Wednesday, April 13, 2011

BIN LADEN'S FOOTBALL FEVER

 Wherever he's hiding, Osama bin Laden is probably doing what all Arsenal fans are doing right now---gloomily contemplating yet another season without a trophy. 

Football fan
Yes, amazing as it sounds, the notorious terrorist is a diehard Arsenal supporter. 

It was while he was in London in 1994 in search of funding for terrorist ventures that he became fanatical about Arsenal and was a regular at Highbury's Clock End for their home games. He was reportedly on the terraces during the north London side's run up to the final of the European Cup Winners Cup, according to the book Bin Laden:Behind the Mask of Terrror by Adam Robinson.
Highbury Stadium

  The man who was involved in a plot to massacre the American and British teams at the 1998 World Cup in France apparently told friends that he had never seen passion like that of football fans. The Arsenal games were the first he had seen since he had taken an interest in football during kickarounds while growing up in the Middle East. 

   He became so smitten with the team that he bought a replica shirt for his eldest son and other gifts from the club's souvenir shop before narrowly avoiding extradition to Saudi Arabia and returning to Sudan. 

The Arsenal 1994 team
   When Arsenal executives heard that bin Laden had been a regular on the terraces they promptly banned him, and Robinson reports that for a while a curious chant was often heard emanating from the stands: "He's hiding near Kabul / He loves the Arsenal / Osama / Oh oh oh oh!"

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