Bin Laden ‘deliberately’ wanted to tarnish Saudi-US relations: Western intelligence

Osama Bin Laden, the world’s former most wanted man for terrorism charges. (File photo: AP)
Updated 04 August 2018
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Bin Laden ‘deliberately’ wanted to tarnish Saudi-US relations: Western intelligence

  • ‘There is no doubt that he deliberately chose Saudi citizens for the 9/11 plot’
  • Bin Laden developed a political attitude in 1990 when he wanted to evict communists from Yemen

DUBAI: Osama Bin Laden, the world’s former most wanted man for terrorism charges, was set on using Saudi citizens to destroy relations between the west and the east, according to officials in Riyadh, London and Washington DC.

“There is no doubt that he deliberately chose Saudi citizens for the 9/11 plot,” a British intelligence officer told British daily the Guardian.  

The intelligence officer said that Bin Laden “was convinced” that he was going to turn the west against Saudi Arabia.

The former head of Saudi intelligence between 1977 and September 1, 2001, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, also said his intelligence agency knew that something “spectacular” was about to happen to the Americans, British, French and Arabs just months before 9/11, the report said.

According to the prince, the Al-Qaeda leader had developed a political attitude in 1990 when he wanted to evict the communists from South Yemen. This happened after Bin Laden travelled to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet occupation.

However, according to Bin Laden’s mother, Alia Ghanem, he was a shy boy who was academically capable and only became radicalised in his early 20s while studying in university.

Speaking for the first time, she told the Guardian that he was brainwashed at university.

While at university, Bin Laden met Abdullah Azzam who was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Azzam became Bin Laden’s spiritual adviser after he exiled from Saudi Arabia.

Since the 9/11 attack in 2001, Bin Laden has been a major target of the US with a $25 million bounty on his head. He was killed in May, 2011, inside a private residential compound in Pakistan during a covert US operation.


King Salman receives Saudi Grand Mufti, princes, and military leaders

Updated 21 August 2018
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King Salman receives Saudi Grand Mufti, princes, and military leaders

  • King Salman extends Eid Al-Adha greetings to Saudi citizens, pilgrims and senior officials
  • King Salman arrived in Mina on Monday to supervise services being provided to pilgrims

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Tuesday said it was an honor to serve fellow Muslims undertaking this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.
The King made the comments as he and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received the Kingdom’s princes, Grand Mufti, scholars, sheikhs, ministers, and military leaders participating in Hajj at the Royal Court in Mina Palace.
King Salman arrived in Mina, in the holy city of Makkah, on Monday, to supervise services being provided to almost 2.4 million pilgrims.
He greeted his visitors and all the Saudi citizens, as well as the pilgrims, on Eid Al-Adha.
“Dear brothers, Allah has honored our blessed country with the duty of serving pilgrims and providing them with the necessities to ensure they perform their rites safely and smoothly.
“Great lengths to serve them and ensure their comfort continues to be a source of pride for our country, since it was founded by the late King Abdul Aziz, and we will continue to perform this duty with the help and support of Allah.”
The King added: “My brothers and sons in the military, the pilgrims who have come to perform Hajj and Umrah, and the whole world, are seeing and experiencing your efforts in serving pilgrims, which is your duty and honor.
“These great sacrifices made by the Kingdom’s military sectors to defend the country and to protect its sanctities and capabilities are our pride.
“On this blessed day, we remember our martyrs and heroes, who sacrificed their lives for their religion and their country, and we ask Allah to bestow his mercy upon them and grant the wounded a fast recovery.
“We ask Allah to keep our country safe and secure, and to help us serve our religion and country.”
The gathering included senior guests from GCC countries and officials form the Saudi scouts officials who have come extend their greetings to the King on Eid Al-Adha,
Gen. Saeed bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani, Assistant Minister of Interior for Operations Affairs and General Supervisor of Public Security, congratulated King Salman, the commander-in-chief of all the armed forces, on Eid Al-Adha on behalf of those who had provided security services during Hajj.
“The Hajj security forces have begun carrying out their tasks, which are focused on maintaining the security and safety of pilgrims, enabling them to perform the Hajj rituals, and providing them with the humanitarian assistance they need,” he said.
Earlier, King Salman said that serving Hajj pilgrims was: “The greatest honor that God has honored our country.”
“I call upon him to complement the pilgrims and to perpetuate good and peace for our nation and the rest of the country,” the Kingdom’s ruler posted in Arabic on his Twitter account.
Government data show that 2.371 million pilgrims are participating in this year’s Hajj, with 1.758 million of them coming from abroad.