Canada

'We are an al-Qaeda family': Khadr son

A Canadian who was released from Guantanamo Bay in October says he lied about his family's ties with al-Qaeda

A Canadian who was released from Guantanamo Bay in October says he lied about his family's ties with al-Qaeda and that he was trained to become a suicide bomber.

In a documentary aired Wednesday on CBC's The National, Abdurahman Khadr said his father was old friends with al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and that his brothers attended terrorist training camps.

"Until now, everybody says we are an al-Qaeda-connected family but when I say this, just by me saying it, I just admitted we are an al-Qaeda family. We had connections to al-Qaeda," said Abdurahman Khadr.

The family has always disputed claims that its patriarch, Ahmed Said Khadr, was a senior al-Qaeda operative and fundraiser, saying he collected money for charities. He was killed in Pakistan in October 2003.

Abdurahman Khadr says he was sent to Afghanistan by his father "to become an al-Qaeda, was raised to become a suicide bomber, was raised to become a bad person."

In 2001, Abdurahman was captured in Afghanistan and held at the U.S. military detention compound at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was freed last fall after agreeing to co-operate with U.S. authorities, he says.

Another brother, Omar Khadr, is believed to be in the same prison.

Abdurahman's mother, Maha, and sister, Zaynab, say the family supported the al-Qaeda cause, but insist it was never an accepted part of the terrorist organization. They say that Ahmed Said Khadr was proud to die as a shaheed, a soldier of Islam.

"We believe that death comes when God had planned it, before He created the humanity, it's planned, so I just accept, [but] it hurt," said Maha.

"We believe dying by the hand of your enemy because you believe in...you're doing it in the way of Allah, that it's the best way to die," said Zaynab.