Bin Laden's son: Iran wants non-Saudi mediation to release al-Qaida leader family

08:20, July 19, 2010      

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A son of the leader of al-Qaida terrorist network, Osama bin Laden, said that Iran has voiced readiness to set free about 20 members of his family it has held for over eight years, on condition that it mediates their release with a country other than Saudi Arabia.

"I think the time has come for my family members to leave Iran but their lack of identification papers and passports made us in need of another third-party country willing to receive them after Iran refused to hand them over to Saudi Arabia," Omar bin Laden, Osama's fourth-born son, said in an interview with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV channel.

Omar identified Osama's family members held in Iran as Osman bin Laden, 27, alongside with his two wives and three children; Saad bin Laden, 30, alongside with his two children; Mohamed bin Laden, 25, alongside with his three children; Hamza bin Laden, 19, alongside with his wife and two children; and Fatima bin Laden, 24, alongside with her husband and daughter.

"Osman (his brother) called me by phone four days ago and asked me to find a country to mediate their release and accept to receive them," the network's website,, quoted Omar as saying.

Omar told the Dubai-based channel that none of his brothers were accused of terrorism neither by the United States nor any other country. "The Americans offered to help my brothers out of Iran and even hinted to the possibility of receiving them in the United States," he said.

A wife of Osama bin Laden, identified as Khairya Saber, alongside with his children and their families reportedly sneaked into Iran after fleeing from Afghanistan following the 9.11 attacks on the United States, and stayed in the capital Tehran without drawing attention for months. However, Iranian authorities discovered their presence and placed them under house arrest since then.

Source: Xinhua


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