US Reviews Potential Threats Ahead of Anniversary of Bin Laden’s Killing

Posted April 26th, 2012 at 8:20 pm (UTC-5)
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The White House Thursday said it had no information about potential threats facing the United States ahead of the first anniversary of the killing of former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters that “at this time we have no credible information that terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida, are plotting attacks in the U.S. to coincide with the anniversary of bin Laden's death.”

But he stressed that al-Qaida's allies and affiliates “remain intent on conducting attacks in the homeland, possibly to avenge the death of bin Laden, but not necessarily tied to the anniversary.”

Earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama ordered a review of the threat picture and directed his team to take all necessary measures to protect the American people.

Also Thursday, a U.S. District Court judge refused to order the release of photographs and videos from the U.S. military raid that killed the world's most wanted terrorist in his compound in the garrison city of Abbottabad on May 2, 2011, and his burial at sea.

The judge rejected a lawsuit seeking to force disclosure of the images, writing that “a picture may be worth a thousands words” but that in this case, “verbal descriptions of the death and burial of Osama bin Laden will have to suffice, for this court will not order the release of anything more.”

Meanwhile, bin Laden's family was deported from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia early Friday. Intelligence officials said bin Laden's three widows and their children were taken to the airport near Islamabad shortly after midnight, where a plane was waiting. Their destination in Saudi Arabia is not known.

Earlier this month, a Pakistani court convicted his widows and two of his daughters on charges of illegally residing in the country and sentenced them to 45 days detention to be followed by deportation.

The widows, two Saudis and one Yemeni, and several of bin Laden's children, were detained immediately after his death. They were formally arrested last month and received credit for time already served, shortening their sentence to two weeks.

Osama bin Laden's youngest wife told Pakistani police the al-Qaida leader spent nearly 10 years on the run in Pakistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. She said the family moved to different safe houses around the country.

Amal Ahmed Abdulfattah, a 30-year old Yemeni, said she gave birth to four of bin Laden's children while in Pakistan, with two of them born in government hospitals.