Osama bin Laden’s family shared their immediate feelings about the 9/11 attacks in an interview with The Guardian published Thursday.
“I was shocked, stunned,” bin Laden’s brother Ahmad said to The Guardian. “It was a very strange feeling. We knew from the beginning [that it was Osama], within the first 48 hours. From the youngest to the eldest, we all felt ashamed of him.”
“We knew all of us were going to face horrible consequences. Our family abroad all came back to Saudi. In Saudi, there was a travel ban. They tried as much as they could to maintain control over the family,” Ahmad added.
While he expressed his shame over the worst terrorist attack on United States soil, bin Laden’s mother, Alia Ghanem, didn’t share the same sentiment according to him.
“She loved him so much and refuses to blame him. Instead, she blames those around him. She only knows the good boy side — the side we all saw. She never got to know the jihadist side,” he said about his mom.
Ghanem did, however, express the deep disappointment she felt towards her son.
“We were extremely upset. I did not want any of this to happen. Why would he throw it all away like that?” Ghanem stated. “He was a very good child until he met some people who pretty much brainwashed him in his early twenties.”
She went on to describe her son as a college student who was practically tricked into radical extremists. One of those extremists was Abdullah Azzam, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was known as the father of global jihad. He was assassinated in 1989 in Pakistan.
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