A year ago, Navy SEALs successfully raided the compound of Osama bin Laden, who had been hiding in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and killed the al-Qaida mastermind.
With bin Laden gone, the family he smuggled as he evaded international authorities has been instrumental in helping authorities learn more about how bin Laden lived in the decade following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The family has been in the custody of Pakistani authorities since bin Laden was killed on May 1, 2011. After being prosecuted for illegal entry, bin Laden's wives, along with their 11 children, will be deported to Saudi Arabia, though it's believed that his Yemeni-born wife will return to her native country.
Before sentencing the widows, Pakistani authorities elicited testimony from all three, who were with bin Laden in his compound. Although two of his wives have generally refused to cooperate, according to reports, the youngest of bin Laden's wives, Amal Ahmad Abdul Fateh, has given authorities the clearest picture yet of what life was like on the run.
Although reports of bin Laden's whereabouts often portrayed him as hiding away in caves along the mountainous Af-Pak border, the terrorist leader was actually moving around urban areas of Pakistan.
According to the testimony of his youngest wife, the family, though scattered occasionally, moved among five different safe houses
Even Abbottabad, the site of bin Laden's final hideout, has been described as a "peaceful hill resort," a far cry from the conditions in which bin Laden was supposed to be concealing himself.
Over the 10 years that bin Laden spent dodging international authorities, he fathered two boys and two girls with Fateh, all of whom were born in Pakistan. The two also had a child in Afghanistan before the attacks of 9/11.
Bin Laden also traveled with his two other wives and two adult daughters from his previous marriages.
Fateh and bin Laden's eldest wife, Khairiah, had to be separated during their time in a Pakistani prison because the two were brawling.
Fateh and other members of the family believe that Khairiah may have given up the terrorist leader, and even worked with the Central Intelligence Agency, out of jealousy for the attention bin Laden paid to his younger wife.
No reports from the U.S. intelligence community have suggested Khairiah was involved in bin Laden's demise. Rather, the CIA states that a call they picked up from a courier is what led them to narrow bin Laden's whereabouts to Abbottabad.
For years, rumors about bin Laden's failing health led some to believe that he had succumbed to kidney disease. One report even had him seeking treatment and dialysis in Dubai in 2000.
According to Fateh, bin Laden had a kidney transplant in 2002, a complicated procedure that would have required access to advanced medical care. Where the operation took place is a subject of speculation, according to The Daily Beast, with accounts varying as to whether it happened in Pakistan.
Photo: A view of the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in which Navy SEALs found Osama bin Laden. On the day this photo was taken, Pakistani authorities demolished the house. Credit: Corbis Images.