UK media portrayed Bin Laden as a 'warrior' 20 years ago

An article that was published by the UK’s Independent newspaper exactly 20 years ago today portrayed the former Al-Qaeda head, Osama Bin Laden, in a positive light.

UK media portrayed Bin Laden as a 'warrior' 20 years ago

World Bulletin / News Desk

Prominent British journalist Robert Fisk met with the former head of Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, in Sudan just after achieving victory against invading Soviet Union forces in Afghanistan.

Referring to Bin Laden as a ‘warrior’, Robert Fisk provided details of his new project in Sudan after the war in Afghanistan ended in 1989. Bin Laden was in Sudan, not for war, but to use his expertise as a construction engineer in building a new highway from the Sudanese capital Khartoum to Egypt’s Port Said.

The new highway was to reduce the road distance to Port Said by 400km, from 1,200km to just 800km, leaving the Mediterranean coastal city within a day’s reach.

Although many governments were accusing him of bringing fighters from Afghanistan to open training camps in Africa, Bin Laden denied this, saying 'The rubbish of the media and the embassies…I am a construction engineer and an agriculturalist. If I had training camps here in Sudan, I couldn't possibly do this job.'

Bin Laden’s skills in his field were also applied in Afghanistan in the fight against the Soviets. He blasted tunneşs in the Zazi mountains that were used as hospitals and arms dumps by fighters. He also built a road that linked the fighters’ base to the capital Kabul.

However, he did admit that he had brought over a few friends from Afghanistan to Sudan, but to employ them in the construction of the new highway. Profits made by the Bin Laden Company would later be invested in sesame and other products with intrinsic value for export.

Describing the Saudi national as a ‘shy man’ who was weary of press attention, Robert Fisk noted that it was Bin Laden’s first interview with a Western journalist.

According to the official story, Osama Bin Laden was killed in an operation by the US Navy Seals in Pakistan on May 2, 2011. Although no physical or photographic evidence of his death was provided, American forces later dumped his body in an unknown location in the sea. Prior to this, numerous reports appeared in the media suggesting that he had died of illness, but none of these reports were confirmed.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Aralık 2013, 17:52