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06.11.2008 International

Bin Laden son asylum bid rejected

By BBC
Bin Laden son asylum bid rejected

Spain has rejected a political asylum bid by one of Osama Bin Laden's sons, months after he was refused a UK visa.

Omar Osama Bin Laden, 27, made his claim at a Madrid airport during a stopover on a flight from Egypt to Morocco with his British wife, 52.

Mr Bin Laden, one of the al-Qaeda leader's 19 sons, said the petition was rejected due to "insufficient evidence of danger or threat to [his] life".

The Saudi citizen, who currently lives in Egypt, said he would appeal.

He and his wife remain in a transit area at Madrid's Barajas airport, where they arrived on Monday, a Spanish government official said.

"The Interior Ministry has not accepted the request for asylum because this does not meet the conditions necessary for entering Spain," the Associated Press news agency quoted the unnamed official as saying.

A metals trader who has urged his father to give up violence, Omar Bin Laden argues that his pacifist beliefs put his life in the Middle East at risk.

'Not his father'

Omar Bin Laden currently lives in Cairo, with Zaina Alsabah Bin Laden, formerly named Jane Felix-Browne, whom he married in 2006.

The couple said they were finding it difficult to find a country that would accept Mr Bin Laden, "only because of his family name".

"This is unfair. Omar is not his father," they said.

The couple had hoped to move to Mrs Bin Laden's home in Cheshire, north-west England.

But they said in April the British government had judged Mr Bin Laden's presence in the country would not be "conducive to the public good".

It is thought the authorities were referring to comments made by Mr Bin Laden that he could not prove his father was responsible for the 2001 attacks on the US or the London bombings in 2005.

Omar Bin Laden says he has not seen his father since 2000.

Mrs Bin Laden, who is severely visually impaired, had said she needed access to medical treatment in the UK but refused to be apart from her husband.

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