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Spain Says No to Asylum For Osama Bin Laden's Son

Spain Says No to Asylum For Osama Bin Laden's Son


Yesterday Spain told Omar bin Laden, one of Osama bin Laden's 19 sons, that he was not welcomed there. The 27-year-old Saudi citizen lives in Egypt with his 52-year-old British wife, but while in Madrid for flight layover, he appealed for asylum. Omar argued that his pacifist stances put his life at risk in the Middle East. Even so, Spain rejected his petition. An anonymous Spanish official said Omar simply did not meet refugee requirements.

Before the UK rejected a similar asylum request, Omar hoped to move to his wife's hometown in England. Perhaps to his detriment, during a January interview with the Associated Press, Omar chose not to renounce his father. He did say that unlike his father, he wanted to be an "ambassador of peace." Before he made the decision to choose peace over violence, Omar trained at an al Qaeda camp. He says that since he left the camp in 2000, he has had no contact with his father.

Omar and his wife think the stigma of their last name has prompted Western countries to reject Omar's bid for asylum. Even if that accusation is true, is it a fair basis?

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