A Quick Sketch of Omar Khadr's Terrorist Family
TORONTO — A quick sketch of news-making members of the Toronto-based family of Omar Khadr:
Ahmed Said Khadr
Born in Egypt, Omar Khadr’s father moved to Canada in 1977, where he met and married Maha Elsamnah. Khadr fought the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s where U.S. authorities allege he befriended Osama bin Laden and became a “founding member” and financier of al-Qaida. His family says he did both charity work and ran orphanages in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 1980s and 1990s. Arrested in connection with the bombing of the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad in 1995, Khadr was released in 1996 with the help of then-prime minister Jean Chretien. Khadr died in a gun battle with Pakistani forces near the Afghanistan border in October 2003.
Omar Khadr’s Palestinian mother moved with her husband and six children to Afghanistan in the 1980s. She returned to Canada in 2004 to seek medical treatment for her son Karim after he was injured in the same firefight that killed her husband. Elsamnah claims to have no association with al-Qaida, but admitted years ago that when the planes hit the World Trade Center in 2001, she thought to herself, “let them have it.” She was also quoted as saying she moved her family from Canada in the 1980s because of “drug addicts” and “homosexuals.”
Ottawa-born Zaynab, 37, is the eldest child of Ahmed Said Khadr and Maha Elsamnah. It’s alleged bin Laden attended her first wedding in 1999. She returned to live in Canada in February 2005 and was the subject of RCMP investigations for allegedly aiding al-Qaida. She has married four times. Her third ex-husband, Canadian sex-offender and Islamist Joshua Boyle. At last word, Zaynab Khadr was in custody in Turkey.
Abdullah, 36, born in Ottawa, is the eldest son of Ahmed Said Khadr and Maha Elsamnah. He denied running an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan in the 1990s. He returned to Canada on Dec. 7, 2005, after spending a year in custody in Pakistan in which he was tortured. He was arrested in Toronto in December 2005 at the request of U.S. authorities on charges of conspiracy to kill Americans and accused of buying arms and ammunition for al-Qaida militants in Afghanistan. Federal Court freed him more than four years later on the grounds U.S. authorities had abused his rights in Pakistan. He lives in Toronto.
The second eldest son, Abdurahman, 34, called himself the “black sheep” of the Khadrs and said he separated from the family after Sept. 11. He was arrested in Afghanistan as a suspected al-Qaida member in November 2001. He claimed he began working for the CIA and giving information on al-Qaida operatives in Kabul. He was transferred to Guantanamo Bay in early 2003 where he said he was asked to spy on the prison population. Abdurahman admitted on TV he was “raised to become a suicide bomber.” He returned to Canada in October 2003. He lives in Toronto and is a father.
Omar Khadr, 30, was born in Toronto to Ahmed Said Khadr and Maha Elsamnah. He also lived in Pakistan and Afghanistan. U.S. special forces found the 15-year-old badly wounded in July 2002 after they attacked a compound in Afghanistan where his father had sent him. In October 2010, Khadr pleaded guilty before a widely condemned U.S. military commission to five war crimes, including to having thrown a hand grenade that killed an American special forces soldier.
Abdul Karim Khadr
Karim, 28, is the youngest son of Ahmed Said Khadr and Maha Elsamnah. He was paralyzed from the waist down in the same gun battle that killed his father in Pakistan in 2003. He returned with his mother to Canada in April 2004 to seek medical treatment and lives in Toronto.
SOURCE: The Canadian Press