Laden shielded by woman during US forces raid: White House

Last Updated: Tue, May 03, 2011 03:54 hrs

Washington: Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, who ordered several terror attacks, used a woman, presumed to be his wife, as a shield when US special forces raided the one million dollar house in Pakistan's Abbottabad where he was hiding, the White House has said.

"Thinking about that from a visual perspective, here is bin Laden, who has been calling for these attacks, living in this million-dollar-plus compound, living in an area that is far removed from the front, hiding behind women who were put in front of him as a shield," Deputy National Security Advisor for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan told reporters at the White House.

Inconceivable Osama did not have support system in Pakistan: US

"I think it really just speaks to just how false his narrative has been over the years."

"And so, again, looking at what bin Laden was doing hiding there while he's putting other people out there to carry out attacks again just speaks to, I think, the nature of the individual he was," Brennan said.

Besides, bin Laden, the two al-Qaeda facilitators - who were the courier, his son Khalid and a woman presumed to be his wife, who was shielding bin Laden, died in yesterday's pre-dawn operations.

"She served as a shield; again, this is my understanding. And we're still getting the reports of exactly what happened at particular moments.

Burial at sea was best option for dead Osama: White House

"She fought back when there was an opportunity to get to bin Laden; she was positioned in a way that indicated that she was being used as a shield, whether or not bin Laden or the son or whatever put her there or she put herself there," the White House official said.

"That's again my understanding, that she met her demise, and my understanding is that she was one of bin Laden's wives," he added.

More from Sify: