The Bin Ladens On The Run

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I found this yesterday.

It’s an excerpt from a new book that just came out.

The Guardian: Osama bin Laden’s family on the run: ‘I never stopped praying our lives might return to normal’.

My favourite parts?

Osama’s 14-year-old daughter Khadija had recently given birth. Two years earlier, she had been married in a double wedding with her 12-year-old half-sister Fatima. Their husbands, two Saudi brothers in their 30s who both had wives and children already, were mujahideen fighters. — Osama expected all his children to play their part in jihad. Rather than celebrating birthdays, the boys were videotaped brandishing weapons or visiting the scenes of battle. Daughters were married at the onset of puberty to mujahideen fighters twice their age, to expand al-Qaida’s sphere of influence.

Sure, marry your daughter off at 12 years old, pregnant at 13 and then family expansion at 14.

In the end, they reached an unlikely conclusion: send the wives and children of Osama bin Laden, leader of an outlawed Sunni militia, to seek asylum in Iran, the centre of Shia power. n January 2002, George Bush included Tehran in his “axis of evil”. After this, Iran’s secretive Quds force, a clandestine division of the country’s Revolutionary Guard, led by Major General Qassem Suleimani, went out of their way to assist al-Qaida. They set up a refugee camp in the no man’s land just beyond the Iranian border with Afghanistan. Hundreds of families arrived in buses and beaten-up taxis, on foot, or by pony. Taliban guards barred the way to foreign aid workers, reporters and any other unwanted visitors, while smartly-dressed officials escorted approved families to Tehran.

I never quite believed the story that Iran (Shia) was helping Al-Qaida (Sunni).

But apparently I was very wrong.