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Osama bin Laden likes giving surprises: Book

It seems that Osama bin Laden has a penchant for acting without notice. A new book, Growing Up bin Laden, co-authored by Osama's first wife Najwa and their son Omar, has revealed how on one night in Sudan, the al-Qaeda leader suddenly decided to take his family -- four wives, 14 kids -- on a camping trip.

world Updated: Oct 12, 2009 20:39 IST

It seems that Osama bin Laden has a penchant for acting without notice. A new book, Growing Up bin Laden, co-authored by Osama's first wife Najwa and their son Omar, has revealed how on one night in Sudan, the al-Qaeda leader suddenly decided to take his family -- four wives, 14 kids -- on a camping trip.

According to the book, Osama drove into the desert, found an isolated spot, then had his oldest sons dug ditches in the sand, long enough to fit each person "as he believed that was a training for an upcoming war coming between Muslims and the Western infidels", the New York Post reported.

"You must be gallant. Do not think about foxes or snakes," he says. "Challenging trials are coming to us." Each child, including a few 1- and 2-year-olds, lies in a hollow. There is no water or food.

As night falls, a child's voice whispers in the darkness, "I'm cold." "Cover yourself with dirt or grass," bin Laden snaps. "You will be warm under what nature provides."

Osama's first wife, Najwa, didn't like that idea, but, "I reminded myself that my husband knew much more about the big world than any of us. We were all pearls to my husband, and he wanted to protect us."