrogations of bin Laden family members, and an inspection of the now-destroyed living quarters, reports AP. Bin Laden moved to the three-story compound in 2005 with his wives, eight of his 20 children, five of his grandchildren, plus at least 11 others. Bin Laden, 54, was frail due to suspected kidney problems and a possible decline in mental health. He was warned of a suspected betrayal by his oldest wife, but bin Laden seemed unconcerned, believing that fate would decide his future, according to the Pakistani officer, citing family members. But other sources have warned that it's difficult to know exactly what transpired in the bin Laden household, and that some of the reports may be twisted by a Pakistani political agenda, reports the New York Times.

Osama bin Laden apparently engages in a bit of escapist TV viewing in this photo found in his Pakistani compound   (Associated Press)
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