Bin Laden 'fantasised over' Whitney Houston
RACHEL WILLIAMS IN NEW YORK
OSAMA bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader, was obsessed with the singer Whitney Houston and wanted to marry her, a new book claims.
Kola Boof, a Sudanese poet and novelist, who says she was kept against her will as the terrorism mastermind's mistress in 1996, writes in her autobiography that he wanted to give the star a mansion and make her one of his wives.
"He told me that Whitney Houston was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen," Boof claims in Diary of a Lost Girl, excerpts of which are published in Harper's magazine.
But bin Laden had less respect for Houston's husband Bobby Brown, apparently talking about the possibility of having him killed.
"He said that he had a paramount desire for Whitney Houston and although he claimed music was evil, he spoke of some day spending vast amounts of money to go to America and try to arrange a meeting with the superstar," Boof writes.
"He said he wanted to give Whitney Houston a mansion that he owned in a suburb of Khartoum.
"He explained to me that to possess Whitney, he would be willing to break his colour rule and make her one of his wives."
Bin Laden would speak constantly about "how beautiful she [Houston] is, what a nice smile she has, how truly Islamic she is but is just brainwashed by American culture and by her husband - Bobby Brown, whom Osama talked about having killed, as if it were normal to have women's husbands killed."
Boof, who also says the al- Qaeda leader would "ramble on" about his favourite TV shows, The Wonder Years, Miami Vice and MacGyver, adds: "In his briefcase, I would come across photographs of the star, as well as copies of Playboy ... It would soon come to the point where I was sick of hearing Whitney Houston's name."
Bin Laden was first married in 1974, at the age of 17, to Najwa Ghanem, his mother's niece.
Although bin Laden has reportedly married four other women, he divorced one, Umm Ali bin Laden, a university lecturer, who studied in Saudi Arabia, and spent holidays in Khartoum, Sudan, where Osama later settled during his exile in the years 1991 to 1996.
The three latter wives of bin Laden were all university lecturers.
The al-Qaeda leader has fathered at least 24 children. His wife Najwa reportedly has 11 children by him.