Bin Laden's son: Father's no terrorist

Jan. 21, 2008 at 6:34 AM
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CAIRO, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- One of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden's sons said he doesn't consider his father to be a terrorist but says he should find another way to defend Islam.

Speaking with CNN outside Cairo, Omar bin Laden, the fourth of 11 children born to Osama's first wife, said his father was fulfilling a personal mission. When his father was fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, Washington considered him a hero, he said.

"He believes this is his job -- to help the people," he said. "I don't think my father is a terrorist because history tells you he's not."

The son, 26, said he last saw his father in 2000 when he decided to drop out of an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan because he didn't want to be associated with killing civilians, the network reported. He said he had a message for his father.

"I try and say to my father: 'Try to find another way to help or find your goal," he said. "This bomb, this weapon -- it's not good to use it for anybody."

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