Tuesday, 10 May 2011 12:17
The death of Osama bin Laden on Sunday has revived interest in the man who had been a scourge of the United States even before he made it on to the FBI's newly minted "Most Wanted Terrorists" list in 2001.
Osama bin Laden was the son of a prosperous family that came from practically nothing to become one of the Saudi royal family's most trusted construction contractors. As Steve Coll recounted in his 2008 book about the bin Laden clan, Osama was always somewhat removed from the wealthy family--especially after becoming a devout Muslim at the age of 13, when he fell in with an Islamist group run by his Syrian gym teacher. Osama's piety was respected, and even prized--he became an "excluded and essential" figure, Coll writes, in the family until the clan officially disowned him in 1993 at the request of the Saudi government.
Virtually since that moment, the bin Laden family has been left to deal with the fallout arising from their now-infamous name. Below, The Lookout provides a round up of other lesser-known bin Laden family members, and their experience dealing with the attention that has come with the terrorist leader's notoriety.
*The Disapointed Sister-in-Law
Carmen Binladen wrote a 2004 book about living as part of the extended bin Laden family. She holds that the wider bin Laden clan still held the al Qaeda mastermind in high regard, even as his political beliefs and actions became extremist. Carmen was married to Osama's brother Yeslem, and lived on the bin Laden compound in Jeddah before returning to the west in 1985. She is the mother of Wafah Dufour (read on below).
"The name has been very difficult to carry because of Osama's actions," she told the UK Independent. "His beliefs and actions go against everything my daughters and I believe. I will never forget 9/11."
*The Florida Brother
Osama's brother Khalil owned a 1920s-era lakefront mansion west of Orlando, Florida, where he vacationed with his wife and children. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, the family fled their Florida vacation home under police protection under fear of reprisals.
The house was sold in 2006 at the height of the housing bubble, but later went into foreclosure and now stands empty. The current asking price is just above $1 million.
*The Model Niece
Wafah Dufour is the daughter of Osama's half brother, Yesalm Binladin. Born in California, Dufour received a law degree in Geneva before completing her masters at Columbia University in New York.
Dufour came to public attention after posing for a series of racy photos for GQ magazine in January 2006. "It's really tough that I have to always explain myself," she told GQ. "It's like every time I meet someone, I have to move a huge mountain that's in front of me, and sometimes I get tired."
*The Captive Daughter
Several members of bin Laden's immediate family fled from Afghanistan to Iran after the 9/11 attacks, where they were held by the Iranian government, ostensibly for entering the country without proper paper work.
One daughter, Iman bin Laden, was released into her mother's custody in 2010 after being held for 112 days at the Saudi Embassy in Tehran. Previously, she had been under house arrest in Iran.
(Carmen Binladin, a sister-in-law of Osama bin Laden, poses with a copy of her book Inside the Kingdom; Saturday, July 10, 2004 in New York.: Jennifer Szymaszek/AP)
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