DUBAI: The late founder of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, spent his fortune on financing “holy war” including the September 11 US attacks in 2001, said current al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in an Internet video.
“The rich sheikh Osama... has spent all his money on jihad,” said Zawahiri, Bin Laden's number two who took charge of the group after the world's most wanted man was killed in a US raid on a Pakistan hideout in May last year.
Zawahiri's message, posted on militant websites, was introduced as the second part of his memoirs on the life of Bin Laden.
“He spent generously on jihad, especially on financing the September 11 attacks in 2001” on the United States and the “attacks against the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam” in 1998, Zawahiri said.
However, Bin Laden's personal life was “austere” and he was “very stingy in spending on anything other than jihad,” Zawahiri said, stressing that the Saudi-born leader was fiercely against charity work “at the expense of jihad.”
The wealth of Bin Laden, who came from a rich family behind grandiose construction projects in the oil-rich kingdom, is estimated at between $30 million and $300 million, but some estimates put it at one billion dollars.