In the 10-years following 9/11 Osama bin Laden had a lot of time to ponder his decisions, and some of the conclusions he came to have just come to light through the man’s brother-in-law.Julian Thompson at The Sunday Times reports bin Laden pressed his two younger children, four and five years old, and both born at the Abbottabad compound, to live in peace, and go to college in the West.
Zakaria al-Sadah, the brother of bin Laden’s fifth wife, says the al-Qaeda leader “Told his own children and grandchildren, ‘Go to Europe and America and get a good education.'”
“You have to study, live in peace and don’t do what I am doing or what I have done,” he reportedly told them.
He says bin Laden stressed that his kids “should not follow him down the road to jihad.”
Sadah recently spoke with his sister who was shot in the knee by SEAL Team 6 in the May raid who reports she, the two other wives, and nine children have been held in a three room Islamabad apartment since they were captured, and are being guarded by Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service.
Sadah went on to say that bin Laden regretted the impact the 9/11 attacks had on his family, and wanted his heirs to follow in his brothers’ footsteps. Bin Laden had siblings at Harvard Law School, USC, and Tufts.
Here are the highlights from the exclusive Sunday Times story:
- Bin Laden’s kids remain traumatized from the raid where their father was killed.
- 12-year-old Safiyah cradled her wounded mother when Pakistani security forces arrived after the SEALs’ departure.
- Two of bin Laden’s other wives are on hunger strikes, protesting their incarceration.
- Sadah spoke with his sister after being told he could take her and her kids home, but Pakistani officials then refused to release her or the kids.
- Officials believe they are concealing details of how bin Laden came to Pakistan.
- Sadah fears his sister will be tried for crimes against Pakistan and never released.
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