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Bin Laden's wives are all alive; one may have identified him

May 3, 2011 |  2:51 pm

Bin Laden compound in Pakistan Osama bin Laden may be at the bottom of the ocean, but all of his wives are alive, and one of them may have identified him to the SEALs.

Time magazine reports that "a U.S. intelligence official says one of Bin Laden's wives identified her husband by name as the SEALs closed in for the kill."

It would be safe to assume that was a different wife from the one who purportedly was willing to take a bullet for Bin Laden.

It was reported Monday that one of Bin Laden's wives was used as a human shield and died in the raid. According to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, the woman who was in the room with the Al Qaeda leader was one of Bin Laden's four wives. He said she was shot but not killed, and she was not being used as a shield.

"In the room with Bin Laden, a woman -- Bin Laden’s wife -- rushed the U.S. assaulter and was shot in the leg but not killed. Bin Laden was then shot and killed," Carney read Tuesday from a new account of the dramatic firefight that took place in Pakistan a few days ago.

"Obviously some of the information was, came in piece by piece and is being reviewed and updated and elaborated on," Carney told reporters, explaining that the original account was derived "with great haste."

"We will continue to gather and provide to you details as we get them and we’re able to release them," Carney said at the news briefing.

Bin Laden's wife wasn't the only woman in the compound. Twenty-three children and nine women were in the three-story building at the time of the assault and were turned over to Pakistani authorities, said a U.S. official who requested anonymity to discuss an intelligence matter, the Associated Press reported.


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Photo: Residents of Abottabad, Pakistan, said they believed the two men who were hiding Osama bin Laden were either smugglers or gold merchants and that that fact accounted for the unusual high and thick walls that had been built around the compound. Credit: Saeed Shah/MCT