ISLAMABAD — The Pakistani Taliban are threatening to attack government, police and military targets if the three widows of late Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden aren’t released immediately.
“If the family of Osama bin Laden is not released as soon as possible, we will attack the judges, the lawyers, and the security officials involved in their trial,” Pakistani Taliban spokesperson Ihsanullah Ihsan told Reuters Friday.
“We will carry out suicide bombings against security forces and the government across the country.”
The Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), is a loose coalition representing various tribal and religious factions operating in the country’s northwest frontier province, where militants and insurgents routinely pass back and forth across the Afghanistan border undetected.
The Taliban threat comes one day after Pakistan’s Interior Ministry announced bin Laden’s three widows have been charged with living in the country illegally. They are now believed to be under house arrest in Islamabad. Two of the wives are Saudi citizens, while the third is Yemeni.
Reports surfaced recently suggesting the bin Laden household was rife with spousal bickering, fears of betrayal, and more than two dozen residents crammed into a three story house with no security system or escape route.
The three bin Laden widows were taken into Pakistani custody after the Al Qaeda leader was killed in a special operation by U.S. forces in Abbotabad last May. The strike raised questions about how the world’s most wanted man could have lived undetected within Pakistan, without support from the Pakistani military.
Reuters contributed to this report.