Conspirator’s Path From Poverty as a Boy in Zanzibar to bin Laden’s Side

January 24, 2011  |  

(New York Times) — Around 2000, Osama bin Laden was visiting a guesthouse in Kandahar, Afghanistan, when one of his aides approached a Tanzanian man who was staying there.    The aide said Mr. bin Laden had personally requested that the man,Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, become one of his bodyguards.  Mr. Ghailani accepted the offer, was given an AK-47 assault rifle, and soon joined a tight cadre of about 15 bodyguards working for Mr. bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, according to Mr. Ghailani’s recollection, as described in an F.B.I. document. He also became Mr. bin Laden’s cook, taking on a task that most of the other “brothers” shunned, the F.B.I. summary quotes him as saying.

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