Late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden wanted his children to have a Western education and live peacefully, rather than wage jihad, according to a new claim by the brother-in-law of the Saudi-born founder of the terrorist network.
In an interview with British paper The Sunday Times, Zakaria al-Sadah, the brother of Bin Laden's fifth wife, said terrorist mastermind did not want his own children to follow in his footsteps.
"Bin Laden told his own children and grandchildren to go to Europe and America and get a good education," the 24-year-old former journalism student said.
Bin Laden was born to a wealthy Yemeni Kindite family in Saudi Arabia. His father was a billionaire with close ties to the Saudi royal family. He studied business administration and economics at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Several of bin Laden's brothers studied at top tier American universities including Harvard Law School, Tufts University, and the University of Southern California.
"You have to study, live in peace and don't do what I am doing or what I have done," Sahad said, reportedly quoting bin Laden.
Three of bin Laden's wives and nine of his children are being held in a detention facility in Pakistan. They were discovered in the same Abbottabad compound as bin Laden during last year's Navy SEALs raid, which left the founder of the terrorist network dead.
Bin Laden had several wives and reportedly fathered anywhere from 20 to 26 children, most of which escaped to Iran following the Sept. 11 attacks.
Sahad expressed his fears for bin Laden's children left in a tight security compound in Islamabad, Pakistan.
"They have never had a normal life. They do not know what its like to see the sun and to run around the garden," he told the newspaper.