Before 1990 bin Laden was not a monster

Up to the year 1990, Osama bin Laden made an impression of a “well-mannered, gentle young man, not daring to express his opinion in a conversation”. This was told by ex-chief of Saudi intelligence, prince Turki Al-Feisal, who met with bin Laden three times (twice in Saudi embassy to Islamabad, and once – in the kingdom, where bin Laden returned in 1990). In his interview to Saudi TV station MBC, the head of general intelligence of the kingdom, who resigned this August, noticed, that bin Laden had been an ordinary man, one of the not many Saudi volunteers fighting in Afghanistan. According to prince Turki, bin Laden tried to appear with anti-American announcements in schools and religious organizations, though he was not noted of undermining actions, so after a strict reprimand, he was allowed to leave the kingdom. After Soviet troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan, Al-Qaida, organization created by bin Laden in 1989, did not have any concrete tasks, except a very indistinct aim of “restoration of justice”, the prince said. Though, according to him, in 1990, bin Laden proposed Er-Riad to use the army of Muslim volunteers instead of US troops to deliver Kuwait from Iraqi occupation. He was against foreign troops’ presence in Saudi Arabia, where Islam had been born and where the two main Muslim sanctuaries were situated, RIA ‘Novosti’ reports. Bin Laden was in opposition to fetva of Saudi ulems, who admitted acceptance of military help from the West to be possible for deliverance of the neighbouring country. Prince Turki supposes, that since that moment, Osama bin Laden has changed and has become so, as we know him now. In 1992, bin Laden went to South Yemen, where he recruited youth for military training in Al-Qaida’s camps.

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