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Osama Bin Laden As A Teenager
image Apparently this picture (click to enlarge) has been circulating around for quite a while (over three years), but I've just seen it. It shows a happy group portrait of twenty-two brothers and sisters posing for the camera while on a family holiday, but the grinning kid whose face is circled is none other than Osama bin Laden. This picture appeared in the Sun with the caption:

the 14-year-old is Osama bin Laden - and within a few years the grinning schoolboy was on his way to becoming the world's most cold-hearted mass murderer. The bin Laden children lined up next to a pink Chrysler Imperial for this snapshot on a trip to Falun, Sweden, in 1971. The holiday was paid for by their father Mohammed, a billionaire building tycoon. Osama inherited a fortune when his dad died soon afterwards - and used it to build a worldwide network of terror.

Is it just me, or does young Osama look a tiny bit like Bill Gates? Also, I had no idea he was only 47-years-old. He looks like he's nearing 60. (via Image of the Day)
Categories: Hate Crimes/TerrorPhotos/Videos
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 22, 2005
He probably looks older from the stress; his is not an easy job!
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  12:25 AM
god this screams FAKE at me, i guess we are supposed to go "gosh how can someone so innocent looking become so evil?"

the whole photo looks like its a promotional shot for a broadway show
Posted by joeodd  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  03:23 AM
The photo is authentic. There was an article in a newspaper here in Sweden a year or two ago about the visit, with photos, interviews with people who met the bin Ladens etc. As I recall it, they were visiting some business acquaintance that bin Laden senior had in Falun.
Posted by Ola Hammarlund  in  Stockholm, Sweden  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  04:44 AM
Hmm. 22 kids. If one of the women in that picture is mom...She looks fantastic. (Did Osama's father have multiple wives??)
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  06:58 AM
They must be so proud.
Posted by Glamcat  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  07:06 AM
For some reason, I thought that Osama is a dialysis patient (which would explain why he looks 20 years older than he is).
Posted by Nymph  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  07:46 AM
Oh yeah, and that was why we all got the "Osama must be dead by now" story, I believe.
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  08:28 AM
I seem to remember hearing both Osama and his father had several wives. I've also heard that the total number of bin Laden siblings is around 50. The others, from what I hear, stayed with their father's construction business instead of going into the destruction business. Reason #437 that polygamy is a bad idea - having over 50 people getting stuck with Osama bin Laden as a brother.
Posted by Matt  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  08:59 AM
Oh, this looks so fake. All the people look like cardboard cutouts, and a lot of the clothes look as if they were changed with the Colorize tool. (For example, the purple pants.)
Posted by PlantPerson  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  09:32 AM
I see that I maybe wasn't clear enough in my earlier posting: the photo was published in the article I read some year ago in a Swedish newspaper. So, yes, it is authentic.
Posted by Ola Hammarlund  in  Stockholm, Sweden  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  10:25 AM
I do have to point out that the picture being published in a newspaper does not necessarily mean it's authentic.
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  10:37 AM
Oh my Godddd, the seventies clothes...
Posted by Katherine  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  10:46 AM
I have no problem believing the picture is authentic, but it seems to be "colorized". I think that is why people think it looks fake. I have no idea if the original was black and white or just faded color, but this picture has had color enhancement.
Posted by Floormaster Squeeze  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  11:12 AM
Yeah, I saw that picture on some reputable news program... I think it was Frontline on PBS. But it does look colorized. You think Osama is pissed that they put him in a pea green shirt?
Hmmm... perhaps now we're at the source of his anger.
Posted by brian  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  12:04 PM
Look the signs on the store windows : FYND -> FDNY ???

Oh and the other poster is right. It is not because its said on tv or the newspaper that its true without a doubt. I for one don't believe its authentic.
Posted by Phiu-x  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  12:17 PM
I don't think the FYND sign in the window is any reference to the new york fire department. This is what a shopper's guide to Sweden says about the term:

<i>Bargain hunting: Special signs indicate sales or price cuts.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  12:39 PM
I am sorry to report that those clothes and those colors are absolutely authentic for circa 1971 fashions. As for the general coloration of the photo; all color prints fade with time to a greater or lesser degree. Usually, the colors take on more of a brown or yellowish cast with time. So the picture could be genuine, though I have no idea if it is or not.

I think I've read that Osama Bin Laden has scores of siblings and half-siblings-- his father did indeed have multiple wives. Osama himself has four wives, I think, which is the maximum any good Muslim (or in his case, maybe I should say a bad but devout Muslim) is allowed.

The one thing that makes me suspicious is the Chrysler Imperial. Back in the 1980s, I traveled all around Sweden, and I don't recall ever seeing a Chrysler, or any other American-made car, in the whole country.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  03:33 PM
At the very least, this is a colorized b&w photograph. At worst, it's a complete fake.

Look closely at the faces -- all are colored tan, no variation on each face, not even for the eyes. This is a cheap Photoshop painting in "color" mode effect.

I can't tell yet if the black and white photo is a fake too. some of the people look a bit odd, and the perspective seems off on a few of them. Also, it looks like the car has an American license plate on it.
Posted by Steve  in  NYC  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  04:44 PM
For what its worth, you can clearly see where they've run the Dodge tool over the couple on the left; they have a halo around their heads, most noticeable in the shop window. Note also a young Dustin Hoffman, circa 'Marathon Man', standing on top of the car, next to the kid with the cool sunglasses. Also, if you've seen 'One Day in September', the film about the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, the chap at the bottom looks a bit like the 'Sly Stone' terrorist with the floppy hat. The clothes are fantastic, though, and have come full-circle in the fashion stakes. I think.
Posted by Ashley Pomeroy  in  Here  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  05:02 PM
My opinion, for what its worth, is that the photo is real, but colorized. The bin Landin family was and still is, very pro-American, thus the American car. If the family was on a vacation, they might have driven one or more American cars throughout Europe as a show of their affection for America. As for the number of children, I've heard various numbers in the range of 50-65. It seems the old man not only had multiple wives but has lost track of some of the children. Aside from Osama who was disowned. Since I never made it to Sweden while in Europe, I can't say if the sign is fake or not.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  08:33 PM
The windows look odd since they're NOT colorized. Also, look at the perfectly vertical white line next to the little girl on top of the car -- no way that could occur naturally...
Posted by Steve  on  Tue Feb 22, 2005  at  08:40 PM
Maybe it's an old publicity picture for a Saudi Arabian sitcom called "Welcome Back Akmed"?

Yeah, those are the Sweatjackals. "I've got a note from Osama's mom, too!"
Posted by Barghest  on  Wed Feb 23, 2005  at  01:51 AM
Until I see it on 60 Minutes, I won't believe it.
Posted by Chadds Ford Prefect  on  Wed Feb 23, 2005  at  09:22 AM
As far as I'm aware the photo's genuine and is mentioned in a guardian article here http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,557533,00.html the article says that it was taken in Falun, Sweden for a local newspaper. Casting my mind back I'm pretty sure it's a black and white photo that's been colorized, but I haven't been able to track down the original. Incidentally just after 911 Prince Philip allegedly met with one of the Bin Laden's at a charity fund raising event (no I'm not joking, the Bin Laden's are on a par financially with the British royals)and his first comment was "So how's your brother?" Apparently this didn't go down too well.
Posted by deluded simpleton  in  Brighton, UK  on  Wed Feb 23, 2005  at  09:26 AM
There's also an interview with the journalist, Hans Lindquist, who reported the story that the photo accompanied in the 70's here http://media.guardian.co.uk/presspublishing/story/0,,557466,00.html
Apparantly the photo is now owned by the news agency Camera Press, but they're pretty awkward when it comes to getting info out of them.
Posted by deluded simpleton  in  Brighton, UK  on  Wed Feb 23, 2005  at  09:39 AM
The pic may have been colorized for effects. It might have been easier to show Osama.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Wed Feb 23, 2005  at  11:13 AM
That girl on the left is kinda cute.
Posted by frt  on  Wed Feb 23, 2005  at  01:05 PM
Just means more... experience.
Oh yeah.

j/k
Posted by frt  on  Thu Feb 24, 2005  at  07:00 PM
I believe this is a real pic. No wonder Osama wants to destroy the western world after he has seen Sweden. wink
I have seen a better version of this pic, larger res and less color.
Posted by dakidski  on  Tue Apr 19, 2005  at  12:49 PM
"The one thing that makes me suspicious is the Chrysler Imperial. Back in the 1980s, I traveled all around Sweden, and I don't recall ever seeing a Chrysler, or any other American-made car, in the whole country."

That's because Swedish people relized how bad american cars are.
Posted by EB  in  MD  on  Sun Apr 23, 2006  at  11:18 AM
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