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Bin Laden, No. 2 Linked to Swiss Accounts

Swiss authorities involved in the global hunt for terror money have established that both Osama bin Laden and suspected al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri had access to Swiss bank accounts in the period before they were known terrorists. Andrea Sadecky, a spokeswoman for the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office, confirmed a report in the Geneva daily Le Temps, which said bin Laden was the beneficiary of an account held in a Zurich branch of UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, while al-Zawahiri held an account at an unidentified Geneva bank. The Zurich account was opened in 1990 by members of the bin Laden family, one of Saudi Arabia’s leading business dynasties, Sadecky said. Le Temps claimed the family opened the account — amount undisclosed — to protect assets if Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who had invaded Kuwait, attacked Saudi Arabia. The newspaper said that each of the 55 children of Mohammed Ben Oud bin Laden — including Osama — was entitled to an equal share of the money. Full Story

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