Binladin Group Barred for Lethal Mosque Collapse

Construction group of Osama bin Laden's family suspended, banned from leaving, after lethal 9/11 snafu at Islam's holiest site.

Ari Yashar ,

Kaaba at Mecca's Grand Mosque
Kaaba at Mecca's Grand Mosque

The influential Saudi Binladin Group has been suspended by Saudi Arabia after one of its cranes at the Grand Mosque in Mecca collapsed last Friday, killing 107 and wounding 238 people at the holiest site in Islam which houses the Kaaba cube Muslims pray towards.

Ironically the lethal crane collapse took place on September 11 amid high winds and a sandstorm; Binladin Group was founded in 1931 by the father of Osama bin Laden, the infamous late terror leader of Al Qaeda who conducted the 9/11 attacks against the US exactly 14 years earlier. Osama's brother Bakr runs the Binladin Group.

Aside from barring Binladin Group from taking on new projects, Saudi Arabia banned the company's executives from traveling abroad during the course of the investigation into the crane accident. Likewise the Group's projects will be reviewed by the finance ministry.

The Group, which has been highly influential in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has yet to issue a statement on its suspension by the government from taking on new construction projects.

According to Reuters the company reports a lightning strike broke a cable that was holding the crane in place, sending it crashing into the area where Muslims circle the black cube of the Kaaba, which Muslim pilgrims congregate to on the Hajj festival that is to take place in just two weeks.

Binladin Group had been tasked with a massive construction project to expand the area of the Grand Mosque by 400,000 square meters (4.3 million square feet) to allow up to 2.2 million visitors at once, according to Gulf News.

Saudi Arabia has frequently turned to the Group for its most major projects in the past, including on sensitive defense building assignments.

Aside from taking the central role in the mosque's expansion, it has been charged with the $7.2 billion expansion of Jeddah's King Abdul Aziz International Airport.