Osama bin Laden’s mother, Alia Ghanem, has revealed that the late al-Qaeda leader, her eldest son, was ‘brainwashed’ into extremist ideology.
She made this known during an interview with The Guardian newspaper, United Kingdom.
It was her first interview to Western media.
Ghanem, speaking at her family’s home in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, said bin Laden was a shy, academically capable boy.
She said bin Laden turned into a strong, pious figure while an economics student in Jeddah in his early 20s.
Ghanem said, “The people at university changed him.
“He became a different man.’’
She further revealed that bin Laden had met Abdullah Azzam, a Muslim Brotherhood member, who became his spiritual adviser, at the university.
“He was a very good child until he met some people, who pretty much brainwashed him in his early 20s.
“You can call it a cult; they got money for their cause.
“I would always tell him to stay away from them and he would never admit to me what he was doing because he loved me so much.’’