The family of Osama bin Laden will be deported from Pakistan on Thursday night, according to a report in Dawn, the Pakistani English language daily, just a week ahead of the first anniversary of the killing of the former al-Qaeda terror chieftain.
Twelve members -- three wives and nine children -- of bin Laden’s family will be taken by a specially-chartered Saudi Arabian plane from the Islamabad Airport.
Geo News of Pakistan reported that they will fly to Saudi Arabia.
Dawn also noted that officials from the Saudi Arabian embassy will be on hand during the family’s departure.
Bin Laden, who reportedly moved to Pakistan in 2002 just after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, was found and killed by U.S. special forces in the garrison town of Abbottabad, near Islamabad, on May 2, 2011.
The discovery of the world’s most wanted man threatened relations between the U.S. and Pakistan and raised grave questions about the complicity of Pakistan’s military and intelligence establishment with respect to aiding and abetting terrorists.
Following the killing of bin Laden, his surviving relatives were detained by Pakistani security forces. Earlier this year, a court in Pakistan sentenced bin Laden’s three wives to 45 days imprisonment for staying in the country “illegally,” then ordered their deportation.
Dawn speculated, however, that Pakistani security officials might have preferred a lengthy prison sentence for the women since that would prevent them from revealing details of bin Laden’s ties with Pakistani authorities during his nine-year stay in the country.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government is worried that the one-year anniversary of bin Laden’s death may lead to revenge attacks against American targets around the world.
Jay Carney, a spokesman for the White House, told reporters that President Barack Obama met today with members of his national security team to review the threat picture as we head into the anniversary of the bin Laden takedown.”
Carney added that at this time we have no credible information that terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda, are plotting attacks in the U.S. to coincide with the anniversary of bin Laden's death. However, we assess that [al-Qaeda] affiliates and allies remain intent on conducting attacks in the homeland, possibly to avenge the death of bin Laden, but not necessarily tied to the anniversary.”
The Associated Press reported that it uncovered an intelligence bulletin that stated: We remain concerned that terrorists not yet identified by the intelligence community and law enforcement could seek to advance or execute attacks with little or no warning on or about the anniversary of bin Laden's death.
U.S. officials are especially concerned about the activities of al-Qaeda’s partners in Yemen -- al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, (AQAP) – citing increased intelligence chatter over the past six months.
The bulletin stated that AQAP intends to advance plots along multiple fronts, including renewed efforts to target Western aviation.”
A member of AQAP almost exploded a jet-plane over Detroit, Mich., on Christmas Day in 2009.