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Dublin: 3 °C Sunday 16 February, 2020

Osama bin Laden was 'tender, gentle family man', says successor

Ayman al-Zawahiri said he wanted to “show the human side” of the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

'Tender and gentle': Osama bin Laden
'Tender and gentle': Osama bin Laden
Image: Anonymous/AP/Press Association Images

FEARED Al-QAEDA LEADER Osama bin Laden was a “tender, gentle, kind” family man who often cried, according to his successor Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Al-Zawahiri made the comments in a new video he said was meant to “show the human side” of the man widely held responsible for the 9/11 attacks in the US.

“People don’t know that this man was tender, gentle, kind, with refined feelings, even when life was hard,” he said according to the BBC. “We never saw a man like him.”

He said bin Laden was sometimes emotional, and came to al-Zawahiri with tears in his eyes when he learned that some of his deputy’s relatives had been killed. Al-Zawahiri also emphasised bin Laden’s close relationship with his sons, the Telegraph reports.

The 30-minute video posted on jihadi websites is called Days with the Imam: Part One. Observers have suggested it is designed to emphasise al-Zawahiri’s closeness to the charismatic former al-Qaeda leader, who was killed in an operation by US Navy Seals earlier this year.

Watch an extract from the video here:

Video: telegraphtv

- Additional reporting from AP

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Michael Freeman

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