New York: Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza, dubbed as the ‘crown prince of terror’ and recently designated as a ‘global terrorist’ by the US, was taught to hate America but enjoyed Coca-Cola and other banned American items in his compound in Afghanistan as a kid, according to a media report.
“Osama bin Laden’s favourite son may have been taught to hate the US, but that didn’t stop him from obsessing over Coca-Cola, which he regularly smuggled into the family compound as a boy,” the New York Post reported, citing Hamza’s childhood playmate.
“Hamza was always trying to sneak stuff in that we weren’t allowed to have,” Abdurahman Khadr, who spent three years growing up alongside Osama’s children in their strict religious compound near Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan before 9/11, told the daily.
“He (Hamza) was about 9 at the time, and he brought us Coca-Cola and sometimes even tobacco,” he said.
The ‘crown prince of terror’ also had a fondness for Tabasco sauce, Khadr said.
Khadr, 34, lived in the rural compound when he was a teenager with his entire family. His father, Ahmed Said Khadr, was one of al-Qaeda’s most trusted lieutenants, and his brother Omar would later become the youngest prisoner to be held at Guantanamo for a decade until his 2012 release.
Osama promised his sons a horse if they were successful in committing the religious texts to memory, said Khadr. The terrorist leader eventually bought an Arabian stallion for Hamza and his brothers, who were obsessed with taking care of it, he said.
Hamza frequently snuck out of the compound with the servants on market days, carting back what were considered forbidden treasures from the outside world, Khadr said.
American products were forbidden in Afghanistan under the ultra-religious Taliban rulers.
Even so, “Hamza could get anything,” said Khadr. “No one would ever search him when he came back into the compound because he was bin Laden’s kid,” he said.
Osama lived with his wives and his nearly two dozen children. Although he married five women, his favourite wife was reportedly Hamza’s mother. Khairiah Saber was seven years older than bin Laden. A child psychologist by profession, she had a PhD in Islamic studies.
Saber was by Osama’s side when he was killed by Navy SEALs in Pakistan in 2011. Hamza is her only child. Hamza was not there and reportedly under house arrest in Iran when US Special Forces raided Osama’s final hiding place, the report said.
Hamza was last week designated as a “global terrorist” by the US. Hamza, who is in his mid-twenties, has become active as an al-Qaeda propagandist since his father’s death.