New York Times: Saudi Ambassador Helped Evacuate Bin Laden Kin From US
Within days of the September 11 terror attacks, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington supervised the urgent evacuation of 24 members of Osama bin Laden's extended family, fearing they could be assaulted, the New York Times reported Sunday.
US authorities believe bin Laden, a Saudi-born multimillionaire, masterminded the terrorist strikes.
The Times cited the Saudi ambassador, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, as saying that most of the relatives of bin Laden who were evacuated were studying in the United States.
The diplomat said the embassy received an urgent message from King Fahd pointing out there were bin Laden children "all over America."
"Take measures to protect the innocent," the message from the Saudi ruler said, according to the daily.
Bin Laden is the son of a Yemeni-born construction magnate who made his fortune in Saudi Arabia where he developed strong ties with the royal family.
Stripped of his Saudi citizenship in 1994, bin Laden now lives in Afghanistan as an guest of the ruling Taliban militia -- WASHINGTON (AFP)
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