Osama bin Laden's son apologizes

Omar bin Laden distances himself from his father's legacy and crimes, and plans to visit Israel with his wife, who has Jewish roots.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Flash 90

Omar bin Laden, the son of archterrorist Osama bin Laden, apologized for his father's actions and said he plans to visit Israel together with his wife.

Omar was expected to be his father's heir and the future leader of the Al Qaeda terror group, but he has rejected the task.

In an interview with Yediot Aharonot, the younger bin Laden spoke about a meeting in which his father asked several of his young children to be martyrs, and described the horror he felt at that.

"My father hated his enemies more than he loved his sons," Omar told the Israeli newspaper. "I felt stupid for the life that I wasted and I knew that I was leaving, and leaving very soon."

After the fall of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, things became clearer for Omar: "It was hard for me to believe that he had the ability to organize such a thing. That day changed our lives forever, and it was very hard to continue to live afterwards. During these years of loss and pain, I was forced to come to terms with the truth about my father. Often I wonder if my father murdered so many times, until killing already didn't cause him any pain or pleasure."

At the age of 40, after living in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan for many years, Omar is now an artist and lives in Normandy.

"My family name gets me in a lot of trouble in a lot of places, especially in the Arab world," he said. "In the Western world it doesn't, in Europe it doesn't - I'm just a normal person here and they treat me normally. In the Arab world there is a lot of hatred towards me. There are those who love me but mostly they hate me or are afraid of me. They're scaredy-cats who are afraid to speak to me, they think I'm like Osama because I'm his son. But it's not like that. I'm not Osama. You don't need to treat a person [a certain way] because his father was good or bad, you need to treat him in an appropriate fashion. But that's how people treat me in the Arab world."

Omar also dreams of visiting the USA: "If only one day I would merit to visit the US, while [US President Joe] Biden is still president. I think that Biden is very open to accepting everyone. I want to make peace and to be good to everyone, and it doesn't matter to me if they are Muslims, Jews, or Christians."

"My wife's mother's family are Jews and originally from Israel," he added. "I would be happy to visit Israel one day. Zina (his wife) received an offer to spend the coming period giving lectures about peace in Israeli universities. I know that it's a beautiful country and many people in it want peace with the Palestinians. I know that since 1948 the Palestinians have been living alongside the Jewish nation. We believe that the world needs to live as one, and that neighbors from every religion can live alongside each other in peace."



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