The National, Friday, May 6, 2011
LONDON: Osama bin Laden’s last wish, according to a document purported to be his will, was that his wives not remarry after his death and his children not join al-Qaeda.
Al-Anbaa, a Kuwaiti newspaper, reported on Tuesday that the will, marked “private and confidential” was dated Dec 14, 2001, three months after the Sept 11 attacks, when US forces were hunting him in Afghanistan.
The four-page document, written on a computer and signed by “your brother Abu Abdullah Osama Muhammad bin Laden”, predicted that he would die by the “treachery” of those around him. Al-Anbaa did not reveal how or when it obtained the will or whether it was able to authenticate it.
Al-Majallah, a Saudi-owned Arabic magazine, published a similar document in 2002 but it was dismissed as a fraud by a pro-jihadi website.
In the document, Osama lists the assault on New York’s twin towers in a sequence beginning with the suicide bomb attack on US marines in Lebanon in 1983, the killing of 19 US marines serving as UN peacekeepers in Somalia in 1993 and the bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998.
But, its most striking feature was that he ordered his wives not to remarry and urges his children not to join al-Qaeda or go to “the front”, citing the example of the seventh century Muslim Caliph Omar bin Khattab to his son Abdullah.
Osama asked his children to forgive him for not having spent enough time with them.
“I have chosen a path fraught with dangers and endured hardships, disappointment and betrayal. If it was not for betrayal, things would be different today.
“As for you, my sons, forgive me if I failed to devote more time to you since I answered the call to jihad.”
According to a report in The Guardian, he ended his will by advising “the mujahideen wherever they are” to suspend “the fight against the Jews and the crusaders and start to purge your ranks of agents and defeatists”.
Britain’s Press Association reported that Osama’s daughter claimed that her father was captured alive and then shot dead by US special forces in the first few minutes of their 40-minute operation at his compound.
The Arabic news network Al-Arabiya on Wednesday quoted “senior Pakistani security officials” as saying that the 12-year-old said her father was shot dead in front of his family before being dragged to a US military helicopter.
The body of Osama’s son was also reportedly taken away.
Al-Arabiya quoted security sources as saying that Osama’s family members – including six children, one of his wives and a Yemeni woman who may be their personal doctor – had been transported to a hospital in Rawalpindi, near the Pakistani capital Islamabad.
“They are now under treatment in the military hospital of Rawalpindi, where they have been transported in a helicopter,” a source said.