Photo of Osama bin Laden in better times via Getty

In a newly declassified document taken from the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was killed, the millionaire Al Qaeda honcho provided a will for his estate. His own flesh and blood got peanuts.

It’s unclear where (and how) exactly his roughly $29 million fortune was squirreled away at the time of his death, but according to the will, translated by U.S. intelligence officers, virtually all of it was supposed to go to funding more terrorism: (emphasis added)

In regard to the money that is in Sudan, it is about 29 million dollars. According to the mediator, I have received one million one-hundred thousand in Sudan, eight-hundred thousand in Jalalabad, and then about one-million two-hundred fifty-thousand in Qandahar. I received twelve million dollars from my brother Abu Bakir Muhammad Bin ((Laden)) on behalf of Bin Laden Company for Investment in Sudan. I hope, for my brothers, sisters, and maternal aunts, to obey my will and to spend all the money that I have left in Sudan on Jihad, for the sake of Allah.

Imagine: You’ve spent years with the shame (or at least annoyance) of being related to the most notorious and reviled man since Hitler, and now you can’t even get rich off his death.

The will did provide, however, some disbursements for friends of bin Laden:

Also, I need you to take 1% from the total and give it to Shaykh Abu Hafs al-Mauritani. By the way, he has already received 20,000- 30,000 dollars from it, he said. I promised him that I would reward him if he took it out of the Sudani Government. I also told brother Engineer Abu Ibrahim al-Iraqi Sa’ad ((Jawhar)) to cut 1% as a reward for his hard work in Wadi al-‘Aqiq Company, and I think he has already have done that. If not, I want you to give him what I promised him.

One percent of $29 million is a nice taste for these Al Qaeda compatriots, but what about uncles? Sisters? The next line reads: “The conversation about the money in Sudan is over.” Alright.

The next section outlines the pittance actual family members will receive:

I want three-hundred thousand riyals to go to my Uncle Master Muhammad Bin Umar al-((‘Attas)) and his children. I want 20 of gold to go to Khadijah Umm (mother) of ‘Ali, the daughter of ‘Abdullah al-((Jilani)). I want my uncle’s sons, sisters, and maternal aunts to have two pounds of Hujazi’s gold for each one (male) and one pound of them and Hujazi’s gold for each one (female). I want you also to cut from Sudan’s money 200,000 riyals for my sisters Maryam, Iman, and ‘Atidal, for the total of 600,000 riyals. I want for my son Sa’ad Bin Usama and his mother to share a half of his portion and my daughter Khadijah, the daughter of Usama, half of the daughter’s share.

Now, 300,000 Saudi Riyals is roughly $80,000 today, which is a nice windfall—but that’s split between an uncle and all of his children. Plus, when you’ve taken into account the moral shame tax of receiving it from Osama bin Laden, it probably feels like even less. The gifted gold is worth about $30,000 for each boy mentioned and $15,000 for each girl, but that’s in today’s prices, down considerably from the record-breaking levels gold was at in 2011, when bin Laden died. Again, nothing to sneeze at for some kid, but out of a $29 million estate that was ultimately squandered on a futile attempt by Al Qaeda to regain relevance on the global terrorism scene? Pathetic and insulting.

This man, Osama bin Laden, was not a good guy.

Photo: Getty

Contact the author at
Public PGP key
PGP fingerprint: PGP fingerprint: E93A 40D1 FA38 4B2B 1477 C855 3DEA F030 F340 E2C7