Monday, May 9, 2011

Bin Laden had been limp - used herbal Viagra: wife

Osama bin Laden wasn't on kidney dialysis, despite many longstanding theories.

Osama Bin Laden wasn't on kidney dialysis - but he did need an herbal impotence drug.

"He believed in his own medication," said his youngest widow, Amal al-Sadeh, who was shot in the leg when SEALs burst into their bedroom and killed the terror leader.

The health of the shadowy terror leader had long been a bone of contention in intelligence circles.

Now evidence from the medicine cabinet in Bin Laden's hideout and quotes from one of his six wives paint a picture of a 54-year-old devotee of natural remedies who was in much better shape than previously thought.

"He was neither weak nor frail," Sadeh, 29, told Pakistani investigators, according to the Dawn newspaper in Karachi, Pakistan.

NBC News obtained a list of medications found in Bin Laden's compound and none are used to treat long-term chronic illness.

Instead, the Pakistanis found drugs to treat shingles, ulcers, nerve pain, high blood pressure, common children's ailments - and Avena syrup, an extract of wild oats that is marketed as a natural "Viagra."

A Yemeni who was just 17 when she was wed to a middle-aged Bin Laden, Sadeh said the 9/11 mastermind had recovered fully from two kidney surgeries a decade ago, Dawn reported.

Back in 1999, the Saudis reportedly hired an assassin to poison Bin Laden, and the toxin gave him kidney failure.

For years, there have been persistent reports that he was on the brink of death.

In January 2002, then-Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told CNN that Bin Laden had probably already died of kidney failure, and that he needed to travel with two dialysis machines.

But Bin Laden's wife said he needed no dialysis. Instead, she said, he cured himself with his own regimen, which included watermelons.

Sadeh told officials that she and Bin Laden had just gone to bed and switched off the lights when they heard the first gunshots of the 1 a.m. SEAL raid.

She said that before Bin Laden could reach for his AK-47, the U.S. commandos burst in and shot him, Dawn reported.

That contradicts earlier Pakistani reports quoting her saying that Bin Laden was first taken into custody and then shot down in front of his young daughter.

Sadeh was shot in the leg in the attack. She is recovering in a military hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Bin Laden's sixth wife, Sadeh is variously known as Amal Ahmed Abdulfattah and Amal Ahmed al-Sadah.

She says she remained a virtual prisoner along with her husband and their 5-year-old daughter - none of them had left the compound in five years.

Dawn reported that survivors of the SEAL raid included two more Bin Laden wives, both highly educated Saudis; an older son; a 22-year-old daughter; 5-year-old Safia, and four children of a Bin Laden daughter who was killed in a drone strike in the Waziristan region of Pakistan.

According to Bin Laden biographer Peter Bergen, Bin Laden's first and second wives divorced him, and two more wives have not been heard of since the 2001 bombing of Afghanistan.

A fifth wife had their marriage annulled in the 1990s.

Bin Laden has fathered between 20 and 26 children.


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