Schlagwort-Archive: sea

Bin Laden-Son´s Letter About Father´s Death

by Florian Flade

Letter signed by Omar Bin Laden

For the first time since US Special Forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden nearly one week ago, relatives of the most-wanted terrorist have issued a statement on his death. A blog operated by one a former Jihadi colleague of Osama Bin Ladens, released a document yesterday allegedly written by the sons of the al-Qaida founder. The letter bears the signature of Osama Bin Laden´s fourth son, Omar.

„We have received the news given by US-President Obama that US troops attacked the compound of our father, Osama Bin Laden (…) and killed him instead of arresting him“, reads the single-page letter. The killing of Bin Laden is regarded by the family as the „strongest violation of human feelings“, according to the document. Now, the letter says, President Obama is obliged to fully investigate the fate of Osama Bin Laden and release the DNA analysis.

Dumping Bin Ladens body in the sea is „not acceptable from humanitarian and religious standpoint“, it is described as a „reckless and abusive towards the family“. The feelings of hundreds of millions of Muslims were hurt by this action, the Bin Laden son writes. As children of Osama Bin Laden, his sons now feel the responsibility and right to demand full investigation into the death of their father.

The letter, who´s authenticity cannot be independently verified was signed by Omar Bin Osama Bin Laden. Other sons of the al-Qaida leader, are not named although the document claims to speak in their name. At least five of the ten known sons of Osama Bin Laden have turned their back on their father and his violent campaign of terrorism. They no longer belong to the al-Qaida circle and left Bin Laden years ago. One of the sons, 24 year-old Ali, was sentenced to 18 years in prison by a Saudi court in 2008 for illegal possession of a gun.

The alleged author of the newly released statement, Omar Bin Laden, was born in 1981 in the Saudi coastal town of Jeddah. He is the son of Osama Bin Laden and his Syrian wife Najwa Ghanem. Omar left his father in 2001 and is an outspoken critic of al-Qaida´s terrorism. Due to his renunciation of Jihad, he was able to regain his Saudi citizenship. Meanwhile Omar Bin Laden is married to a British woman in his second marriage and is seeking to obtain a permission to move to a European country or the United States.

In 2009 Omar Bin Laden and his mother wrote a biographical book titled „Growing Up Bin Laden“, in which both describe their lives as relatives of World´s most-wanted man.

Omar´s alleged letter about his father´s death was published on the webiste run by the former Egyptian Jihadi fighter Abu Walid al-Masri. Al-Masri, born in 1945 in Egypt allegedly worked for Mercedes Benz in Kuwait before joining the Arab Mujahidin in Afghanistan in their fight against the Soviets in the 1980s. He worked as a journalist, reporting about the Jihad news from the frontlines. During that time Al-Masri met Osama Bin Laden.

He claimed he was never part of al-Qaida and strongly criticized the organization´s violent agenda. One of Al-Masri´s daughters is allegedly married to Saif al-Adl, who had been living in Iran and is now said to be part of the al-Qaida infrastructure in the Pakistani tribal areas of North-Waziristan, acting as Al-Qaida´s Military Chief.

Abu Walid al-Masri, living under house arrest in Iran for some years, is an active blogger, release comments on Muslim affairs and the war in Afghanistan on a regular basis on his Arabi-language website.

____________________________________________

von Florian Flade

Erstmals seit der Tötung des al-Qaida Führers Osama Bin Laden vor knapp einer Woche, haben sich Verwandte des Dschihad-Führers in einem Brief offenbar zu Wort gemeldet. Auf einer von einem ehemaligen Kampfgefährten Bin Ladens betriebenen Webseite erschien gestern ein Dokument, das von den Söhnen des Al-Qaida Gründers verfasst worden sein soll. Das Schriftstück, das mir vorliegt, trägt die Unterschrift von Bin Ladens viertem Sohn, Omar (30).

„Wir haben mit Bedauern die Nachricht des US-Präsident Obama erhalten, dass US Truppen das Haus unseres Vaters, Osama Bin Laden, angegriffen haben (…) und ihn töteten anstatt ihn festzunehmen“, heißt es in dem einseitigen Dokument. Die Tat wird insbesondere mit Blick auf die in Bin Ladens Versteck anwesenden Familienmitglieder als „schwerste Verletzung menschlicher Gefühle“ beschrieben. Es sei nun die Pflicht von Präsident Obama, das Schicksal Bin Ladens aufzuklären und DNA Beweise vorzubringen, heißt es weiter.

Aus „humanitärer und religiöser Sicht ist es nicht akzeptabel“, so der Verfasser des Briefes, die Leiche Bin Ladens nicht an die Familie zu übergeben, sondern sie im Meer zu versenken. „Diese Vorgehensweise ist rücksichtslos und beleidigend gegenüber seiner Familie“, schreiben die Söhne Bin Ladens. Als Kinder von Osama Bin Laden behandelte man sich nun das Recht vor, auf Aufklärung zu drängen, um das Schicksal des al-Qaida Führers aufzuklären.

Unterzeichnet wurde das Dokument, dessen Authentizität „Welt Online“ nicht bestätigten kann, von Omar Bin Osama Bin Laden. Weitere Söhne Bin Ladens, in deren Namen der Brief verfasst sein soll, werden nicht genannt. Mindestens fünf der insgesamt zehn bekannten Söhne Osama Bin Ladens, haben sich vom Vater losgesagt und leben nicht mehr im Umfeld der Al-Qaida. Ein Sohn, der 24jährige Ali, wurde 2008 von einem saudi-arabischen Gericht zu 18 Jahren Haft wegen Waffenbesitz verurteilt.

Der angebliche Verfasser des nun aufgetauchten Briefes, Omar Bin Laden, kam 1981 in der saudiarabischen Hafenstadt Dschidda zur Welt und ist ein Sohn Osama Bin Ladens und der Syrerin Najwa Ghanem. Er kehrte der Gewalt der al-Qaida den Rücken und verließ seinen Vater 2001. Ihm gelang es, durch die klare Loslösung von seinem Vater und der Kritik am blutigen Terror der al-Qaida, die saudi-arabische Staatsbürgerschaft wieder zu erlangen. Inzwischen ist Omar Bin Laden in zweiter Ehe mit einer Britin verheiratet. 2009 verfasste er zusammen mit seiner Mutter das Buch „Growing Up Bin Laden“, in dem er seine Erlebnisse als Sohn des meistgesuchten Terroristen der Welt schildert.

Veröffentlicht wurde der angebliche Brief der Bin Laden Söhne, den Omar Bin Laden unterzeichnet haben soll, auf der Webseite des ehemaligen ägyptischen Dschihad-Kämpfers Abu Walid al-Masri. Al-Masri, der 1945 in Ägypten geboren worden sein soll und angeblich eine Zeit lang für Mercedes Benz in Kuwait tätig war, zog in den 80er Jahren als einer von hunderten arabischen Freiwilligen in den Krieg gegen die Sowjetunion in Afghanistan. Er berichtete als Journalist der Mudschaheddin über die Ereignisse an der Front und lernte dabei wohl auch Osama Bin Laden kennen.

Nach eigener Aussage war al-Masri nie Teil von al-Qaida sondern wandte sich sogar gegen die Methoden des Terrornetzwerkes. Ein Tochter al-Masris soll verheiratet sein mit Saif al-Adl, dem mutmaßlichen Militärchef von Al-Qaida, der ebenfalls aus Ägypten stammt und einst ein Oberst der Streitkräfte war. Abu Walid al-Masri soll seit einigen Jahren im Iran unter Hausarrest leben. Von dort aus betreibt er ein arabischsprachiges Blog, auf dem er regelmäßig Kommentare zum Krieg in Afghanistan abliefert.

„Obama Fulfilled Bin Laden´s Wish“ – Interview with Abdel Bari Atwan

by Florian Flade

Abdel Bari Atwan walking with Osama Bin Laden in Tora Bora, November 1996 (Copyright Abdel Bari Atwan)

The chief editor of the London-based Arab newspaper „Al-Quds Al-Arabi“, Abdel Bari Atwan, met Osama Bin Laden in November 1996 and lived three days with him in the caves of Tora Bora in eastern Afghanistan. Fifteen years later the Al-Qaida leader was killed by a US commando raid in Pakistan. I spoke to Abdel Bari Atwan, whom I also interviewed last September on Bin Laden, to ask him about his thoughts on the killing and the impact of Bin Ladens death on the al-Qaida network.

_________________________________________

Mr.Atwan, were you surprised when you heard the news the United States was able to find and kill Osama Bin Laden?

I did expect that one day the Americans would reach them. They have a huge intelligence service, huge intelligence equipment, it is not only the Americans, it was everyone looking for him. So he cannot hide forever. A single mistake will lead to his capture or death, no question about that. What surprised me is the ambiguity about the whole operation. The Americans were not straight forward to tell us what happened. We haven´t seen the corpse, we haven´t seen the body, and also the details about the operations kept changing. Once they said he was in a luxury house, a mansion, now we discover it was very humble. They said to us he used his wife as a human shield – no he was unarmed and he did not resist. His wife was injured. They buried him in the sea which is very strange. According to Islamic Sharia law it doesn´t say he should be buried in the sea.

Where you surprised about the location where Bin Laden was hiding for the last few years?

I was surprised, also about the Pakistani Intelligence (ISI) and the government could not discover these helicopters. Why did they fail to detect the raid? That means a military academy like this, a ammunition factory like this, is not well guarded?. Does that mean also the nuclear weapons are not well guarded? It is a affront to the Pakistani government unless they knew about it and the Americans say the Pakistanis didn´t know about it. For the Americans to come and to kill an important man like this and go away and take his body and the body of his son without the Pakistani government to know about this – this is ridicules.

Do you think the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI or the government knew where Bin Laden was hiding?

I don´t believe the Pakistanis knew where he is. They would not commit such a strange thing because this will effect the relation with the United States which is already deteriorating, that´s my first impression. the Pakistani government harboring him or keeping silent about him will create huge problems with the United States. The Pakistanis don´t have a secret. If they were hiding Bin Laden, the US would know because the Americans have infiltrated the intel and would know about it.

Did Bin Laden choose the city of Abbottabad as a hideout because of the big military presence – did he think he was safe from an American assassination in such area?

Actually I also kept saying that Osama Bin Laden is not in the tribal areas, he would be in a city in Pakistan or other parts of the world. He is very clever, he wouldn´t stay in an area were the Americans are looking for him. What made me believe that was the fact that most of his men were arrested in Pakistani cities: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was arrested in Rawalpindi, Ramzi Binalshibh in Karachi, Abu Zubaydah was in Faisalabad. Most of his men were in Pakistani cities not in the tribal areas. So it is logically that he is in one of the Pakistani cities. To choose a place that is close to the military academy shows that he is quiet clever. He choose that place knowing that nobody will look in that area particular.

Bin Laden was family man: Are you surprised there was family with him in the Abbottabad compound?

No, because he was not staying there by choice, he was forced to stay there. He could not move freely, the longer he stayed, it was secure for him. We don´t know about what his family will tell, we only heard the American side of the story. What we have is: he was in the house. But was he permanently in the house? Was he only visiting his family in the house and was traced? We don´t know, yet.

Do you think conspiracy theories will be around until al-Qaida confirms the death or the US President released the picture of Bin Laden´s body?

There will be alot of ambiguity for a long time. We have to see what the Americans will say, we have to have proves and pictures are not good enough…

…there are many fake pictures already spreading.

Yes. We need an independent observer. Why didn´t we see the corpse itself? Why was it not shown to the international media? It is very important to have independent verification of the American story. Second, we are waiting for al-Qaida to confirm that he was killed. Maybe Osama Bin Laden was abducted by the Americans and killed later? They say he was buried in the sea: Do we have any proof of that? Nobody told us, just very briefly. The conspiracy theories will be very thrive. People will believe he is still alive, they wouldn´t believe he was killed even though they Americans raided his place. They will say he is with them, being interrogated by them.

Was the alleged burial in the ocean a smart idea?

It is un-islamic and un-human to throw his body in the sea to the sharks. Simply because in Islam if somebody dies on land, he has to be buried on land. They buried Saddam Hussein when they hanged him, they buried his sons when they shot them dead. They buried Abu Mussab az-Zarqawi when he was killed. And the Nazis, who where more dangerous than Osama Bin Laden, they face a trial and they were buried.

The argument was the US did not want his grave to become a place of worship – which makes no sense because Salafi-Islam does not allow grave-worship.

No, Salafi-Islam does not allow that, and he is a Salafi, so he himself wouldn´t allow any shrine for him. It would be against his will.

Does the killing of Osama Bin Laden make a difference to al-Qaida?

No, he was completely irrelevant to al-Qaida in the last 10 years, he was probably not running day-to-day affairs. He was caring about his personal safety, not to be abducted or killed. He was not in direct contact with his people. Second, al-Qaida is different today. Al-Qaida transformed after September 11th 2001, it became a flat and loose organization with many branches: we have al-Qaida in Yemen which is very strong, which has Anwar al-Awlaki who is a very radical preacher, we have Nasser al-Wuhayshi, who is the head of al-Qaida in Yemen, we have al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb, which is very dangerous and managed to acquire weapons after the Libyan regime collapsed, this will make it very lethal because it is also close to Europe. We have al-Qaida in Somalia, al-Qaida in Afghanistan still, we have al-Qaida in Pakistan – we have different al-Qaidas with different leadership. If Bin Laden was operational very irrelevant and we have now Zawahiri as the successor, this will make al-Qaida more radical. This man is a very dangerous man, he has a operational brain, he was behind transforming al-Qaida from a small local organization to a global organization.

Do you think al-Qaida will elect Dr.Zawahiri as its new Amir?

We don´t know yet. We know there is Majlis ash-Shura, the leadership council of al-Qaida, and there are many unknown members, we don´t know who they are. So there will definitely be a meeting of this council and they will elect a new leader. There has never been a situation like that because Osama Bin Laden was the founder and only leader of al-Qaida. We don´t know if they will announce a new leader, but we will see who will be taking care of the organization. I think Zawahiri will be the de-facto leader of al-Qaida.

Was killing him a huge favor to Bin Laden to turn him into martyr not only a hero to his followers?

I remember when I interviewed him in November 1996 I asked him: What is your greatest wish in life? And he said: „Do die as a martyr and to join my companions in heaven.“ It seems President Obama fulfilled his first wish which is to die as a martyr. The second wish, to go to paradise, I think that is up to God.

To his followers he was a hero since September 11th 2001, he already was „larger than life“ for them, right?

He is adored by his followers, I spent ten days with them. He laughed with them, they look at him very very highly. He is a man from the wealthiest family in the Arab world and he gave up all of this to go and fight in the causes he believed in. He was very humble, sitting with them, eating with them, living a very harsh life. He doesn´t need the Americans to kill him and make him into a hero, no, he is a hero to them for a very long time.

Is it possible for al-Qaida to replace Bin Laden?

He is irreplaceable and was irrelevant at the same time, because he was not actually running the al-Qaida organization. He was a head-figure, a spiritual leader, a ideologist, but regarding the organization it was functioning without him.

Do you think Bin Laden was more a Prophet-figure to us than he was to his followers? They knew he would die but there reason for Jihad will remain.

Osama Bin Laden is a human and one day he will day. The organization has transformed, it is not what it used to be. They have local commanders who judge things and they do not need to consult with Osama Bin Laden before they carry out any attacks or kidnappings. His disappearance will not effect the organization to a huge extent.

Do you think today´s al-Qaida is capable of carrying out a revenge attack?

I believe al-Qaida will organize a huge revenge for their leader. It takes time. Maybe there will be some quick personal revenge by individuals but they will plan for something big. And I think Zawahiri will work on that because Osama Bin Laden was very dear to him and he will not leave it without huge actions.

What do you think about the alleged will of Osama Bin Laden as it was mentioned in the media?

It is fake. It is a Saudi fabrication.

Do you think there is an authentic will?

These people don´t leave wills unless he recorded it. If you remember the 9/11 hijackers, they left wills because they were going for a suicidal mission but I don´t know, maybe he did the same. If there is one, we will see it soon.

The Residents Of The Bin Laden-Mansion

by Florian Flade

Osama Bin Laden was killed in a compound in Northeastern Pakistan – but who are the people that lived in the luxury hideout for years? The US raid not only resulted in the death of the Al-Qaida leader but also killed one of his sons, a possible successor. Wives and children were arrested and are now in Pakistani custody. A look at the inhabitants of the Abbottabad mansion.

Was he Bin Laden´s successor? – Hamza Bin Laden (1989-2011)

Operation „Geronimo“ lasted only 38 minutes. US Special Forces of Navy Seals Team Six raided a compound in Bilal Town of Abbottabad in Northeastern Pakistan. They went room to room in search for their target: Osama Bin Laden.

When the Americans withdrew after less than an hour, Bin Laden was dead, killed by shots in the head and the chest. Pakistani soldiers who were surprised by the US military operation and entered the Al-Qaida leader´s hideout a short time after the US raid, found a gruesome scene. The dead bodies of three men – Bin Ladens Kurier „Abu Ahmad al-Kuwaiti“, the courier´s brother and a alleged bodyguard – were lying on the ground, bloodsoaken and riddled with bullets. Up to 23 other people among them women and children, were found handcuffed, left behind by the US soldiers.

The Pakistani military took the surviving inhabitants of the Bin Laden mansion in custody. According to the Pakistani authorities the people are part of three families which were living in the Abbottabad compound – the family of the two brothers described as Bin Laden´s curiers, and the wives and children of Osama Bin Laden himself.

One young woman who was in the same room as Osama Bin Laden assaulted the US Navy Seals during the house raid, running towards the soldiers posing as a human shield. The soldiers shot the woman in the leg, injuring her but – in contrast to earlier reports – did not kill her. At first there were contradictory reports about the identity of the female attacker. Bin Laden used the woman as a human shield to protect himself, media reported. Meanwhile it is confirmed the woman is indeed Bin Laden´s youngest wife.

The passport a 29year-old Yemeni that was identified as Amal al-Sadah, Bin Laden wife, has been found inside the mansion. For years there have been rumors Bin Ladens Yemeni wife had turned her back on the Al-Qaida founder and returned to her homeland of Yemen. Now it becomes clear: the young woman, her daughter and possible additional children lived on Bin Laden´s side since September 11th 2001.

Al-Sadah´s story as the wife of the most-wanted man in the world begins in late 2000. Back then Bin Laden sent his Yemeni bodyguard Abu Jandal to the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula to find a new wife. Osama Bin Laden´s father was a Yemeni labourer, the country is in fact home of his ancestry.

A local assistant was tasked to find a wife that would meet Bin Laden´s demands. The criteria was: the future wife should be religious and young.

In the city of Ibb, south of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, the Bin Laden associate found a 18year-old Yemeni woman named Amal of a renowned tribe. The family of the teenage woman agreed to marry the daughter to the Saudi terrorist leader. A bride´s money of US-Dollars 5,000 was given to Amal´s family which immediately started a pre-marriage celebration prior to the young woman´s departure for Afghanistan.

The Yemeni Bin Laden assistant brought the woman from Sanaa first to Karachi, then to Quetta were they stayed for a few days until Bin Laden sent some guards to pick her up and bring her into Afghanistan. In Kandahar, the Taliban capital, the wedding took place. According to eyewitnesses high-ranking Al-Qaida figures like the late Chief of Finances, Egyptian Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, were present at the event.

Osama Bin Laden´s sons Mohammed and Uthman were everything but pleased by their father´s decision to marry an 18 year-old. „Why did you bring our father a girl of our age?“, they asked the Yemeni Al-Qaida man who picked Amal as Bin Laden´s fifth wife. It turned out Amal al-Sadah, the daughter of a civil servant, became Bin Laden´s favorite wife. Shortly after the marriage, she became pregnant and gave birth to her first child, Safiya, in the days around September 11th 2001.

Today Safiya would be around nine years old. It is unknown wether or not she was present at the Abbottabad compound when the US Special forces raided it on Sunday night. One daughter of Osama Bin Laden was injured by the shrapnel of a grenade, media reported without mentioning the young girl´s name.

Three wives of Bin Laden, a Yemeni nurse who was very likely his private doctor, and at least eight to nine children are in Pakistani custody since Monday. Pakistani officials confirmed those found inside the Bin Laden mansion are being treated in a hospital near Rawalpindi, safeguarded by Pakistani troops. Amal al-Sadah told the Pakistani interrogators that Bin Laden had lived in Abbottabad since 2005. According to Arab TV channel Al-Arabiya a 12 year-old daughter of the Al-Qaida leader claimed she saw her father being captured alive by the American soldiers before they executed him.

Meanwhile it is confirmed from US officials that Operation „Geronimo“ killed not only Bin Laden himself but also his 22 year-old son Hamza. This news is not very surprising as Hamza, who was born 1989 in Jeddah (Saudi-Arabia), was expected to be with his father. Hamza Bin Laden is considered a favorite of Bin Laden and a possible successor as the Emir of al-Qaida.

Hamza and his mother, Bin Laden´s third wife Khairiah, whom the Al-Qaida founder married in 1985, stayed with Bin Laden after the attacks of 9-11. Both are very likely to have joined him on his escape from Afghanistan to Pakistan after the US bombing began in late 2001. If the Saudi-Arabian woman Khairiah is among those arrested in Abbottabad, is not known.

After the military raid on the Bin Laden hideout, US soldiers took Osama and Hamza Bin Laden´s bodies. Both father and son were then buried at sea, as media outlets reported and some anonymous US officials confirmed.

For years Bin Laden had used his son Hamza for propaganda purposes and made him part of Al-Qaida. A video aired by TV channel Al-Jazeera in 2002 featured the teenage Hamza Bin Laden reciting a poem standing in the wrackage of a shot-down US helicopter in the Afghan desert, surrounded by masked and armed Al-Qaida fighters. Other footage recorded prior to 9-11 showed Hamza Bin Laden in a terror training camp in Afghanistan praising his father and Jihad.

In the Pakistani tribal area of South Waziristan, Bin Laden´s son allegedly took part in an ambush on Pakistani troops. The Taliban propaganda tape releases six years ago, shows Hamza Bin Laden carrying a gun.