Iran 'holding bin Laden relatives'

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  1. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Iran 'holding bin Laden relatives'

    Iranian authorities are holding several family members of Osama bin Laden, according to Abdul Rahman bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader's second son.

    In an interview published on Al Jazeera Arabic's website on Monday, Abdul Rahman bin Laden said that Eman, his sister, one of his stepmothers and five of his brothers have been detained in Tehran since 1997.

    He alleged that his sister had managed to escape several weeks ago while on a shopping tour permitted by authorities every six months.

    She has since taken refuge in the Saudi Arabian embassy.

    Abdul Rahman bin Laden said that he had been unaware whether his relatives were alive until Eman contacted him a month ago. He then told her to go to the Saudi embassy.

    'Other people's disputes'

    He told Al Jazeera that he was concerned for his sister's health and he called on Tehran to release his relatives.

    He also called for the Saudi government to ensure his sister's departure from the country.

    Hussein Shobokshi, a columnist for the Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq Alawsat, told Al Jazeera that the discovery Iran was holding members of bin Laden's family was consistent with reports "that Iran has been able to infiltrate al-Qaeda operations".

    "They have been hosting key figures in the leadership structure of al-Qaeda for some time and they have been co-operating visibly with them in Iraq, Yemen and Somalia amongst other places," he said.

    But Abdul Rahman bin Laden cited poor relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran for the reason no agreement had been reached over freeing his relatives.

    "My siblings are innocent and have nothing to do with other people's disputes with our father," he said.

    Abdul Rahman bin Laden and his siblings are the children of the al-Qaeda leader's first wife.

    Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Iran 'holding bin Laden relatives'
     
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  3. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Osama bin Laden’s missing family found in secret compound in Iran

    Osama bin Laden’s closest relatives are living in a secret compound in Iran, members of the family said last night. They include a wife and children who disappeared from his Afghan camp at the time of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

    There has been uncertainty about the family’s whereabouts for the past eight years, with reports that some of the children had been killed in bombings, while others had joined their father in planning terrorist attacks. However, relatives said that they found out last month that the group, including one of Osama’s wives, six of his children and 11 of his grandchildren, had been kept in a high-security compound outside Tehran.

    They have been prevented from contacting the outside world while Iran has repeatedly denied that any of the relatives were living in the country.

    Members of the bin Laden family are now appealing for the group to be allowed to leave Iran and described them as the “forgotten victims of 9/11”.

    Omar Ossama bin Laden, 29, the al-Qaeda leader’s fourth-eldest son, said he had no idea that his brothers and sisters were still alive until they called him in November. They told him how they had fled Afghanistan just before the 9/11 attacks and walked to the Iranian border. They were taken to a walled compound outside Tehran where guards said they were not allowed to leave “for their own safety”. The eldest of the children, Saad, was 20 at the time, Ossman 17, Muhammad 15, Fatma 14, Hamza 12, Iman 9, and Bakr, 7.

    There had been speculation that Muhammad was second in command of al-Qaeda and that Saad also instigated and plotted terrorist attacks until he was killed about 18 months ago by an American drone. The relatives, however, said that Muhammad is still living in the compound and that Saad ran away less than a year ago in an attempt to find his mother.

    A week after making contact with her brother, Iman escaped during a rare trip outside the compound and made her way to the Saudi Arabian Embassy. She is now living there while seeking permission to leave Iran.

    Mr bin Laden said that his relatives live as normal a life as possible, cooking meals, watching television and reading. They are allowed out only rarely for shopping trips. As a number of families are being held in the compound some of the older siblings have been able to marry and have their own children. “The Iranian Government did not know what to do with this large group of people that nobody else wanted, so they just kept them safe. For that we owe them much gratitude, and thank Iran from the depth of our heart,” he said.

    Mr bin Laden, who had lived with his father in exile in Sudan and Afghanistan but left before the 9/11 attacks, now hopes that the family will be given permission to leave Iran and join his mother, brother and two sisters in Syria, or himself and his wife in Qatar.

    He said: “They are all just innocent victims, just the same as anyone else hurt by the dreadful events of 9/11 and 7/7. These babies and children have never had any education, never hurt a single soul, never trained with any weapons or ever been part of al-Qaeda. We just want to be together as a family. I have now got 11 nieces and nephews, born either in Afghanistan or Iran that I have never seen.

    “Some may find this story unnerving, but the child can’t be judged by the sins of their father.”

    Osama bin Laden’s missing family found in secret compound in Iran - Times Online
     
  4. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    Osama’s daughter reaches Saudi embassy

    Thursday, 24 Dec, 2009

    [​IMG]
    This year, US officials said his son may have been killed by a US airstrike in Pakistan, where he may have fled after being freed from Iran, but they could not confirm the information.File Photo

    CAIRO: A daughter of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has taken refuge in the Saudi Embassy in Tehran after eluding guards who have held her and five siblings under house arrest for eight years, a Saudi-owned newspaper reported on Wednesday.

    It has long been believed that Iran has held in custody a number of Osama’s children since they fled Afghanistan following the US-led invasion of that country in 2001 — most notably Saad and Hamza bin Laden, who are thought to have held positions in Al Qaeda.

    This year, US officials said Saad may have been killed by a US airstrike in Pakistan, where they said he may have fled after being freed from Iran, but they could not confirm the information.

    But Omar bin Laden, another son who lives abroad, told the Asharq Al Awsat newspaper that sister Eman told relatives in a call from the embassy that 29-year-old Saad and four other brothers were still being held in Iran.

    Britain’s the Times reported on Wednesday that one of Osama’s wives and their 11 grandchildren were also living in Iran.

    According to Asharq Al Awsat, Eman, 17, slipped away from guards and fled to the Saudi Embassy nearly a month ago. The embassy’s charge d’affaires, Fouad Al Qassas, confirmed to the paper that she had been at the mission for 25 days and that there were diplomatic efforts with the Iranians to get her out of the country.

    Osama’s another son, Abdullah, who lives in Saudi Arabia, told the Al Jazeera TV that Eman telephoned him after she eluded guards who were taking her on a shopping trip in Tehran.

    Osama reportedly has 19 children by several wives. He took at least one of his wives and their children with him to Afghanistan in the late 1990s after he was thrown out of his previous refuge, Sudan. They fled when the US-led war erupted.

    Omar said the family had not known for certain the fate of the siblings that fled through Iran until Eman’s escape. ‘Until four weeks ago, we did not know where they were,’ said the 28-year-old Omar, who is married to a British woman and has lived in Egypt and the Gulf. He said eight of Osama’s children lived in Saudi Arabia and Syria.

    Most of Osama’s children, like Omar, live as legitimate businessmen. The extended Bin Laden family, one of the wealthiest in Saudi Arabia, disowned Osama in 1994 when Saudi Arabia stripped him of his citizenship because of his militant activities.

    Osama’s billionaire father Mohammed, who died in 1967, had more than 50 children and founded the Bin Laden Group, a construction conglomerate that gets many major building contracts in the kingdom.

    Omar said he spoke by telephone in recent weeks to his 25-year-old brother Othman, who is among the six siblings being held in Iran. Othman told them that Iranian authorities detained the group after they crossed the border from Afghanistan in 2001, and since have been holding them under guard in a housing complex in Tehran, Omar told Asharq Al Awsat.

    Omar identified siblings in Iran as Saad, Hamza, Othman, Bakr, Fatima and Eman.
    The Times quoted Omar as saying that his brothers and sisters told him how they had fled Afghanistan and walked to the Iranian border. They were taken to a walled compound outside Tehran where guards said they were not allowed to leave ‘for their own safety’.

    Omar said his relatives lived as normal a life as possible, cooking meals, watching television and reading. They were allowed out only rarely for shopping trips.

    As a number of families are being held in the compound some of the older siblings have been able to marry and have their own children.

    ‘The Iranian government did not know what to do with this large group of people that nobody else wanted, so they just kept them safe. For that we owe them much gratitude, and thank Iran from the depth of our heart,’ he said.

    Omar hopes that the family will be given permission to leave Iran and join his mother, brother and two sisters in Syria, or himself and his wife in Qatar.—Agencies

    DAWN.COM | Front Page | Osama?s daughter reaches Saudi embassy
     
  5. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    Bin Laden's daughter free to leave Tehran: Iran FM

    (AFP) – 2 hours ago

    TEHRAN — Osama bin Laden's daughter who has taken refuge at the Saudi mission in Tehran is free to leave Iran once her identity is confirmed, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was quoted as saying on Friday.

    "A while ago the Saudi embassy here said the one of bin Laden's daughters is in the compound, so the foreign ministry told the embassy that based on international conventions if her identity is confirmed she can leave Iran with passage documents," ISNA quoted Mottaki as telling state television late Thursday.

    "We were not able to confirm her identity but the embassy says she is" the daughter of bin Laden, he added.

    Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper earlier this week quoted Omar bin Laden, the fourth son of the Al-Qaeda chief, that one of his siblings, Iman, 17, had recently sought asylum at the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

    Fuad Qassas, the Saudi charge d'affairs at the kingdom's embassy in Tehran, confirmed Iman was staying there, according to the newspaper, which said she has been seeking permission to leave Iran, so far without success.

    Omar bin Laden also said that five other siblings plus one of his father's wives who had been missing since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan had been traced to Tehran, where they are living under house arrest.

    Omar, who lives in Qatar, said he only learnt his family members were still alive after receiving a call last month from his brother Uthman, who had been secretly given access to a mobile phone by a young Iranian.

    British newspaper The Times reported 11 of bin Laden's grandchildren were also living in the high-security compound outside Tehran.

    The group fled Afghanistan just before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and walked to the Iranian border, where they were detained and taken to the walled compound by guards, the Times said.

    His relatives are said to be living as normal a life as possible, cooking meals, watching television and reading, but they are allowed out on shopping trips only rarely.

    The Times said Iman escaped from the compound during one such trip last month and fled to the Saudi embassy.

    Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved.

    AFP: Bin Laden's daughter free to leave Tehran: Iran FM
     

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