Inside The Bin Laden Kingdom

The bin Laden family was one of Saudi Arabia's most powerful -- and little known until Sept. 11. Now, one woman who married into the family is fighting to get out. And Carmen bin Laden's book, "Inside the Kingdom" sheds light on the family and the society that produced Osama bin Laden. CBS News Anchor Dan Rather reports.

She's married to one of Osama's 24 brothers. The bin Laden family also includes 29 sisters.

Bin Laden, a Swiss citizen now raising her three daughters in Geneva, lived a life few Westerners have ever seen.

"I think they like our technology, they like our know-how, but they don't like our culture, and they despise our society," says bin Laden. "I think they think that we are a very permissive, very loose society. I think they despise the morality of our society - this would be the word."

She saw her husband's brother Osama on a few occasions. At the time, the family praised Osama's fierce devotion to fundamentalist Islam.

"In Saudi Arabia you are never too religious," she says. "Religion is their way of life. Everything is conditioned by the religion in Saudi Arabia. It's the primary way. It's the most important thing in their lives."

After Sept. 11, she was quoted as saying that she believed Osama had the backing of some members of the Saudi royal family. Asked if she still believes that, bin Laden says, "I don't have any proof, but I think Osama is very well liked, and I'm sure that there are a lot of people in Saudi Arabia who support him."

After 14 years, she's still fighting for divorce and fears her book will bring retaliation from her husband's powerful family. She fears it so much that she won't even talk about it.

She refuses to say if her life has been threatened by going public, "because you know that means they have won."

People who read her book, she says, will learn "that it's a completely different society than ours. I think we are in a clash of two cultures.

"I think we are dependent on the oil. And they know that, and they want to be able to control us."

Since the 9/11 attacks, Carmen bin Laden's husband and other family members have publicly denounced the exiled Osama and say they have no contact with him.
  • Jaime Holguin

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