Almost a year after U.S. special forces killed Osama bin Laden, Saudi Arabia has decided to allow the infamous terrorist’s family into the kingdom on humanitarian grounds, state media reported on Saturday.
Pakistan deported the family this week, ending months of speculation regarding the fate of his wives and children who were detained by Pakistani security forces after the May 2 raid, Reuters reported.
A Saudi official, who was quoted by the state Saudi Press Agency (SPA), said that the family arrived in the kingdom on Thursday.
"Travel arrangements of Osama bin Laden's family were facilitated based on the request of Bin Laden's family in Saudi Arabia," the official said.
"Saudi Arabia dealt with the matter on a humanitarian, legal and administrative basis," said the report.
A Pakistani court sentenced the women to 45 days in prison this month for entering Pakistan illegally and ordered their deportation after the end of the prison term, which began on March 3 when they were formally arrested, Reuters reported.
The Saudi report did not indicate how many family members had arrived in Jeddah but previous reports suggested that three widows, seven children and four grandchildren had been deported.
Security officials are following their movements closely because once the family members leave Pakistan, they may be able to elucidate how the al Qaeda terrorist managed to hide in the country for such an extended period of time, without being captured.
However, SPA quoted the Saudi official as saying that "it was not appropriate to intrude on the privacy of the bin Laden family in the kingdom in any way".