The family life of Osama bin Laden is a complex matter with many murky corners. Even the numbers of wives and children that the Al Qaeda leader had before his death in 2011 are open to debate. He almost certainly had five wives, and possibly a sixth, while the number of children varies between 20 and 26 from source to source.
Of course, it’s hardly surprising that Osama’s private life is hard to pin down, since he and most of his family lived as fugitives after the 9/11 atrocity. In fact, life on the run started the day before 9/11, with Osama clearly aware that he would be a hunted man after the events in the U.S. had unfolded.
So it was on September 10, 2001, that the bulk of Osama’s family at the time – some wives had already been divorced by then – were packed aboard a clapped out bus with a permitted luggage allowance of a single suitcase each. This journey started in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and after a 400-mile trek was to end at a mud-walled fort on the edge of the Afghani town of Jalalabad, close to the Pakistani border.