By Noreen Malone,
More details have emerged this morning on who was inside the Abbottabad* complex where Osama Bin Laden was killed on Sunday. The White House has corrected an erroneous earlier statement from official John Brennan, who said that the woman who died in the gunfight was Bin Laden’s wife, and that he’d used her as a human

shield. A wife of Bin Laden’s was injured but not killed, they’ve now clarified; it was “another guy’s wife” who died, according to the White House official who provided reporters an updated briefing last night. The official further said that he didn’t think any woman had been used as a shield. According to Pakistani intelligence as relayed by the BBC (with a grain of salt), survivors of the attack included a Bin Laden wife, a daughter of 12 or 13 who saw her father get shot, and eight or nine children of unidentified parentage; they’d been in the compound for “several months.” (Time reports, via Leon Panetta, that the Bin Laden family had in fact probably been in the compound since 2005.)

The human shield detail was seized on so eagerly yesterday perhaps because it seemed a fittingly monstrous an end to Bin Laden’s life. But the narrative wasn’t quite so neatly tied up after all—and neither was Bin Laden’s relationship with his wives quite so black-and-white, at least as portrayed in the 2009 book co-written by his first wife and fourth son, Omar, Growing Up Bin Laden.

It’s a rather reticent account. I kept waiting for the dramatic turn in which Najwa renounced the husband she’d left shortly before 9/11. It never came. The exact reasons she left her husband remain a little murky: pressure from her son, worry about her children’s safety, her husband’s increasing distraction from family life. Never, though, does she say clearly that she found anything morally repugnant about the terrorism network he’d built. She writes: “I was not seeking a divorce. In fact, on the morning I was leaving, I presented my husband with a round ring, a token of our years together.”