As bombs rock London, Bin Laden’s brother says he will pay for his defense

July 07, 2005

* The Associated Press plays into the hands of anti-Semites by irresponsibly running a bogus “Israel advance warning” story on its international newswire an hour ago (now retracted)
* The BBC discovers the word “terrorism” and “terrorists”
* Osama Bin Laden’s brother in TV interview on 9/11: “We didn’t think anything of it”


[Note by Tom Gross]


A group calling itself “Secret Organization Al Qaeda in Europe” has been the first to claim responsibility for what appears to be a series of multiple terror attacks in London this morning.

Following the attacks on London underground (subway) stations, and what apparently was a suicide bomb attack on a double decker bus, reporters and anchors for the BBC domestic and world service TV and radio networks immediately and repeatedly (and of course correctly) used the words “terrorism” and “terrorists” in the way that they almost never do when buses often packed with school children are deliberately blown up in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

See, for example, the BBC reports (up on line at 12.30 UK time) titled “Two die in London terror blast” ( and the report titled “Terror of passengers stuck on tube” (

The attack on the bus took place less than one kilometer (about two thirds of a mile) from the BBC’s central London headquarters.


In marked contrast to reports on bombs on public transport in Israel, the BBC has yet to use the word “guerilla” or “militant” or “activist” or “fighter” nor have they spoken of the “grievances” of likely attackers, nor provided sympathetic accounts of the likely perpetrators.

The BBC appears to be contradicting their (ridiculous) “BBC Producer’s Guidelines” that have so skewered their coverage of similar events in Israel. In these guidelines they insists that for sake of what the BBC regards as “even-handedness” attacks not be called “terrorism” and attackers not be called “terrorists.”


Sky News, which also speaks only of “militant attacks” in Israel, is presently running the headline, “DEATHS IN TERROR ATTACKS”(,,30000-1188265,00.html)

An Associated Press report on the New York Times website this morning did not use the words “terrorism” or “terrorists”.


At 12.14 pm London time (07.14 am EST) The Associated Press put out a story on their worldwide news wires headlined “Netanyahu Changed Plans Due to Warning,” written by Amy Teibel of the Associated Press Jerusalem bureau.

The story began: “JERUSALEM -- British police told the Israeli Embassy in London minutes before Thursday’s explosions that they had received warnings of possible terror attacks in the city, a senior Israeli official said. Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had planned to attend an economic conference in a hotel over the subway stop where one of the blasts occurred, and the warning prompted him to stay in his hotel room instead, government officials said.”

Tom Gross adds: This Associated Press story has since been denied by Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and denied by the Scotland Yard spokesperson (the London police). Senior Israeli government spokespeople tell me that this is “pure garbage” put out by the AP in an effort to suggest Israel knew of the attacks in advance, just as anti-Semites elsewhere have spread the lie that Israel had advance warnings of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington DC.

As I have mentioned on this list before, the board of directors of AP (and indeed of Reuters and AFP too) need to do some serious re-evaluation of who they employ as reporters in their Middle East bureaus.



I attach an interview from Al-Arabiya TV that has been translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

In the second story attached below but not mentioned in MEMRI’s translation Bin Laden’s brother makes clear in that Al-Arabiya interview that he would pay for Bin Laden’s defense if and when he comes to trial.

I mentioned Al-Arabiya in Tuesday’s dispatch, Growing bolder, Arab media begin to act in democratic way, but blocks remain (July 5, 2005). The Dubai-based satellite television station is considered Al Jazeera’s leading rival and has tens of millions of viewers. It is the only Arab station that does not call suicide bombers “martyrs”.


Yaslam Bin Laden is one of Osama Bin Laden’s half brothers. They are among 54 sons and daughters of the late Saudi construction magnate Mohammad Bin Laden, who had 22 wives. Yaslam’s former wife Carmen published a memoir titled “Inside the kingdom” detailing life within the Bin Laden clan in 2004.

Yaslam Bin Laden has previously been interviewed by NBC, in July 2004. He also gave an interview to Time in November 2004. Yeslam and his former wife Carmen spell their name differently, substituting an “I” for the “E” in “Laden”.

-- Tom Gross




Osama Bin Laden’s Brother Interviewed by Al-Arabiya TV
July 7, 2005

On July 3, 2005, Osama bin Laden’s brother Yaslam bin Laden gave an interview to Al-Arabiya TV.

Presenter: “Where were you on 9/11?”

Yaslam bin Laden: “On 9/11, I was at the Geneva airport, with a Swiss friend who was flying back to Zurich. We sat in the airport and had coffee. I got a call from an American friend who lives in London and works as a broker on the stock market. He told me a plane had crashed into a building in New York. With the first plane, we thought it was an accident, since there are always aviation accidents. We continued to drink our coffee at the airport, and we didn’t think anything of it. The same guy called me again a little later, and told me another plane had crashed into a building. Then we thought there might be some mistake - How could this possibly happen to two planes within half an hour? My friend entered the airport and left for Zurich, and I drove into town.”

Presenter: “Did you suspect Osama bin Laden was responsible? Who did you think could do this?”

Yaslam bin Laden: “I didn’t think anything like that. I thought that something might have gone terribly wrong with the computers directing the planes, or with something else. In no way could anyone imagine such a thing.

“Some time later, I called my brother Khalil, who was in America, and he told me that, Allah be praised, everything was fine. Obviously at that time all the brothers and family members in America had to leave as quickly as possible. This was not the time to be in America. Allah be praised, with the help of the Saudi government... The Saudi government helped us and got the entire family out of America.

“From a young age, many of us were sent overseas to study. Some went to Lebanon, some to Syria, some to Egypt, and some remained in Saudi Arabia. Some of my brothers and I studied in Lebanon. I left for Lebanon at the age of six or seven, and returned only after graduating from university in America. Osama was one of those who did not leave Saudi Arabia. I think there were four or five brothers who didn’t leave. Since I returned from America in 1977 or 1978, until 1981 - I think 1981 was the first time he left Saudi Arabia for Afghanistan I met Osama bin Laden three or four times during this period.”

Presenter: “What did you think of him?”

Yaslam bin Laden: “Osama was more religious than the rest of us. Those of us who went to Lebanon had other things on our mind.”

Presenter: “Perhaps if he had been taken to Lebanon, he wouldn’t have turned out Osama bin Laden. His mother is Syrian. Why didn’t he study in Syria?”

Yaslam bin Laden: “This was the decision of my father, may he rest in peace. I don’t know why. I’m telling you that if he had gone to Lebanon, he might have turned out a little different.”

Presenter: “Was he religious? Your former wife wrote in her book that he refused to look at her face.”

Yaslam bin Laden: “Yes, I think it’s true. He did not like to listen to music or to watch TV, and he prevented his children from doing so. I thought that was odd.”

Presenter: “You didn’t discuss this with him?”

Yaslam bin Laden: “He can do what he wants in his home, as I can in mine.”

Presenter: “Was he charismatic?”

Yaslam bin Laden: “He was still young then. We were all young.”

Presenter: “Do you think he’s dead?”

Yaslam bin Laden: “No, I don’t.”

Presenter: “How do you know he’s not dead? Where is Osama bin Laden then? The great America, which occupied two countries, or you could even say the entire world, has not yet managed to find Osama bin Laden.”

Yaslam bin Laden: “You should ask them.”



Brother says he’d pay for bin Laden’s defense
The Associated Press
Chicago Sun Times
July 5, 2005

One of Osama bin Laden’s half brothers said he would pay for the terror mastermind’s defense should he ever be captured, Yeslam Binladin said in a broadcast interview.

“For sure,” Yeslam Binladin responded when asked if he would help pay. “Everyone has the right to defend himself, anyone who is accused of doing something.”

Yeslam and Osama are among 54 sons and daughters of the late Saudi construction magnate Mohammed bin Laden, who had 22 wives. Yeslam said in an interview he believed his half brother, thought to be hiding in the mountains along the Afghan-Pakistan border, was still alive. The interview recorded May 28 aired Sunday on the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya satellite television station.

When asked why U.S. forces had still not been able to track bin Laden down, Yeslam, 54, responded: “I don’t know, ask them.”

Yeslam condemned the 2001 terror attacks in the United States.

Yeslam, granted Swiss citizenship in 2001, intentionally spells his name differently from his half brother, the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.