Published On: Sat, Aug 4th, 2018

Al-Queda Leader Osama Bin Laden’s Mother Opens Up About Her Shy Son For The First Time

Seven years after Osama Bin Laden’s death, his mother Alia Ghanem opens with The Guardian.

Making it to the FBI’s “most wanted” list, Osama Bin Laden embraced violent Jihad. He was killed by American soldiers on May 1, 2011 for being involved in the deadly acts of terrorism, including the bombing of World Trade Center.

Years after the Al-Queda leader died, his mother breaks silence saying that her son was a “shy” boy who was “brainwashed” at the university. The last time the family saw Bin Laden was in 1999, two years before the 9/11 attack, in Afghanistan.

For four years, Ms Ghanem refused to speak about his son and was not sure if she should open up about her family’s wounds. She says that her first born was academically capable and became a different man when he met Abdullah Azzam, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who was later exiled from Saudi Arabia and became Osama’s spiritual adviser.

Bin Laden’s father divorced his mother, he had more than 50 children in total and after the 9/11 attack the entire family was interrogated by Saudi government and keep tabs on their travel and movement.

Here’s what Laden’s beloved mother and half-brothers have to say about him:

“Everyone who met him in the early days respected him,” says his half brother Hassan


“At the start, we were very proud of him. Even the Saudi government would treat him in a very noble, respectful way. And then came Osama the mujahid,” said Hassan. The family revealed that he became a strong and pious figure in his early 20s. He studied economics at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah.

They asked him to stay away from the people who brainwashed him, he never admitted what he was doing because he loved his mother so much.

“It was a place near the airport that they had captured from the Russians,” Ghanem said.

Ms Ghanem talks about his childhood in the coastal Syrian city of Latakia. She blames people around Osama for the man he became.

“She loved him so much and refuses to blame him. Instead, she blames those around him. She only knows the good boy side, the side we all saw. She never got to know the jihadist side,” said his half-brother Ahmad.

When Laden met his family in Afghanistan in 1999, he was very happy to see them. He killed an animal and hosted a feast for everyone.

“I was shocked, stunned,” said Ahmad.


After learning about the reports of New York, the family was shattered. They couldn’t believe their eyes, they had been scattered across Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Europe.

“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,” said Ahmad.

They were questioned by the Saudi authorities, the government banned their travel hence could not move freely within or outside the kingdom for two decades.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Popular Posts

Recent Post