Osama bin Laden ( By Mazhar Ali Khan/The Associated Press )
Contrary to original reporting, Osama bin Laden did not use one of his wives as a human shield during the U.S. raid.
Chief counterterrorism adviser to President Barack Obama John Brennan said Monday that bin Laden’s wife was used as a shield and was killed during the operation. It now appears a different woman was killed and that no one woman was used as a shield.
One of bin Laden's sons, however, was killed, and Pakistani forces arrested four of bin Laden’s children and two of his wives.
The Pentagon has also stated that another one of bin Laden’s wives identified him by name during the U.S. raid.
Little is known about bin Laden’s personal life, although London magazine Al-Majallah was able to get an interview with one of bin Laden’s wives (identified only as AS) in 2002. The words from her interview are still haunting today. Excerpts below:
On Osama’s concerns about the Taliban: He told me one time that he was very worried and feared that the Taliban men might turn against him and seek to get rid of him and that the United States might pay one of them money to get rid of him. He also told me he had some differences with Mullah Omar and the Taliban leaders and that they were trying to harass him because they probably did not want him to continue to live with them any more.
On her life with bin Laden: During my life with him, he used sometimes to come home late at night and lie down alone on his bed for long hours. He did not like anybody to talk to him. He became angry if I tried to talk to him and I would therefore leave him alone. He used to sit and think for a long time and sleep very late. He did not sleep for more than two or three hours. Though he was beside me, I sometimes felt lonely. During the last period, he was constantly worried and looked tired and exhausted due to lack of sleep, to the extent that most days he was taking medicine and sleeping pills to help him go to sleep.
On bin Laden’s views of America: He used to talk about America's hegemony and its cooperation with Israel. He always told me that he had a big plan and that he had dedicated himself to confronting them. He used to tell me that the United States was humiliating the Arabs and that he had a large group of young mojahedin who hated the United States and were willing to fight jihad against it.
On how she felt about Osama being called a terrorist: I do not feel regret because everything is willed by fate and divine decree. I do not think he is a terrorist as the west is depicting him.
View the full interview here.