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Bin Laden’s Son-in-Law Arrested in Turkey | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat-Turkish security services arrested Al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden’s son-in-law at a hotel in Ankara on Friday.

Sources reported that Turkish security services received intelligence from the CIA that Osama Bin Laden’s son-in-law “Suleiman” had arrived in Turkey. The Turkish security services were able to locate and arrest Suleiman at a hotel in Ankara’s central Cankaya district.

Sources close to the Bin Laden family informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Suleiman is a Kuwaiti national and the husband of Fatima Bin Laden, who is currently present in Saudi Arabia. The source added that Suleiman had intended to seek political asylum in Turkey.

The source confirmed that Suleiman is the “final remnant” of the branch of the Bin Laden family that was being held under house arrest by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

However Islamist sources in London informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the man arrested in Ankara on Friday is none other than official Al-Qaeda spokesman Suleiman Abu Ghaith.

The Al-Qaeda spokesman, along with 15 other members of the Bin Laden family, reportedly fled Afghanistan for Tehran following the collapse of the Taliban regime.

For its part, the London-based Islamic Observatory, a human rights organization concerned with news of Islamists around the world, issued a statement asserting that, “Turkish authorities arrested the Kuwait national Suleiman Jassim Abu Ghaith” adding that “his Kuwaiti nationality had been stripped from him.” The statement confirmed that, “Turkish security forces were able to arrest Suleiman Abu Ghaith, son-in-law of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, after the Turkish authorities received intelligence from the CIA regarding his arrival in Turkey.” The Islamic Observatory learned that after being questioned by Ankara’s counter-terrorist directorate, the courts had released Abu Ghaith into the custody of Turkey’s Security General Directorate. Abu Ghaith has not committed any crimes in Turkey, with the exception of entering the country on a forged Saudi Arabian passport. The Observatory added that Abu Ghaith had entered the country with the objective of seeking political asylum and then travelling to Saudi Arabia to rejoin his wife.

Washington requested that Ankara surrender Suleiman Abu Ghaith into its custody so that US authorities can question him about his Al-Qaeda ties, however Turkey has reportedly deemed such a move unlawful. Turkish law calls for foreign nationals who enter the country on a forged passport to be deported to the country that they travelled from and Abu Ghaith is currently awaiting deportation back to Iran.

Sources informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Abu Ghaith disappeared suddenly following the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent US invasion of Afghanistan. The sources added that Abu Ghaith was last seen at one of Al-Qaeda’s camps in Pakistan before he travelled to Iran.

The Islamic Observatory reported that Abu Ghaith had previously called on Iranian authorities to allow him to return to Kuwait but that Tehran had refused, forcing him to flee the country using a false passport.

For his part, Islamic Observatory Director Yasser al-Sirri, questioned what will happen now to Abu Ghaith. He asked Asharq Al-Awsat, “Now that the UN has removed Suleiman Abu Ghaith’s name from its terrorist watch-list, what position will the Kuwaiti authorities take, particularly as his inclusion on this list was one of the reasons that his nationality was revoked?” Kuwait stripped Suleiman Abu Ghaith’s nationality in 2001, citing “national interest”. A statement issued by the Kuwaiti cabinet at the time asserted, “In the national interest and according to Article 14 of the 1959 nationality law, the council (of ministers) has approved a proposed decree to withdraw Suleiman Abu Ghaith’s nationality.” In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Al-Qaeda spokesman Suleiman Abu Ghaith was quoted as saying, “The actions by these young men who destroyed the United States and launched the storm of planes against it have done a good deed. They transferred the battle into the US heartland. Let the United States know that with God’s permission, the battle will continue to be waged on its territory until it leaves our lands, stops its support for the Jews, and lifts the unjust embargo on the Iraqi people who have lost more than one million children.”