Growing Up bin Laden

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Omar bin Laden

“…From Omar bin Laden’s up-close look at the next generation of mujahideen and al Qaeda training camps he says the worst may lie ahead, that if his father is killed America may face a broader and more violent enemy, with nothing to keep them in check.

“From what I knew of my father and the people around him I believe he is the most kind among them, because some are much, much worse,” Omar bin Laden, who was raised in the midst of his father’s fighters, told ABC News in an exclusive interview in February 2010. “Their mentality wants to make more violence, to create more problems’…Omar bin Laden spoke out shortly after hearing his father in an audio tape praise the attempt by the so-called “underwear bomber” to blow up a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009:

“Attacking peaceful people is not being fair, it is unacceptable. If you have a problem with armies or governments you should fight those people. This is what I find unacceptable in my father’s way,” Omar told ABC News.

“My father should find some letter to send to all of these people, at least to tell them they shouldn’t attack the civilians,” he said.

When asked whether there is anything his father likes about the United States, Omar says “their weapons,” and nothing else.

The son of Osama, however, had praise for the U.S. saying, “They don’t care what is your race, what is your skin, where you come from, this is very good.”

In describing his childhood, Omar said this: Osama bin Laden raised his family of five wives (plus one marriage that was annulled) and more than a dozen children in a way meant to make them tough and ready for the rigors of war. He shunned air conditioning and refrigerators in the desert heat, banned toys and the kind of laughter that showed too many teeth, refused to wince when his men used Omar’s puppies as the victims in chemical weapons tests. He would cane his children for the slightest misbehavior, at times hitting them so hard the stick would break.

“He didn’t treat us differently than any of his followers. He just expected us to act like everyone else, because he was the leader,” said Omar. He and his brothers were given weapons training. In a breaking point between them, Osama encouraged them to sign up for suicide missions, volunteering to blow themselves up.

“We were shocked. Why would our father say something like this to us? After he went away we just talked about it and said this was never going to happen, this was not our way.” Omar found the rare and substantial nerve it took to talk back.

“I objected, and said why did you do this? What is the point? He didn’t respond. We were not more important than his big goal…and nothing would stop him from this…”Omar bin Laden

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