Osama Bin Laden's Matchmaker

Illustration for article titled Osama Bin Laden's Matchmaker

"She must be pious, dutiful, young [preferably aged 16-18], well mannered, from a decent family, but above all patient. She will have to endure my exceptional circumstances." Exceptional circumstances, in this case, meant living in seclusion with the world's most wanted terrorist.


That's how Osama Bin Laden described his ideal fifth (or sixth, if you count the dissolved marriage in Khartoum) wife to a matchmaker in Yemen. (We already know Osama Bin Laden was a fan of polygamy as a stabilizing force in marriage.) The matchmaker obliged with seventeen-year-old Amal Ahmed al-Sadah, the daughter of one of his students. She is believed to be the woman that was shot in the leg after rushing the Navy SEALs.

The fascination with Osama bin Laden's romantic life persists, with a handful of impish headlines in normally straightfaced news sources (ABC News: Real Housewives of Abbottabad; The Wall Street Journal: Take His Wife. Please.). The matchmaker gave interviews in Yemen, and said to The Guardian,

Any attempts by the US to hurt Amal or any of Bin Laden's family, Rashad says, "will cause an explosion between the west and the Islamic world. Women are not warriors. America knew that Bin Laden never used women to participate in his battles.
..."We [al-Qaida in Yemen] received the news of Bin Laden's death with happiness because we knew it was his aim to die as a martyr at the hands of the Americans. But the question of his relatives is one of women's honour, something we consider untouchable."

So far, what's known is that the U.S. has asked to question the wives. The bin Laden family, or at least Omar bin Laden and several brothers, has also issued a statement that mentions the wives: "It is also unworthy of the special forces to shoot unarmed female family members of Binladen killing a female and that of one of his son." They also demand that the Pakistani government repatriate the women.

Osama Bin Laden Said, "Find Me A Wife" [Guardian]
Earlier: Osama Bin Laden's Relationship Advice
The Tale Of Osama Bin Laden's Youngest Wife



Is it weird that I have the "Matchmaker" song from Fiddler on the Roof stuck in my head now?

...It's kind of weird, isn't it?