Osama bin Laden’s Mom: ‘He Was a Very Good Kid’

It’s the perfect case study for the unconditional love a mother can have for her children: The mother of the 21st century’s most notorious terrorist, Osama bin Laden, has come out in defense of her “very good kid.” In her first interview about her infamous son, Alia Ghanem told The Guardian: “My life was very difficult because he was so far away from me. He was a very good kid and he loved me so much.” Ghanem, who’s in her mid-seventies, appears to believe bin Laden was led astray by those around him and absolves him of blame for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. “He was a very good child until he met some people who pretty much brainwashed him in his early twenties. You can call it a cult. They got money for their cause. I would always tell him to stay away from them, and he would never admit to me what he was doing, because he loved me so much.” Asked if she expected her son to become a jihadi, Ghanem replied: “It never crossed my mind... We were extremely upset. I did not want any of this to happen. Why would he throw it all away like that?” One of bin Laden’s half-brothers, who was also present at the interview, said of Ghanem when she left the room: “It has been 17 years now [since 9/11] and she remains in denial about Osama. She loved him so much and refuses to blame him. Instead, she blames those around him. She only knows the good boy side, the side we all saw. She never got to know the jihadist side."