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Friday 12th September 2003

Bin Laden's Brother-In-Law

Listen to the extended version of Zubeida Malik's interview with Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law, two years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.


"He is a respectable person ... a good man, kind, humble, simple"
- Jamal Khalifa, on the brother-in-law he knew.

Two years on from September 11 and the man almost universally believed to be behind the attacks is still at large.

Osama bin laden is believed to be hiding in southern Afghanistan along the border with neighbouring Pakistan.

He was born in Saudi Arabia into an influential family. Little is known about how they feel and what they know about bin Laden's activities.

But now Osama bin Laden's brother in law, Jamal Khalifa, has spoken to our reporter Zubeida Malik.

He admitted that the man he knew as Osama bin Laden may have changed significantly in the years since they last spoke.

"Osama, he is a respectable person ... a good man, kind, humble, simple", he said, recalling the memories of the brother-in-law he knew. "I never heard from Osama any bad words."

He also believes the world hasn't heard the last from the man the West will stop at nothing to track down. "I don't think he is dead ... I think he's still alive".

Jamal Khalifa provides a unique insight into how his brother-in-law's actions (and the 'war on terror') has impacted on the family as a whole.

"As a sister she is sad and worried about her brother", he explains, reflecting on his wife's emotions. "But all the family (feel) hopeless and they don't know what to do."

Being related to one of the planet's most hated figures also has a very real financial impact.

"I cannot travel, I cannot leave, I cannot make any deal with anybody ... my business goes down, almost bankrupt", he told Zubeida Malik. "We are in very big trouble. We are really a victim of all this happening everywhere."

One thing is for certain. When speaking with the Osama bin Laden he knew, he'd never considered things would turn out this way.

"We did not imagine that it would reach this point. I am sure the people around him ... are the ones playing the main role (in) all of these things."

Click here to listen to the extended version of the interview, or listen to Zubeida Malik's report.


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