'Bin Laden was an Arsenal fan, quoted de Gaulle'

A former bodyguard recounts the al-Qaida leader's likes and dislikes in an interview with the 'Telegraph.'

May 4, 2011 12:30
1 minute read.
Osama bin-Laden

Osama Bin Laden 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer/Files )


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Nasser al-Bahri, a member of Osama bin Laden's staff for six years, recounted life with the arch-terrorist to the Telegraph on Wednesday.

In August 1998, bin Laden reportedly told al-Bahri, 39, to kill him if the Americans capture him.

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"He told me, 'If ever the Americans encircle me, I absolutely do not want to end my life as a prisoner of the United States. So you will be in charge of killing me,'" al-Bahri recounted.

The former bodyguard also told of some of bin Laden's likes and dislikes. The al-Qaida leader reportedly was a fan of the UK's Arsenal soccer team, hailing the "beauty" of its plays. He also liked to watch volleyball.

Al-Bahri also claimed to have chosen bin Laden's fourth wife, Amal al-Sadah, in the bodyguard's native Yemen.

"The Sheikh loved horses," al-Bahri reportedly added. "He would always stop and try to buy one if he saw one he liked along the side of the road. He loved honey too, claiming it could cure most ailments."

Bin Laden also reportedly enjoyed reading, and quoted the memoirs of Charles de Gaulle and Field Marshal Montgomery.

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