U.S. Intelligence Conducts 'Brief' Interview with Bin Laden's Wives

Pakistan intelligence officers stayed in the room for the meeting with the three women

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It doesn't sound as if American officials were too pleased at how the "hostile" interviews with Osama bin Laden's three wives went. Instead of speaking to the wives alone one-by-one, U.S. intelligence officers only "fairly briefly" spoke to them all at the same time--with members of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Agency reportedly present. And one of the wives, the eldest, Khariraih Sabar, apparently spoke for them all.

As our nights spent watching Jack Ryan thrillers tell us, those don't seem to be optimal conditions for a fruitful interrogation. Still, CNN's Fran Townsend, who spoke to officials, figured that the U.S. may get another opportunity to conduct interviews with the wives. "It was certainly the impression I was left with, that it was likely American officials would have additional access," she said on CNN. One reason Americans are only now speaking with the widows, figured The Guardian, is that Pakistan has been "slow to grant access" out of "displeasure" for not being warned about the bin Laden raid.

In the initial raid, the one thing the U.S. couldn't do in their quick turnaround was take many prisoners. Shortly after the U.S. mission, Pakistan announced that it had taken 10 of bin Laden's relatives into custody, including his wives and daughters. On 60 Minutes this past Sunday, Obama mentioned that Pakistan had some sort of "support network" that helped bin Laden elude capture. Pakistani prime minister, Yusuf Raza Gilani, subsequently denounced the "blame game."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.