Bin Laden’s Oxford days – Was said to have been “deep” for his age

Posted by Phil Jayhan, May 7, 2007

Friday, 12 October, 2001, 10:20 GMT 11:20 UK

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Bin Laden’s Oxford days

Bin Laden (far right) poses with his brothers and two Spanish girls

Bin Laden (far right) was said to be “deep” for his age

Photographs of Osama Bin Laden on a visit to Oxford in 1971 have come to light after their owner recognised him in widely-publicised pictures from the same year.

The pictures are owned by a Spanish woman and one has been published in a Spanish newspaper showing 14-year-old Bin Laden with two of his brothers and two glamorous Spanish girls as they attended a language course.

Their owner said she had made scribbled diary notes by the photos, and remembered Bin Laden sounding educated, and seeming “deep” for his age.

But she said she did not recall him being interested in politics, or particularly concerned with religious duties.


Saudi-born Bin Laden did not appear to be into rock music or fashion, and did not like the 1970s London scene, the El Correo newspaper reported.

He used to tell the Spanish girls that the foreigners who walked around London were a bit crazy.

The photograph (above) was taken in an Oxford park, where the woman recalled going for a walk one evening after taking tea.

Bin Laden (far right) appears with his older brothers and seems a gangly teenager, with a slightly awkward smile.

The other, as yet unpublished, pictures are reported to show the group having a picnic, and Bin Laden punting a boat.

Their owner recalled Bin Laden’s sadness when he told how the three brothers had different mothers and that his mother was a concubine.

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