Spain rejects asylum bid from Bin Laden’s son (Lead)

November 6th, 2008 - 7:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, Nov 6 (IANS) Spain has rejected an asylum request from a son of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, EFE reported Thursday quoting interior ministry sources.The ministry said Omar bin Laden’s request has been turned down on the basis of the report of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

Omar Bin Laden, who is being held at Madrid’s Barajas International Airport, has 24 hours to appeal the decision. If his appeal is rejected by the ministry and the UNHCR, he would be immediately expelled from the country.

The 27-year-old Omar bin Laden is a trader who describes himself as “religious, but not extremist” and has publicly urged his father to eschew violence.

After marrying British citizen Jane Felix-Browne, who now calls herself Zaina al Sabah, Omar sought permission to live in Britain, a request London rejected on the grounds that his presence in the country could create “social alarm.”

The couple have been residing with friends in Cairo, but Zaina al Sabah told reporters that Omar no longer felt safe in the Middle East.

Omar and his wife arrived at Barajas Airport late Monday aboard a Morocco-bound flight from Cairo. He requested asylum when he presented his passport for a routine immigration check.

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