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Author Topic: Picture of Osama Bin Laden at 14 years old?
Joe Bentley
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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"Existence has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long." - Rorschach, The Watchmen

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oh pleeze
It's So Cheesy (to Fall in Love)


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funny, you'd think if he looked like a red X, he'd be an easier target to hit.

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Neo
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I found this article that says it was not him.
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0102/west011502.asp
quote:
We have always shunned the limelight," he explains. "Yet authors writing on Osama pick our lives apart and invent sensational lies. ... Much of it is not true, but what can we do?" Here's what the paper labels "the most extreme example": Newspapers ran a vacation photo of family members posing by a Cadillac in Sweden and misidentified one of the dozens -- scores? -- of bin Laden brothers as Osama. He wasn't even there, said his brother. Well, well. What is left to say that hasn't been said about man's inhumanity to man? Just imagine the mental anguish of it all -- he wasn't even in the snapshot! -- and try to answer the one question that springs to mind: How do you say "big deal" in Arabic?

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fyregirl
Xboxing Day


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I'd also figure Osama Bin Laden was older than 47, too, but you never can tell with those dry desert complexions.

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DemonWolf
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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according to infoplease:
quote:

Bin Laden was born in Saudi Arabia around 1957 to a father of Yemeni origins and a Syrian mother. His father, Mohammed bin Laden, founded a construction company and with royal patronage became a billionaire. The company's connections won it such important commissions as rebuilding mosques in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

Yeah, he's about 47.

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Morrison's Lament
The Red and the Green Stamps


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That pic is indeed believed by many sources to be real, there have been several lengthy articles about it in the Scandinavian media since the attacks in 2001. His family basically won't give interviews, and about the only comment available on the pic is something along the lines of: "It's not him, he wasn't there, leave me alone or I will kill you." - I paraphrased obviously [Wink]


I am trying desperately to remember where it was taken so I can find some cites, preferably English ones, discussing this pic...


ETA: It was taken in the town of Falun in 1971, more info pending if I ever find my way out of this horrifying maze of Swedish Falun Gong sites...

--- G.

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Morrison's Lament
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Not the best source, but I found a reference that can be followed up on because it gives details that can be verified. I remember there being interviews with people in Falun that claimed to remember the family (and rather more suspiciously, Osama specifically, despite the size of the family) - but this is the only reference I have seen so a named source that claims she met him at that time in that place:

quote:
A photograph from 1971 has surfaced and been printed in English papers showing Osama, age 14, and his brother Salem, age 19, enjoying a summer holiday at the Astoria Hotel in Falun, Sweden. Christina Akerblad, the hotel owner, told the Daily Mail, "They were beautiful boys, so elegantly dressed. Everybody loved them."
http://www.americanfreepress.net/10_07_01/Bush___Bin_Laden_-_George_W__B/bush___bin_laden_-_george_w__b.html

(not that the site this appears on is not exactly something I would endorse, but the reference is verifiable nonetheless, rather than making vague claims that can't be followed up on like many sites I found)

Now if I could only find that Daily Mail article...

ETA: Even better, The Guardian! [Big Grin]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/waronterror/story/0,1361,557615,00.html

quote:
An improbably large group of fashionable Saudi siblings, sitting on a gas-guzzling American car in the middle of a faded copper-mining town in central Sweden on a bright day in 1971: the photographer from the local daily would hardly have been doing his job had he not requested a group shot.

Osama bin Laden and his older brother Salem had first visited Falun the year before, arriving in Copenhagen in a private jet carrying a Rolls-Royce, in which they completed their journey. They were millionaires by then, but they stayed at the cut-price Astoria hotel, where the owner, Christina Akerblad, recalled them spending the days out "on business" and the evenings eating dinner in their rooms. "I remember them as two beautiful boys - the girls in Falun were very fond of them," she said. "Osama played with my two sons, Anders and Gerk, who were seven and five." They kept themselves to themselves. They bought silk shirts. They provided short-lived excitement to bored local policeman who thought they might be drug dealers. They liked it so much they came back the next year, with brothers and sisters in tow. The biggest alleged murderer in modern peacetime history was 14.

Afterwards, they might have shopped for souvenirs, or tried to book a table for 20 in the Grand Hotel restaurant opposite the Astoria. But we don't know that, or very much else. There have been countless accounts of Bin Laden's life, but there is precious little information about his early years.

It seems the picture is real, and was actually published in the local newspaper at the time, because wealthy and flashy Arab families of that size were not exactly common in small towns in Sweden.

--- G.

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Morrison's Lament:

quote:
They kept themselves to themselves.

Does this mean they were masterbators?


quote:
..but there is precious little information about his early years.
I think the word precious ought not be used in the context of Osama bin Laden.

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Morrison's Lament
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OK, there is "horrifyingly evil little information about his early years" [Big Grin]

--- G.

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Bonnie
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
It seems the picture is real, and was actually published in the local newspaper at the time, because wealthy and flashy Arab families of that size were not exactly common in small towns in Sweden.
Yes, real, but not quite real. Look at the very monochromatic window displays.

It's a little difficult to tell how flashy those particular Arab family members were since the photograph was originally issued as a black and white print.

quote:
(From Marina Hyde's "Diary," [Third item], also in The Guardian, also in the 25 September 2001 edition.)

Elsewhere in the Mail on Sunday, a hilariously psychedelic picture sparks fears that free-loving subversives have infiltrated the paper's propaganda machine. Camera Press, the agency who provided the shot -- depicting Osama bin Laden and 21 of his siblings on a 1971 trip to Sweden -- confirms it issued it in monochrome, and the paper decided to colourise it. The no-doubt biting political point made by casting the family as a troupe of swinging extras from the Austin Powers movies is at present unclear. But there they are, leaning against a pink Cadillac, a riot of banana-yellow cravats and mauve bell-bottoms (the young fundamentalist sports deep purple flares and a lime jumper), and looking for all the world as if they're about to break into a spontaneous dance routine. What can it all mean?

About that very photo, Andrew Hornery and Nick Ley, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald on 1 October 2001, noted that,

quote:
[a]part from the flares and high hair, what grabbed Spike's attention (we initially thought it was an old tour shot of the Jackson Five with their roadies) was the range of colours the bin Ladens dressed in. Such strong shades of pink, blue and green haven't been seen since the hazy days of Woodstock. Even the Cadillac was a wonderful shocking pink.

[...]

The Australian's editor, Michael Stutchbury, told Spike the image was already in colour when the newspaper bought it from London's The Sun. We have discovered that the original picture sold to The Sun by the photographic agent Camera Press was in black and white. Camera Press's local representative could not shed any light on who decided what colours the bin Ladens would be dressed in, nor could he tell us if the Cadillac really was pink.

Bonnie "yellow journalism" Taylor

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Abe Zapruder
The Red and the Green Stamps


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That's either the bin Laden family with Osama circled, or Saudi Arabia's TV answer to the Brady Bunch, or both.

This was the episode when Osama was voted out of the group because he hit puberty.

A "When it's time to chaaaa-eeee-nge" Z

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valee
I Saw Three Shipments


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This photo is included in the book "House of Bush, House of Saud", which seems pretty well documented.
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Rychan
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As someone who's done a fair amount of photoshopping, this picture definitely looks like a colorized black and white photo.

Though that wouldn't necessarily mean it's not Osama.

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Floater
Xboxing Day


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According to Osama's sister-in-law it is not him but one of his brothers.

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Små hönor skall inte lägga stora ägg för då blir de slarviga i ändan

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KingDavid8
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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When I saw the photo, I (for some reason) thought it looked like the Arab Sesame Street. I kept expecting to see a muppet over someone's shoulder.

David

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aldiboronti
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
According to Osama's sister-in-law it is not him but one of his brothers.


Er, what? The linked story doesn't mention the photo.
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Joostik
The First USA Noel


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The original black and white photo

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Ciara...
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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My findings pretty much mirror Morrison's.

quote:
The trail after USama is still hot. An old friend of bin Ladin, the now 57-year-old former disco-owner Lars Lilliemarck, finds new unpublished photos of the filthy rich Saudian family during their many Falun-visits, plowing through his photo album.

On Åsgatan in those days lay the Bürens Herrekipering [men's clothing store]. It was in front of Bürens that the 23 members of the bin Ladin clan, boys and girls, one day in September 1971 happily posed for Falu-Kurirens camera. Headline: Famed Arab visit.

-It was like hunting an evasive shadow, it was like something out of Alibi-Magasinet [NOTE: No clue what that is], when we were to find the picture, notes Leif Forslund whose picture bureau, Dalmas, owns the copyright of the picture that since September last year has been published in papers all over the world.
- At first no one even knew what year the picture had been published. The files were searched. They found it. I dug through the archieve of negatives. I found six almost identical squares. But I don't know who snapped the photo. Probably a summer intern.

Nice memories of Usama
Thirty year old memories came flooding back in September last year, when the terror attacks against New York and Washington shook the world.
- Yes, says Christina Åkerblad, a few years earlier, after the terror attacks against the embassies in Africa, I said: Usama bin Ladin "I have a great memory" that was the little guy we had at Astoria. [NOTE: Don't blame the translator for her weird choice of words, it didn't make much sense in Swedish either]
It was Åkerblad who identified Usama bin Ladin from the picture taken outside of Bürens.
Aftonbladet.se

quote:
- Of course it's Usama. You can tell by his smile, says Christina Åkerblad.

- Admittedly, it's been over 30 years since I've seen him. But that is Usama, says Christina Åkerblad to Falu-Kuriren.

Together with her husband Arne she ran (...) Hotel Astoria in Falun. Usama was a guest there together with his older brother Salem, the then-head of the family, during his first visit to Sweden in 1970.
Aftonbladet.se



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Floater
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by aldiboronti:
quote:
According to Osama's sister-in-law it is not him but one of his brothers.


Er, what? The linked story doesn't mention the photo.
No, it doesn't. I just added the link to show who she is. What it's all about is that I read an article in a Swedish newspaper the other day (can't find it on the web, though) about her and her memoirs in which she stated that when the photo was taken Osama wasn't in Sweden when it was taken and that the boy who has been pointed out is his brother.

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Små hönor skall inte lägga stora ägg för då blir de slarviga i ändan

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