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Bin Laden told his children: ‘Go to the US and live in peace’

OSAMA BIN LADEN urged his younger children to go to university in the West and live peacefully rather than embrace terrorism, his brother-in-law said this weekend.

“He told his own children and grandchildren, ‘Go to Europe and America and get a good education’,” said Zakaria al-Sadah, whose sister Amal was the fifth wife of the Al-Qaeda leader.

He said Bin Laden was adamant that his children “should not follow him down the road to jihad”.

Sadah has recently been reunited with his sister for the first time since she was shot in the knee when US Navy Seals killed Bin Laden at his compound in the Pakistan garrison city of Abbottabad last May.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Sadah revealed that the three wives and nine children who were in the compound have been held for months in a three-room flat in Islamabad guarded by Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service.

Amal had told him that Bin Laden had regrets about the impact on his family of the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington in 2001, which killed nearly 3,000 people and made him the world’s most wanted man.

He had advised his children to consider European and US universities, saying: “You have to study, live in peace and don’t do what I am doing or what I have done.”

Bin Laden, who went to King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, had brothers at Harvard Law School, the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and Tufts University, Boston.

His children remain traumatised by the commando raid in which he died, Sadah said. The worst affected was his 12-year- old daughter Safiyah, who was cradling the head of her wounded mother when Pakistani security forces arrived. Amal and Bin Laden’s other wives, Khairiah and Siham Sabar, have gone on hunger strike in protest at their incarceration, Sadah said.

Sadah flew to Pakistan in November after being told that he could take Amal and her five children home to Yemen. But Pakistani officials have refused to release them. Senior military sources said Amal and the others were suspected of concealing details of how Bin Laden had come to be living in Abbottabad.

Sadah, who fears his sister may be charged with crimes against Pakistan and never released, has given The Sunday Times the first photograph to be published of the children from the compound.

The three on the right of the picture, Hussain, 3, Zainab, 5, and Ibraheem, 8, are the youngest of Bin Laden’s offspring. Hussain and Zainab are thought to have been born in the compound.

“These children have seen their father killed and they need a caring environment, not a prison — whatever you think of their father and what he has done,” Sadah said.

The three on the left, Fatima, 5, Abdullah, 12, and Hamza, 7, are grandchildren of Bin Laden. Their mother, one of Bin Laden’s daughters, is said to have died in childbirth.

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