The adult sons of Osama bin Laden have lashed out at U.S. President Barack Obama over their father’s death, accusing the United States of violating its basic legal principles by killing an unarmed man, shooting his family members and disposing of his body in the sea.
The statement said the family was asking why the leader of al-Qaeda “was not arrested and tried in a court of law so that truth is revealed to the people of the world.” Citing the trials of Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic, the statement questioned “the propriety of such assassination where not only international law has been blatantly violated,” but the principles of presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial were ignored.
“We maintain that arbitrary killing is not a solution to political problems,” the statement said, adding that “justice must be seen to be done.”
The statement, prepared at the direction of Omar bin Laden, a son who had publicly denounced his father’s terrorism, was provided to The New York Times by Jean Sasson, an American author who helped the younger Mr. bin Laden write a 2009 memoir, Growing Up bin Laden. A shorter, slightly different statement was posted on a jihadist website Tuesday.
Omar bin Laden, 30, lived with his father in Afghanistan until 1999, when he left with his mother, Najwa bin Laden, who co-wrote the memoir. In the book and other public statements, the younger Mr. bin Laden denounced violence of all kinds, a stand he repeated in the sons’ statement to The Times. None of Osama bin Laden’s sons other than Omar was named in the statement, so it was unclear exactly who else had approved the message.