A statement apparently drafted by Osama bin Laden’s grown sons accusses the U.S. of violating international law in killing their father, and criticizes President Obama in particular.
“As he condemned our father, we now condemn the president of the United States for ordering the execution of unarmed men and women,” the statement said, according to The New York Times, which obtained the document from Jean Sasson, an American author who helped Bin Laden’s 30-year-old son Omar write a memoir. The statement makes reference to a “we,” but the Times reports it was “prepared at the direction of” Omar bin Laden, and his is the only name that appears on the document.
The statement said the family was asking why the leader of Al Qaeda “was not arrested and tried in a court of law so that truth is revealed to the people of the world.” Citing the trials of Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic, the statement questioned “the propriety of such assassination where not only international law has been blatantly violated,” but the principles of presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial were ignored.
“We maintain that arbitrary killing is not a solution to political problems,” the statement said, adding that “justice must be seen to be done.”
Omar bin Laden lived with his father in Afghanistan until 1999, but has denounced his father’s violence — a point made in the statement.
“We want to remind the world that Omar bin Laden, the fourth-born son of our father, always disagreed with our father regarding any violence and always sent messages to our father, that he must change his ways and that no civilians should be attacked under any circumstances,” the statement said. “Despite the difficulty of publicly disagreeing with our father, he never hesitated to condemn any violent attacks made by anyone, and expressed sorrow for the victims of any and all attacks.”
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Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com