The Saudi Arabian government has determined that the family members of Osama bin Laden did not themselves perpetrate any acts of terrorism, suggesting they will be allowed to live in the kingdom.
The state-controlled Saudi Press Agency (SPA) stated: There is no information or evidence of the family's involvement or participation in any criminal or illegal acts.”
Fourteen people -- including three widows and their children -- related to the former al–Qaeda chieftain arrived in Saudi Arabia on Friday following their deportation from Pakistan, where they had been under detention since shortly after the U.S. commando raid killed bin Laden last May. The adult members of the family were subsequently convicted of having “illegally entered” Pakistan and sentenced to 45 days of house arrest.
The Saudis stated that upon their arrival in the coastal city of Jeddah, the bin Laden family was met by other relatives from the extended clan. A statement on Saturday from Saudi officials indicated that the family was taken into the kingdom on ‘humanitarian’ and ‘religious’ grounds.
Two of bin Laden’s ex-wives are Saudi, while another is a national of Yemen. The Yemeni, Amal Ahmed Abdel-Fatah al-Sadaa, has reportedly received a promise from Saudi government officials that she and her five children can stay in the kingdom.
However, the Yemeni ambassador to Pakistan, Abdo Abdulrahman, however, told the AFP that Amal could return to Yemen after a brief visit with her ex-husband's extended family.
Moreover, the activities of bin Laden’s family both in Pakistan and in Saudi Arabia continue to be shrouded in secrecy.
It is inappropriate to discuss in any way the details of the private life of the bin Laden family in Saudi Arabia, SPA added.
The U.S. has also distanced itself from the bin Laden family saga.
We see that as a matter between the Pakistanis and the Saudis, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in Washington.
A Saudi native, bin Laden’s citizenship was nonetheless revoked in 1994 after he made disparaging comments about the Saudi Royal family. The remaining bin Ladens, who long ago distanced themselves from Osama, are one of the kingdom’s most prominent and wealthiest clans.