Osama bin Laden’s mother has broken her 17-year silence to insist that her son, the man behind the 9/11 attacks, turned to terror after being ‘brainwashed by a cult’.

Alia Ghanem, who lives with her family in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, said the al-Qaeda boss was a ‘very good kid’ but became radicalised at university when he was in his 20s.

Ghanem, who is in her 70s, revealed that her son became a ‘different man’ and that it never crossed her mind that her ‘shy’ and ‘pious’ son would go on to become a jihadist capable of carrying out the devastating attacks that killed thousands of people in New York in 2001.

The terrorist leader was shot dead by a US Navy Seal team in Pakistan in 2011 and his son, Hamza, who jihadis have hailed as the ‘heir’ to the leadership of al-Qaeda, last year called on Muslims around the world to launch revenge terror attacks on the US, reports the MailOnline.

But the 29-year-old’s uncle has said: “If Hamza was in front of me now, I would tell him, ‘God guide you. Think twice about what you are doing. Don’t retake the steps of your father. You are entering horrible parts of your soul’.”

According to the Guardian, Hamza bin Laden’s continued rise may well cloud the family’s attempts to shake off their past.

In an interview with the Guardian, bin Laden’s mum and the rest of the family who are still influential in Saudi, spoke at length about their relative.

Ghanem lives in a mansion with a spiral staircase leading to a number of ‘cavernous rooms’, according to the report. Framed pictures of the extremist are dotted around her living room – one of them showing the bearded fanatic smiling in a military outfit.

Ghanem insisted her first-born son had been a deeply religious individual who ‘changed’ at university.

She said: “He was a very good child until he met some people who pretty much brainwashed him in his early 20s. You can call it a cult.

“They got money for their cause. I would always tell him to stay away from them, and he would never admit to me what he was doing, because he loved me so much.”

Osama’s half-brothers waited until their mother was out of the room to reveal she remains in denial about the terror lord and ‘refuses to blame him’ – instead pointing at ‘those around him’.

Celebrations in the US when Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011

One of the half-brothers, Ahmad, said: “It has been 17 years now [since 9/11] and she remains in denial about Osama.”

He then explained that ‘from the youngest to the eldest’ the family ‘felt ashamed’ of Osama and that their mother still ‘only knows the good boy side’.

Source: Lad Bible