Bin Laden’s son seeks political asylum in Spain
5 November 2008
MADRID – Omar Osama bin Laden, 27, one of the 19 children of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, has sought political asylum in Spain, Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said Tuesday.
Rubalcaba said the ministry would make a decision within 72 hours.
Omar bin Laden arrived on a flight from Cairo to Casablanca in Morocco Monday, after the plane made a stopover in Madrid.
Bin Laden, who was carrying a Saudi passport, was travelling with his 52-year-old British wife, ministry sources said. He applied for asylum immediately.
Bin Laden, who lives in Cairo, sought asylum because "he does not feel safe in Egypt or any other country in the region," his wife Zaina al-Sabah said.
Bin Laden was being held in an airport security area while the Spanish authorities studied his case.
Omar bin Laden would get asylum if his application met Spanish legal requirements, Rubalcaba said.
Asylum could only be granted on the basis of a report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the minister explained.
Al-Sabah, formerly known as Jane Felix-Browne, said bin Laden was being advised by a lawyer.
In April, bin Laden was denied a visa to Britain, where he wanted to live with al-Sabah. Britain said bin Laden’s presence would cause public concern.
Omar bin Laden has publicly urged his father to abandon terrorism.
Omar bin Laden is one of Osama bin Laden’s 11 children by his first wife. He lived with Osama bin Laden for two decades in Sudan and Afghanistan. He has said he left his father before the attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States.
Omar bin Laden later worked as a metal trader in Saudi Arabia. He met al-Sabah in Egypt in 2006.
[dpa / Expatica]