Ever since Sunday when it was announced that Osama bin Laden was dead, Americans have waited with bated breath to see who would replace him as America's Most Wanted. Today we have the answer, which may come as a bit of a surprise: It's his wife. (Well, one of them anyway.)
Amal Ahmed al-Sadah, the youngest of bin Laden's five wives, has found herself at the center of a tense international custody battle. The United States has requested permission to question the 27-year-old Yemeni, who is being treated in a military hospital in Pakistan after being shot in the leg during the raid on the compound.
There's just one teeny-tiny problem ...
The Pakistan government has refused the request; moreover, it maintains that she will be sent home to Yemen once she has recovered.
Amal Ahmed al-Sadah has been a controversial figure in this story from the beginning, and reports of her involvement during the raid have been shady at best. U.S. officials initially claimed bin Laden had used her as a human shield and that she had died during the mission. However, they corrected this account Wednesday, saying she "rushed one of the U.S. assaulters and was shot in the leg but not killed." They have yet to make a definitive statement as to whether she was used as a shield or not.
One thing that is clear, of course, is that the United States now wants to interrogate her -- perhaps to obtain information about bin Laden's activities and contacts during his years on the run. And, despite the fact that the two countries already have a strained relationship, Pakistan is refusing to budge. The government is already trying to weather the storm of protesters who are enraged about the killing of bin Laden; perhaps it believes the United States has already done enough in the region and that the safest place for Amal Ahmed al-Sadah is at home.
Either that or they're afraid of what she will say.
Image via rommy ghaly/Flickr