Bin Laden Son: Al Qaeda Will Be Deadlier after Osama

(AP PHOTO)
The son of Osama bin Laden said the al Qaeda leader would never be caught and that once he dies, his successors will be even more violent.

"From what I knew of my father and the people around him I believe he is the most kind among them, because some are much, much worse," Omar bin Laden told ABC News. "Their mentality wants to make more violence, to create more problems."

Omar also said that despite U.S. drone attacks and their offer of a $25 million bounty, his father will remain elusive.

"It's been 30 years now since he started fighting there. Who could catch him? No one.... This is the country that whoever gets in is stuck, be it the armies or the mujahideen,"

The younger bin Laden, who says he doesn't know where his father is, also described the rift that developed between them over the nature of Osama bin Laden's jihad against the U.S.

"Attacking peaceful people is not being fair, it is unacceptable. If you have a problem with armies or governments you should fight those people. This is what I find unacceptable in my father's way," he told ABC.

Omar said his father raised his children in rough conditions – eschewing the luxuries the family could have afforded – in order to prepare them for the hardships of war.

"He didn't treat us differently than any of his followers. He just expected us to act like everyone else, because he was the leader," he said.

Osama even urged his sons to volunteer for suicide bombing missions.

"We were shocked. Why would our father say something like this to us? After he went away we just talked about it and said this was never going to happen, this was not our way. …I objected, and said 'Why did you do this? What is the point?' He didn't respond. We were not more important than his big goal ... and nothing would stop him from this."

While Omar praised the U.S. for its freedom and equality, he said his father only appreciated one thing about America – "their weapons."

He also said that Osama targeted the U.S. over Israel because "he thinks America is weaker than Israel. America is easier to get attacked, with its huge cities. He sees America is the main power, but in fact is weak in certain ways."

Among other things Omar said about his father:

• The root of his anger at the U.S. was their military presence in Saudi Arabia, home to several Muslim holy sites.

• Osama disliked the secular regime of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and there was "no connection" between the two.

• While he declared war against the U.S. in 1996 from a cave in Afghanistan, he used the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to inflame the passions of new recruits.

Omar bin Laden said his family – up to 40 members – are currently living in Iran after crossing over from Afghanistan prior to the U.S. invasion in 2001. They live under house arrest in Tehran, but enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, he said.

  • Daniel Carty

Comments