Osama Bin Laden's mother Alia Ghanem pours her heart out in her FIRST ever interview
Photo | August 03, 2018 09:12 PM IST |
Usama ibn Mohammed ibn Awad ibn Ladin aka Osama Bin Laden. The man who remained the world's most sought-after terrorist for decades and founded Al-Qaeda, an installation of terror the world is still battling with. How must a mother have perceived the story and destiny of her son? Alia Ghanem, Osama's mother speaks to The Guardian in her life's very first interview.
“The people at university changed him. He became a different man. He was a very good child until he met some people who pretty much brainwashed him in his early 20s. You can call it a cult. They got money for their cause. I would always tell him to stay away from them, and he would never admit to me what he was doing, because he loved me so,” Ghanem says.
“He was very straight. Very good at school. He really liked to study. He spent all his money on Afghanistan – he would sneak off under the guise of family business. It never crossed my mind (that he wold become a jihadist). We were extremely upset. I did not want any of this to happen. Why would he throw it all away like that?”
Osama’s half-brother Ahmed says about his connection with the 9/11 massacre, “It was a very strange feeling. We knew from the beginning [that it was Osama], within the first 48 hours. From the youngest to the eldest, we all felt ashamed of him. We knew all of us were going to face horrible consequences. Our family abroad all came back to Saudi.”
“I am very proud of him in the sense that he was my oldest brother. He taught me a lot. But I don’t think I’m very proud of him as a man. He reached superstardom on a global stage, and it was all for nothing,” his another brother Hassan added.
Speaking of the last time Ghanem saw Osama Bin Laden, she says, “It was a place near the airport that they had captured from the Russians. He was very happy to receive us. He was showing us around every day we were there. He killed an animal and we had a feast, and he invited everyone.” The year was 1999. She never saw him again and the rest is history.
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