Cairo – Egyptian authorities have denied entry to the son of former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, a local security source said Saturday.
In exclusive comments to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, Omar bin Laden said that there might be a misunderstanding behind the Egyptian authorities’ decision.
“I don’t know the reason behind the Egyptian decision, but I am sure it is a misunderstanding”, Omar said.
Omar bin Laden, a businessman, had arrived at Cairo International Airport late Friday aboard EgyptAir flight from Qatar.
“He was barred from entry after his name was found on a list of people banned from entering the country,” the source said anonymously because he was unauthorized to speak to media.
According to the source, he was deported to Turkey aboard an Istanbul-bound flight.
Omar is Osama Bin Laden’s fourth son. He spent most of his time in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001. He was one of the direct relatives of Osama to have strongly opposed his father’s actions.
Osama bin Laden was killed at his Pakistani hideout by U.S. commandos in 2011 in a major blow to the militant group, which carried out the Sept. 11 attacks.
Osama bin Laden is believed to have around 20 sons from different marriages, according to Reuters.
Reuters also said that Omar has spent some years of his childhood in Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.
In an interview with Reuters in 2010, Omar said he was working with Saudi Arabia and Iran to end his separation from a group of brothers and sisters that dates back to the chaos in Afghanistan following the al Qaeda attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Omar said bin Laden’s children were trying to be “good citizens of the world” but suffered from the lack of a father and the stigma of being the al Qaeda leader’s children. None were part of al Qaeda, he said at the time.