Saudi Arabia releases Osama bin Laden’s half-brother
Saudi Arabia released construction magnate and patriarch of the bin Laden family, Bakr bin Laden, who was arrested in November 2017 and detained at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh along with over 300 princes and entrepreneurs in the of an anti-corruption operation commissioned by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.According to sources close to the Bakr bin Laden family, Osama Bin Laden’s half-brother and former president of the Bin Laden Group, the largest construction group in Saudi Arabia, was released last week and is now under house arrest in his home in Jeddah.
10 years ago, the killing of Osama Bin Laden
On the night between 1 and 2 May 2011, a team of Navy Seals, the US special forces, broke into a building in Abbottabad, Pakistan, which in the previous months had been identified as the probable hiding place of Osama bin Laden, chief of the Islamist terrorist organization Al Qaeda and at the time the most wanted man in the world after the attacks of 11 September 2001, of which he was the main organizer.
At the end of one of the most secret and risky operations ever organized by US intelligence, the Navy Seals found bin Laden on the third floor of the building indicated and killed him. For half the world, the day of May 2, 2011, opened with the news that for better or worse it ended a decade of history, announced in a press conference at the White House by the former President Barack Obama, who had given the green light to the mission when in the States United was still the evening of May 1st. Between the order and the killing, Obama showed up striving to behave as if nothing had happened at the traditional dinner with White House correspondents, something between a mundane event and a show where the president is usually called upon to perform in a comic monologue.
Osama bin Laden’s half-brother was not the only link between the 9/11 terrorists and Riyadh
The FBI has amassed thousands of pages of evidence on the Saudi connection. But the FBI, with the backing of a series of presidential administrations, from George W. Bush to Barack Obama and Donald Trump, has dug in its spit-shined heels and refused to open its files. Fifteen of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks were Saudi citizens. They sneaked into the United States, exploiting the holes in the rules for tourist visas, and essentially settled into ordinary life, renting cars, opening bank accounts, and taking flying lessons. On Sept. 11, this gang hijacked four commercial jetliners, crashing two into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, another into the Pentagon in Northern Virginia, and a fourth into a farm field in Pennsylvania.
How 9/11 attacks changed the US policy in the Middle East
After the 9/11 attacks, the administration of Republican President George W. Bush initiated a series of hostile military operations in the Middle East that officially began with the invasion of Afghanistan on October 7 of the same year. But no action has never been taken against the Saudi Kingdom. However, according to James Clapper, director of American intelligence in those years, since 9/11 only one mission consistently outstripped all the others: to find, capture or kill Osama bin Laden.
For Leon Panetta, ex-director of the CIA, before the operation “some thought that bin Laden lived in a cave, some that he was in the tribal areas of Pakistan, others thought that he might be in Iran, still, others thought him dead”. The fact is that after the attacks in New York and Washington, bin Laden had disappeared and the United States had only come close to capturing him in the early 2000s, in the mountainous Afghan area of Tora Bora.Riyadh’s release of Osama bin Laden’s half-brother comes one month after the disclosure of a FBI report made public by the Biden administration, on the Khashoggi case, murdered and torn to pieces in the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul.