Skip to main content

Growing Up Bin Laden

Osama's Wife and Son Take Us Inside their Secret World

Jean Sasson Najwa Bin Laden

As the western world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden has fought to keep his personal life a mystery – loyalty and fear keeping those who know him from speaking out – until now.

For the first time, two of Osama’s closest family members, his first wife Najwa and their fourth son Omar, go behind the headlines to reveal the truth about the character and life of a man feared and revered around the globe.
In gripping detail, they recount the drama, tensions, and everyday activities of the man they knew as a husband and father. Married at fifteen, Najwa describes the transformation of the quiet, serious young man she fell in love with into an authoritarian husband and stern father, an entrepreneur, and – finally – the leader of a complex international terrorist network. Uprooted from a life of extraordinary luxury and privilege in Saudi Arabia, they suddenly found themselves living life on the run, fleeing from country to country under assumed names and fake passports. Omar describes how he and his siblings were brought up in remote ranches and fortified Afghani mountain camps, handling Kalashnikovs and learning desert survival skills. Their eventual escape from Afghanistan would come just days before the terrible events of 9/11 changed the world forever.
With unprecedented access and exclusive family photographs, Jean Sasson, author of the bestselling Princess, presents the story that we were never meant to hear.

  • Publication date: May 1, 2011
  • ISBN: 9781851689019
  • RRP: £10.99
  • Pages: 448
  • Publication date: November 1, 2009
  • ISBN: 9781780740249
  • RRP: £5.99
  • Pages: 320

Reviews

“A compelling look at the intimate family life of a notorious man, as told by his wife and son.”

Booklist

"Despite her neutrality, her story is still an indictment -- showing us a terrorist leader who is embarrassed easily, obsessed with a long-dead father, terrified of women, and who thinks of his children as nothing more than cannon fodder."

New York Post

"Despite her neutrality, her story is still an indictment -- showing us a terrorist leader who is embarrassed easily, obsessed with a long-dead father, terrified of women, and who thinks of his children as nothing more than cannon fodder."

New York Post

“A compelling look at the intimate family life of a notorious man, as told by his wife and son.”

Booklist

”Always interesting and highly readable, this is recommended for the many people who will wish to learn more about this man.”

Library Journal

"The psychological portrait of the world's most wanted man is all the more devastating for being written by two people who apparently once revered him."

Culture (supplement to the Sunday Times)

"The psychological portrait of the world's most wanted man is all the more devastating for being written by two people who apparently once revered him."

Culture (supplement to the Sunday Times)

“Lifts the lid on the secretive life of the world's most wanted man… It is certainly fascinating, if deeply unnerving, to read such vivid first-hand accounts about life within Osama bin Laden's family.”

Daily Mail

“The most intimate portrait yet of the al Qa’eda leader.”

The National

“Fascinating”

The Sunday Times

“The thrill of being a fly on the wall of the bin Laden family.”

Time Magazine

"Their accounts cannot be subject to normal verification. Even so, they have been woven into a fascinating narrative by an American writer, Jean Sasson"

Catholic Herald

Jean Sasson

Jean Sasson, the international bestselling author of Princess, lived in the Middle East for twelve years and has travelled extensively in the area for thirty years. She lives in the Southern USA.

Author page

Najwa Bin Laden

Najwa bin Laden in Osama bin Laden’s first wife and the mother of seven of his sons and four of his daughters. She currently lives with three of her children in the Middle East.

Author page

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletters to find out more about our latest books and offers, straight to your inbox.
Name(Required)
Select mailing lists