Life as Osama bin Laden’s Sister-in-Law Revealed

Married to the mob is one thing. Imagine what it would feel like if you married into a family whose name was linked to terrorism?

Swiss-born Carmen bin Ladin was once Osama bin Laden’s sister-in-law. Her marriage to Osama’s half brother Yeslam broke up several years ago and she had nothing to do with the September 11th attacks.

Her 2004 book Inside the Kingdom isn’t even about her notorious ex-brother-in-law. It reveals what goes on inside the strict Saudi culture that she and her daughters were part of.

Nevertheless, when I spoke with her she was candid about the family, the culture, and Osama.

So here now, from 2004, Carmen bin Ladin.

Carmen bin Ladin is now 69. Her divorce from Yeslam was finalized in 2006.

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Betty Mahmoody

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The USS Cole Attack: Commander Kirk Lippold’s Perspective

In 2012 Lippold wrote a book about the incident, and I spoke with him the day before the 12th anniversary of the attack.

It didn’t start with September 11th.

Almost a year before al Qaeda terrorists flew planes into buildings, suicide bombers affiliated with al Qaeda attacked the destroyer USS Cole as it was refueling in Yemen. Seventeen American sailors died in the attack.

The commanding officer of the Cole was Kirk Lippold, a 41-year-old Navy veteran. And even though an exhaustive investigation found nothing to indicate Lippold could have foreseen or prevented the attack, he was subsequently denied a promotion several times.

So here now, from 2012, Kirk Lippold.

Kirk Lippold is now 64. He works for a political marketing organization

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Dean Murphy

Robert J. Fisch

The September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington were to this generation what Pearl Harbor was to our parents and grandparents.

And as the histories of those events are written, it is essential to have contemporary eyewitness accounts.

But in the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attack a New York Times reporter wanted to go beyond just simple eyewitness accounts and assemble an entire oral history of that day.

So in the months that followed, Dean Murphy painstakingly assembled an oral history which was published one year after the attack. His book was called September 11: An Oral History.

Now, while the descriptions in this interview are not in and of themselves graphic, the overall subject matter may be disturbing to some.

So here now, from September 2002, Dean Murphy.

Dean Murphy is now Associate Managing Editor at The New York Times.

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Lisa Beamer
Richard Picciotto

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Lisa Beamer

On that terrible day 20 years ago, September 11th, 2001, countless Heroes emerged.

Some wore police, fire, or military uniforms.

Some will be forever anonymous.

But many were just ordinary Americans. Like Todd Beamer, a passenger aboard United Airlines flight 93.

Their plane was already in the air that morning when the other planes went into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

And as the passengers learned what was happening, terrorists took over there playing. And soon, a group of passengers formed a bold and audacious plan to take over the plane and support the terrorist plot to slam that playing into the US Capitol or the White House.

Beamer and others made a last phone call to their loved ones. Then Beamer Was Heard telling his fellow passengers, Let’s Roll.

Their plans succeeded, with predictably tragic results – the plane crashed at 500 miles an hour into a spot near Shanksville Pennsylvania. Everyone aboard, including Todd Beamer, was killed.

The next year, with the first anniversary of the attacks approaching, Todd Beamer’s Widow Lisa published a book about her husband, and his role in that heroic day.

So here now, from August 2002, Lisa Beamer:

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Richard Picciotto

Richard Picciotto

Do you remember where you were 19 years ago today?

Richard Picciotto will always remember that as the day he thought he would die. Indeed, he almost did.

PIcciotto was a New York City Fire Department battalion chief that day, and he was inside the North Tower of the World Trade Center when the South Tower collapsed. Half an hour later, he was still inside the North Tower when it, too, collapsed.

Somehow, he made it out alive, and I met him the following spring when he wrote a book about that day.

So here now from 2002, Richard Picciotto:

Richard Picciotto is a 28-year veteran of the FDNY.


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