The Washington Post

Osama bin Laden tells his children not to fight jihad in his will

Image of Osama bin Laden’s will, which was published Wednesday. (Screegrab/Via Al-Anbaa )

Not to follow in his footsteps.

The will of Osama bin Laden, published in a Kuwaiti paper Wednesday, unsurprisingly includes justifications for his efforts to destroy America and Israel.

But bin Laden instructs his children, of which he is believed to have fathered between 12 and 24, not to continue to wage the holy war. He also asks their forgiveness.

“You, my children, I apologize for giving you so little of my time because I responded to the need for jihad,” he writes.

The instruction not to fight jihad has a precedent in Islamic texts, which bin Laden cites in the will, which is when a successor of the Prophet Mohammad left written instructions to his son not to wage holy war.

In the four page document, bin Laden also addresses his wives, ordering them not to remarry, and telling them to devote themselves to their children and “guide them to the right path.”

The late al-Qaeda leader does not mention possessions in the will, although he is believed to have inherited a nearly $30 million fortune from his father, a construction tycoon in Saudi Arabia.

The document is dated Dec. 14, 2001, three months after the 9/11 attacks, and so a fearful bin Laden predicts in the will that he would be killed as a result of a “betrayal.”

The will was written on a computer, and signed “Your Brother Abu Abdullah Osama Muhammad Bin Laden.”

The Kuwaiti paper that published the will, Al-Anbaa, did not reveal how or when it obtained the will or whether it was able to authenticate it.


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