BATAVIA, N.Y., Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Sahim Alwan, a 28-year-old Lackawanna, N.Y., resident who attended an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan says he met personally with Osama bin Laden.
Alwan traveled with some fellow Lackawanna residents of Yemini descent to an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan in the summer of 2001.
At the training camp, where the men learned to use weapons, bin Laden assured his recruits that, in the fight with America, he had men "willing to carry their souls in their hands," the New York Times reported.
Alwan said he wanted to leave the camp, but before he was allowed to go, he had to meet with bin Laden.
They met in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and Alwan told the Times bin Laden asked how American Muslims viewed suicide operations.
"We don't even think about it," Alwan said.
Bin Laden said nothing, but Alwan recalled that the al-Qaida leader just smiled.
A couple of months later 19 members of al-Qaida made the attacks on New York and Washington, but Alwan said he didn't know about those attacks.