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The Saudi Refuge and the Enemy! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Glory to God! The leader of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, is doing everything he can to combat the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its stability and its security. [Yet] when his daughter decides to flee and seek refuge, she turns to Saudi Arabia. This is the surprise in the story of the Bin Laden children whose presence in Iran was confirmed in an Asharq Al-Awsat report by our colleague Mohammed al Shafey yesterday.

Over the past eight years reports indicated that the Al Qaeda leader’s children and others were present in Iran, and there were doubts and denials [of this] until the surprise came that six of Bin Laden’s children and his wife really are in Tehran under house arrest. They do not see the light of day except once every six months and it seems that Iran is holding on to them firmly, and putting them under house arrest was motivated by preventing “Al Qaeda” from working against Iran’s interest, whether inside or outside of Iran. This is something that someone observing all Al Qaeda terrorist activities since the outbreak of violent acts, whether committed in the West or the Islamic or Arab world and of course in Saudi Arabia, would notice.

And of course, as we have said before, it is possible that this is just the tip of the iceberg, as no one knows the exact identity of the others present in Iran, which is playing all cards – legitimately and illegitimately – in order to realize its goals.

For that reason we say glory be to God. Whilst Saudi Arabia is in the process of fighting terrorism with all its might and combating this deviant ideology using its men and weapons, and whilst Osama Bin Laden hides in the valleys and the mountains, fighting Saudi Arabia with all his strength and using all methods available to him, Bin Laden’s daughter, fed up of the world, decided in the blink of an eye to seek refuge in the Saudi embassy in Tehran in search of security and protection. It’s like the ending of some dramatic film and is more like something we could [only] imagine, but we all know, by instinct, and through our Arab culture, that even if the girl is fed up of the world, she knows, at the end of the day, where to seek refuge. In other words, she knows where to go and to whom and therefore, Osama Bin Laden’s daughter decided to turn to the mother’s womb, i.e. the homeland.

Of course Osama Bin Laden’s children, in particular the [young] innocent ones, are not at fault and do not carry their father’s sin, and this is not an opportunity to seek revenge from them, God forbid. But there is a lesson to be learnt, in particular for those who justify, instigate or take part in terrorism, as Bin Laden’s daughter is seeking refuge from the state that he and his supporters denounced as Kafir [infidel] and instigate against it. That’s not all; the family of the poor girl is also turning to the United Nations and Amnesty International in search of protection from Iran and in order to reunite the male and female members of the family and these are organizations that Bin Laden denounced as Kafir [organizations] and instigated against them!

Of course the story of Bin Laden’s children in Tehran is not the only moving or significant story of the past eight years during the world’s fight against terrorism, whether people died burning, drowning, or falling off the top of buildings, or died in airplane bombings; there are many tragic heart-rending stories. However, the most obvious is that of a man battling a homeland that his own children have turned to for protection, security and peace!

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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