Bin Laden's Mother: My Son Is Innocent
LONDON – Usama bin Laden's mother said she doesn't believe her son organized the Sept. 11 attacks and doubts the authenticity of a video that shows him gloating over the carnage, a British tabloid reported Sunday.
Alia Ghanem told The Mail on Sunday she thinks the videotape released by the Pentagon was doctored.
"I believe the evidence against him is not solid," Ghanem said. "I don't believe that he did the terrible deeds they say he did."
Ghanem also dismissed as untrue press reports that her son called her just before Sept. 11 and said he would be out of touch for some time because something big was about to happen.
She said she has not spoken to him since six years ago, when he began to fear American investigators were monitoring his calls to find out where he was.
Ghanem, the fourth wife of Saudi businessman Mohammed bin Laden, lives in a suburb of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
She was interviewed by Khalid Batarfi, the managing editor of Saudi Arabia's Al-Medina newspaper, who spoke to her on behalf of The Mail on Sunday.
The Mail on Sunday said Batarfi was a close friend of Usama bin Laden when the two were teen-agers and has maintained ties with the extended family since then.
It said Batarfi interviewed Ghanem last week but didn't say whether they spoke in person or over the telephone.
The tape, released Dec. 13, shows bin Laden discussing the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon with a visitor in Afghanistan, who congratulates him on their success. Bin Laden is Washington's prime suspect in the attacks, which killed more than 3,000 people.