Man holds poster of Osama bin Laden at rally in Pakistan 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed)
WASHINGTON - US authorities in Pakistan interviewed three of Osama bin Laden's widows on Friday but gathered little new information from them, US officials said.
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Authorities are now trying to piece together vital elements of the al-Qaida leader's life, including how he came to live in the northern Pakistan garrison town of Abbottabad and who he met with before his death in a U.S. raid on May 2.
"The US has questioned bin Laden's widows, but they're not particularly forthcoming yet," a US official with knowledge of the investigation said on condition of anonymity.
In another development, the chairman of the House of Representatives
intelligence committee, Representative Mike Rogers, said he believes
al-Qaida's second-in-command, Ayman Zawahri, is also in Pakistan. He
said he hopes Pakistani officials will help the United States find him.
"I believe he's in Pakistan," Rogers told the CBS program "60 Minutes" in an interview to be aired on Sunday.
The Egyptian-born Zawahri has long been thought to be hiding along the
rugged Afghan-Pakistan border. But the same was assumed about bin Laden,
who ultimately was found in a city not far from Pakistan's capital.
Bin Laden, the man behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and
Washington, died in a raid on his Pakistan compound by US commandos
who seized what US officials describe as a treasure trove of
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters, "The US government has had access to Osama bin Laden's wives."
Pentagon spokesman Colonel David Lapan also said US government
representatives had been able to question the wives but declined to
specify what agency the US government officials represented or to
offer any details of the meeting.
US authorities are working with Pakistani officials to gain additional access to the women.
Pakistan has said it will repatriate the three widows and their children. One is from Yemen and two from Saudi Arabia.
Rogers said bin Laden's killing could lead to more cooperation from Islamabad.
"I hope they (the Pakistanis) see this as an opportunity to be more
cooperative. To be more open, to help us with other targets that we have
in Pakistan that we're very interested in having apprehended and
brought to justice," Rogers said in the excerpts from the "60 Minutes"
"Zawahri is a great example."