TODAY   |  May 07, 2011

Interrogators focused on one of bin Laden's wives

One woman in particular has caught the attention of interrogators as they continue to question Osama bin Laden's multiple wives regarding what the group may have known about al-Qaida operations. NBC's Ann Curry reports.

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>>> osama bin laden and the details from inside his compound as they come and say thank you to the navy s.e.a.l.s and the other operatives who were part of the operation. ann curry joins us live from islamabad with the other part of the story. ann , good morning.

>> good morning to you. multiple pakistani intelligence forces are reportedly saying one of osama bin laden 's wives now in custody is saying they're living closer to islamabad for two years before moving to the compound in abbottabad . that means bin laden was living for a total of seven years in pakistan 's urban areas right under the noses of the intelligence services . that could only fuel tensions between the united states and pakistan .

>> reporter: coordinated protests denouncing the u.s. raid that killed osama bin laden struck multiple cities in pakistan on friday. as al qaeda reacted for the first time, threatening americans on the official media website. quote, soon, with god's help, we shall flip their celebrations into sorrow and their blood shall mix with their tears.

>> in al qaeda 's language, soon could be anything from the next three days to the next three years. it's very difficult to know. and it's important to emphasize that al qaeda uses language whether or not they actually have an attack in store.

>> reporter: these images are the newest from inside bin laden 's compound where u.s. intelligence officials tell nbc news bin laden was far from retired and was, in fact, still al qaeda 's operational leader. u.s. intelligence tells nbc news quote, a lot of video as well as details of plots around the world and associates were found. local intelligence officials in abbottabad said the compound is cleansed, washed of all evidence, and sealed. reports that pakistani's security has as many as three of bin laden 's wives in custody and under interrogation. the cia asked pakistani officials for access of the wife, especially to the last and faithful life. she was known to be devoted to bin laden and was in the room when her husband died. and amal told interrogators that bin laden and his family had been living in the abbottabad compound for the last five years. u.s. officials have demanded pakistan identify some of the top intelligence operatives to see if they had contact with bin laden in recent years this as officials in the united states have publicly questioned whether anyone here knew where osama bin laden was hiding and helped shield him, lester .

>> what more do we know about this american helicopter apparently modified with stealth capabilities that came down in the compound?

>> that's right. we can confirm -- nbc news can confirm that u.s. officials, the military, asked pakistan to return what's left of that helicopter. as you know, it was blown up by the special-ones team on the ground. they blew it up. still pieces remain. we've been reporting all week that children have been founding large pieces. we saw a piece the size of a football. now the u.s. military wants it back. but when we checked with the chief army spokesperson for the army, for pakistan , he says he knows nothing about this. lester ?

>> and, ann , the u.s. and pakistan military seem to be leaking contradictory accounts of what happened in the compound. are we seeing a pr war here going on right now?

>> absolutely. you hit the nail on the head. in pakistan , the intelligence sources are trying to describe osama bin laden as a man who was sort of not involved at all in the daily operations of al qaeda , who was sort of cash strapped, who was shot unarmed. and in the meantime, u.s. intelligence is painting a picture of a man who was very much in control of al qaeda , who actually was every day waking up thinking about another way to attack america and who in fact had a rifle nearby when he was attacked. very, very different kinds of descriptions about osama bin laden and a lot is at stake at who wins the pr war, lester .

>> ann curry in pakistan . thank you for your reporting, ann ,