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Osama wanted his children to go to US

world Updated: Feb 12, 2012 19:26 IST

PTI
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Osama Bin Laden wanted his children to be educated in Western universities and live peacefully rather than embrace terrorism, a close relative has claimed.

According to Zakaria al-Sadah, whose sister Amal was the fifth wife of the slain al-Qaeda leader, "Bin Laden told his own children and grandchildren, 'Go to Europe and America and get a good education."

Sadah told The Sunday Times, bin Laden was adamant that his children "should not follow him down the road to jihad".

Sadah has recently been reunited with his sister for the first time since she was shot in the knee when US Navy Seals killed Bin Laden at his compound in the Pakistan garrison city of Abbottabad last May.

Sadah said the three wives and nine children who were in the compound have been held for months in a three-room flat in Islamabad guarded by Pakistan's ISI intelligence service.

Amal had told him that bin Laden had regrets about the impact on his family of the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington in 2001, which killed about 3,000 people and made him the world's most wanted terrorist.

He had advised his children to consider European and US universities, saying: "You have to study, live in peace and don't do what I am doing or what I have done.

" Bin Laden, who went to King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, had brothers at Harvard Law School, the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and Tufts University, Boston.

Sadah, who fears his sister may be charged with crimes against Pakistan and never released, has given the newspaper the first photograph to be published of the children from the compound.