SHEFFIELD, England (AP) - The Saudi prince who has taken full control of Premier League club Sheffield United says he would be happy to do business with the family of Osama bin Laden, insisting it “is not a disgraced name or something that I should hide.”
Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad won a London court battle with co-owner Kevin McCabe this week over ownership of the northern English team after their business partnership broke down. A judge has ordered McCabe to sell his 50% share of the club to the prince for 5 million pounds ($6 million).
The prince discussed his plans for the future at a news conference on Thursday and spoke about links with a member of the Bin Laden family who was interested in investing in Sheffield United.
“Every family may have one bad person but they are a very respectable family,” the prince said at Bramall Lane, the club’s home ground. “I have not done business with them in the past but I will be very happy to do business with them. The Bin Laden family is not a disgraced name or something that I should hide.”
“When I see the Bin Laden family as a dirty name,” he added, “I get really offended.”
As leader of terrorist organization al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden oversaw attacks that included the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, as well as the bombing of the USS Cole off Yemen. He and others plotted and executed the 2001 attacks against the United States that led to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
U.S. Navy SEALs killed him in a raid on a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011.
The Saudi Binladin Group is a major construction company in Saudi Arabia founded by Osama bin Laden’s father, Mohammed. It secured a near-monopoly on mega-expansion projects in Islam’s two holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, throughout the reigns of successive Saudi monarchs, but recently fell on hard times after being implicated in a crane collapse at Mecca that killed over 100 people during hajj in 2015.
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