Before Terror

Bin Laden’s Son Recalls Fonder Days

Osama bin Laden’s son, Omar, recalls his father as a pious man, devoted husband, math genius, and soccer fan in an excerpt from the book he co-authored with his mother Najwa bin Laden, Growing Up bin Laden: Osama’s Wife and Son Take Us Inside Their Secret World. Omar, the fourth child born to Osama and Najwa (who’s also his first cousin), says his father was a child of divorce, which caused him years pain. “He felt a loss,” Omar reveals. “He keenly felt his lack of status, genuinely suffering from his father’s lack of personal love and care,” an emotion with which Omar says he is familiar, being one of 20 children. He says his parents were very much “satisfied,” recalling times when they “secluded themselves in their bedroom, not to be seen by the family for several days.” Though Omar apologizes for his father’s behavior, he looks fondly upon one memory where Osama, who would beat his sons with a cane, showed him affection.