Inbreeding causing issues in Osama bin Laden’s family

I didn’t figure I would have to say much about 9/11 really that others could not say (aside from perhaps you should read Marc Sageman’s Understanding Terror Networks if you want an ethnography of the Salafi jihadist movement which lead to al-Qaeda). But The Daily Best has a profile of one of Osama bin Laden’s sons:

Moreover, by this time, bin Laden already had two wives. But Najwa, the first of them, encouraged him to pursue Khairia, believing that having someone with her training permanently on hand would help her son Saad and his brothers and sisters, some of whom also suffered from developmental disorders.

Osama bin Laden had two dozen some children (approximately). But it was strange to me to see mention of several children with developmental disorders. Inbreeding is a major burden for Arab Muslim societies. And sure enough, Osama bin Laden’s first wife was his first cousin. She gave birth to around 10 children. Her father was Osama bin Laden’s mother’s brother. With the possibility of several generations of cousin marriage their relatedness may have been closer than normal half-siblings.

Note: Osama bin Laden’s father was from Yemen and his mother from Syria. So he was most certainly not inbred.

3 thoughts on “Inbreeding causing issues in Osama bin Laden’s family

  1. The deleterious effects of inbreeding can be offset by having a lot of offspring. If 6/10 are stillborn or non-starters as breeding stock, that still leaves 4/10. Four surviving viable children still number more than two parents do.

  2. Never thought of this. I’ll have to break out all my old AQ – bin Laden books to see if there is more evidence of this. Have you read Growing Up bin Laden?

  3. So is Rothschilds family. – The richest Jewish family in the world.

    The Rothschilds didn’t just lend money to royals, they also behaved like royalty by marrying each other constantly. In 1836 Nathan’s son Lionel married his first cousin Charlotte Rothschild, who was herself the daughter of Nathan’s brother James, who had married his niece. In other words, her father was also her great uncle. Of Nathan’s seven children, four married Rothschild first cousins. Such inbreeding was genetically questionable, but it bred loyalty and kept money safely in the family.

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