The Australian (national daily / Murdoch)
Wednesday 23 August 2006
bin saving all his love
Geoff Elliott, Washington correspondent
SO that's all that was needed to catch Osama bin Laden -- a good old honey trap? No need for air raids over Tora Bora and bunker-buster bombs. Just call Whitney Houston.
In one of the more bizarre stories to emerge from the war on terror, Kola Boof, a self-advertised former sex slave of the al-Qa'ida leader, claims in her book, "Diary of a Lost Girl," that bin Laden was obsessed with the singer of I Will Always Love You.
In an excerpt to appear in the September issue of Harper's Bazaar magazine, Boof writes that bin Laden "told me Whitney was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen."
"He said that he had a paramount desire for her and although he claimed music was evil, he spoke of some day spending vast amounts of money to go to America and try to arrange a meeting," she writes.
Boof, born Naima Bint Harith, is a 37-year-old Sudanese poet and author who now lives in California. She has said previously that she was repeatedly raped and intimidated into cohabiting with bin Laden for six months in Morocco in 1996.
Her writings have led to a fatwa being issued against her. That hasn't stopped comedians having a shot at her, wondering if the fatwa has more to do with some of her other work, which included, until recently, a writing job on the US soap opera Days of our Lives.
But when it comes to bin Laden's obsession with Houston, Boof says she's not making it up.
"He said he wanted to give her a mansion he owned in a suburb of Khartoum [Sudan, confluence of Blue and White Nile].
"He would say how beautiful she is, what a nice smile she has, how truly Islamic she is but is just brainwashed by American culture and by her husband -- Bobby Brown, whom Osama talked about having killed."
All this prompted US comedian Jeffrey Ross to muse yesterday that bin Laden must have a slow internet connection and is still downloading images from the 1980s, noting Houston's steep fall from fame to a life of reported drug dependency.
- 30 -
The Sheikh of Araby (1921)
lyrics: Harry B. Smith and Francis Wheeler
music: Ted Snyder
I'm the Sheikh of Araby,
Your love belongs to me.
At night when you're asleep
Into your tent I'll creep.
The stars that shine above,
Will light our way to love.
You'll roam this land with me,
The Sheikh of Araby.
Oh, I'm the Sheikh of Araby
And all the women worship me.
You should see them follow me around. Not bad.
Even wives of all the other sheiks,
They beg to kiss my rosy cheeks
And that ain't bad -- in fact, that's good, I've found. I'm a cad!
When I lay down to sleep
I'm counting girls instead of sheep
From my harem I can't scare 'em out. Why should I?
They're beauties from all races,
And some have pretty faces.
I'm the Sheikh who knows what love is all about.