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October 14, 2003
Like Father, Like Son

Osama's son plays an increasignly important role in al-Qaeda, according to today's Washington Post, and is being protected by Iran:

Saad bin Laden, one of Osama bin Laden's oldest sons, has emerged in recent months as part of the upper echelon of the al Qaeda network, a small group of leaders that is managing the terrorist organization from Iran, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.

The younger bin Laden speaks English and is computer literate, two rare qualities among al-Qaeda, and so his influence is even more pervasive than his family name would indicate. Saudi Arabia wants him extradited from Iran, but negotiations have gone nowhere:

Similarly, Saudi Arabia, which in recent years has tried to thaw relations with its larger and more powerful neighbor across the Persian Gulf, is trying, unsuccessfully, to persuade Iran to extradite Saad bin Laden and others suspected in the Riyadh bombing. Saudi officials estimate there are as many as 400 al Qaeda members there.

"Those people are in Iran and somebody must be helping them. The question is who?" Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador, told the San Francisco Chronicle last month. "This is the problem with Iran. The people who we can deal with can't deliver, they can't lead eight ducks across the street. And the guys who can deliver, they're not interested."

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 14, 2003 5:48 AM

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