Kommentar

Peter L. Bergen har skrevet bok om Osama og hans familie. Grundig, virker det som. Bin Laden var i Sverige, viser det seg, sammen med eldstebroren Salem, en karismatisk skikkelse som døde i en flyulykke i 1988.

Despite his impact on history, Osama Bin Laden re2_kommentars shrouded in a fog of myth, propaganda, and half-truths. For eight years I have been interviewing people close to him and gathering documents, including his own letters, in order to fill out the picture of this mysterious man.

Christina Akerblad, former owner of the Hotel Astoria in Falun, Sweden, recalls how in 1970 Salem and Osama paid a visit: They came with a big Rolls-Royce, and it was forbidden to park the car outside the building in this street. But they did it, and [my husband and I] said to them, «You have to pay [a fine] for every day and every hour you are staying outside this hotel,» but they said, «Oh, it doesn’t matter — it’s so funny to go to the police station and to talk with the police. We will stay where we are.» They had so much money they didn’t know how much they had. I asked them how they had managed to come to Sweden with this enormous Rolls-Royce. They said, «We have our plane.»

They stayed one week. They were dressed very exclusive. They had two double rooms. They slept in one bed and on the other bed they had their bags. On Sunday, I had no cleaner at the hotel, so I took care of the room myself, and I was shocked because in the big bag they had lots of white, expensive shirts from Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. When they had [worn] the shirt once, they dropped it. So the cleaner had taken these shirts to wash them, but they said, «No, we are just using them once, so you can [have] them if you want.»

The Osama Bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of Al-Qaeda’s Leader, by Peter L Bergen. Reprinted by permission of Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc

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