LONDON: A Twitter account claiming to belong to the son of Al-Qaeda’s deceased founder, Osama bin Laden, has praised the memory of the terrorist organization’s leader, sparking outrage among Arab social media commentators.
Omar, son of Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born Al-Qaeda leader, on Tuesday shared a tweet in which he commemorated the anniversary of his father’s death.
He said: “History is only written with the blood of such people – to tell the stories of those martyrs who made history, built nations, and brought about glory. Their blood is the lifeline of our faith until the Day of Judgement. May you rest in peace.”
The social media platform claims, under its Twitter Rules, that the “promotion of terrorism and violent extremism” is prohibited.
Twitter’s policy states that “any accounts maintained by individual perpetrators of terrorist, violent extremist, or mass violent attacks” will be removed even if the person has not been “confirmed as members of terrorist organizations or other violent and hateful entities, nor that they have any official affiliation with any group, organization, or ideology, for us to enforce on content under this aspect of our policies.”
However, the tweet and its owner were still on the platform at the time of writing this report.
Many Arabs, including Saudis, took to social media to express outrage, slamming the tweet, and condemning the crimes of Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, the Arab world, and around the globe.
In response to Omar’s tweet, Noor Alotaibi from Saudi Arabia said: “Your father was lost, and he led many astray. He has the blood of innocent people on his hands.
“He distorted the Prophet’s hadiths and misinterpreted Qur’anic verses to justify the killing of our children, leaders, and soldiers – this is a great sin.”
Abdullah Al-Hazza, from Kuwait, said: “The massacres and follies committed by your father, which he described as ‘jihad,’ gave the West a reason to oppress Muslims around the world. Look at how he destroyed Afghanistan.
“The bloodshed he started never stopped, and these are sins that he and the likes of him will always carry. May you and your father get what you deserve.”
Another Twitter user, Yahya, from Riyadh, said: “The faith I follow has nothing to do with what you and your cursed criminal father believe in.”
Others cited the Sept. 11 attacks on the US, which were carried out by Al-Qaeda militants in 2001, as well as the terrorist group’s crimes in the Middle East and Africa.
Responding to Omar bin Laden’s original tweet, Sonia said: “Your father killed 2,977 innocent people in New York in one day.
“Your father killed 60 people and maimed 115 others in one hour in the Amman bombings (of 2005).
“Your father killed hundreds in Iraq, Yemen, Africa, and other places. Until today, he is responsible for the killing taking place because he ignited all (the terrorism) we see today.
“Your father is a terrorist, not a martyr.”
Mohammed Al-Rouqi said: “What glory did (your father) create? He targeted Muslims in Saudi Arabia and collaborated with the enemies of Muslims. Those who made your father made others, and your father and his likes have brought calamities on Muslim countries and gave Americans the right to invade Afghanistan.”
He added that Osama bin Laden had “attempted, by collaborating with adversaries, to frame Saudi Arabia for the bombing of the Twin Towers.”
On May 2, 2011, Osama bin Laden was shot dead when a US Navy SEALs special operation unit raided his hideout in northern Pakistan. Following the success of the operation, then-US President Barack Obama said: “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.”