US embassy cable - 94RIYADH989

BIN LADIN FAMILY PUBLICLY WASHES HANDS OF USAMA

Identifier: 94RIYADH989
Wikileaks: View 94RIYADH989 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Riyadh
Created: 1994-02-20 13:19:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: KISL PTER SA
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 201319Z FEB 94
FM AMEMBASSY RIYADH
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 3979
INFO ISLAMIC CONFERENCE COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L RIYADH 000989 
 
 
E.O.12356: DECL: OADR 
TAGS:  KISL, PTER, SA 
SUBJECT:  BIN LADIN FAMILY PUBLICLY WASHES HANDS OF USAMA 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL -- ENTIRE TEXT 
 
2.  IN A FRONT PAGE ARTICLE IN THE FEBRUARY 19 ARABIC 
LANGUAGE DAILY, AL-RIYADH, BAKR BIN LADIN, HEAD OF A 
LARGE AND WEALTHY JEDDAH-BASED BUSINESS FAMILY, PUBLICLY 
SOUGHT TO DISTANCE HIMSELF AND HIS CLAN FROM THE FAMILY 
BLACK SHEEP AND INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC ACTIVIST, HIS 
BROTHER USAMA BIN LADIN.  IN THE ARTICLE, BIN LADIN 
ANNOUNCED THAT THE FAMILY HAD NO CONTROL OVER AND NO 
RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ACTIONS OF USAMA.  A SIMILAR 
ARTICLE APPEARED IN THE FEBRUARY 20 ISSUE OF THE ENGLISH 
LANGUAGE DAILY, SAUDI GAZETTE.  EMBASSY PROVIDES THE 
FOLLOWING TRANSLATION OF BAKR'S STATEMENT. 
 
3.  BEGIN TRANSLATION 
 
ENGINEER BAKR BIN LADIN:  USAMA BIN LADIN IS RESPONSIBLE 
FOR HIS STATEMENTS AND HIS BEHAVIOR WHICH WE NEITHER 
CONTROL NOR CONDONE. 
 
IN LIGHT OF NEWS ITEMS RECENTLY CARRIED IN THE PRESS 
CONCERNING USAMA MUHAMMAD BIN LADIN AND IN A DESIRE TO 
CLARIFY THE POSITION OF HIS FAMILY, ENGINEER BAKR 
MUHAMMAD BIN LADIN KABIR AL BIN LADIN ISSUED THE 
FOLLOWING STATEMENT. 
 
"I AND ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY--WHO NUMBER MORE 
THAN FIFTY PEOPLE--EXPRESS OUR GREAT REGRET, SORROW, AND 
DISAPPROVAL OF ALL OF USAMA'S BEHAVIOR, WHICH WE NEITHER 
CONTROL NOR CONDONE.  IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT USAMA 
HAS BEEN LIVING OUTSIDE THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA NOW 
FOR MORE THAN TWO YEARS AND ALL OF THE EFFORTS WE HAVE 
MADE TO BRING HIM BACK TO THE CORRECT PATH, WE CONSIDER 
HIM SINGULARLY RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS STATEMENTS, ACTIONS, 
AND BEHAVIOR, IF IN FACT HE DID THEM. 
 
END TRANSLATION 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
4.  WE ARE AWARE OF NO RECENT STATEMENT OR ACTION BY 
USAMA THAT MIGHT HAVE TRIGGERED SUCH A REACTION.  THUS, 
IT IS VERY LIKELY THAT THIS DISCLAIMER WAS PROMPTED BY 
THE PUBLIC ATTENTION FOCUSED ON THE BIN LADEN FAMILY AS 
A RESULT OF PRESS REPORTS ABOUT THE RECENT ATTACK ON 
USAMA'S RESIDENCE IN KHARTOUM. 
 
5.  THE FACT THAT BAKR'S STATEMENT WAS CARRIED ON THE 
FRONT PAGE OF A MAJOR SAUDI PAPER SUGGESTS THAT IN 
ADDITION TO THE BIN LADIN FAMILY, THE ROYAL FAMILY ALSO 
ATTACHES GREAT IMPORTANCE TO PUBLICLY SEPARATING USAMA 
FROM HIS ROOTS IN THE KINGDOM. 
 
6.  FOR JEDDAH AND KHARTOUM:  EMBASSY RIYADH WOULD 
APPRECIATE ADDITIONAL REPORTING THAT MIGHT HIGHLIGHT ANY 
RECENT STATEMENTS OR ACTIONS BY USAMA--PERHAPS SINCE THE 
ATTACK ON HIS RESIDENCE IN KHARTOUM--THAT MIGHT HAVE 
PRECIPITATED THE PUBLIC DISAVOWAL BY BAKR AND THE FAMILY. 
 
7.  KHARTOUM - MINIMIZE CONSIDERED. 
 
 
WELCH 

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