Thursday, 08 Mar 2012 03:42 PM
By Tim Plaehn
Al-Qaida terrorist Osama bin Laden was terrorized himself — with poor health, dementia, resignation to his death, and his bevy of bickering wives, according to research from a Pakistani military officer reported in the British newspaper The Telegraph.
However, the Telegraph also cites critics who claim that the research details cover up the failure of Pakistani security to discover the terrorist leader living in the country.
Retired Pakistani army officer Shaukat Qadir spent $5,000 of his own money to investigate the events leading up to bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. Navy SEALs at his compound in Abbottabad. Brigadier Qadir visited the compound before it was destroyed, interviewed local officials, and read the transcripts from the interrogation of bin Laden's youngest wife.
Bin Laden was forcefully retired from the leadership of al-Qaida in 2003 and lived secluded, facing failing health, and mounting dementia, Qadir recounts. The terrorist leader was not involved in al-Qaida operations after his forced "retirement.”
One theory is that conflicts among the three wives living with bin Laden prompted one to betray the al-Qaida leader, leading to his death.
The arrival of a third wife after years of seclusion increased the conflicts within the compound. The first two wives were convinced the newcomer would betray bin Laden.
Qadir claims that bin Laden understood what was happening and accepted his fate.
Qadir believes the Pakistani security forces would have discovered bin Laden living in the country even if the third wife, Khariah Saber, had not betrayed him.
Critics of the research believe the claim that bin Laden was powerless while exiled to his compound eases Pakistani officials' embarrassment that he lived for years in a major city there. The brigadier's report casts the military’s lack of success in locating the terror mastermind in a better light, they say.