A report in the Times said Prince Charles took the Bin Laden family’s money but noted that there is no evidence to imply that Bakr or Shafiq bin Laden have ever funded or participated in terrorism.
The family of Osama bin Laden sent £1 million ($1.2 million) to Prince Charles’ charity in 2013, according to a report in The Times published on Sunday. Only recently has the Prince of Wales been under scrutiny for stealing “bags of cash” from the Qatari royal family.
Following a private meeting with Bakr and Shafiq bin Laden at his London mansion of Clarence House in October 2013, the paper’s sources alleged that Charles “brokered the payment.” Osama Bin Laden, the founder of Al-Qaeda and the architect of the 9/11 attacks, was shot dead by US special forces in Pakistan two years before to the meeting. Bakr and Shafiq are his half-brothers.
The Times claims that despite opposition from his staff and the Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation (PWCF), Charles decided to accept the donation. Charles reportedly decided against returning the money since doing so would make the brothers look bad.
However, Sir Ian Cheshire, the chairman of PWCF, informed the newspaper that after hearing their concerns, all five of the trustees of the charity “wholly” agreed to accept the donation. Another source denied claims that the prince personally negotiated the arrangement and said that he was not pressured to return the money to The Guardian.
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The Times noted that there is no evidence to imply that Bakr or Shafiq bin Laden have ever funded or participated in terrorism.
Last Monday, the UK Charity Commission decided not to pursue its inquiry into the PWCF’s multimillion-pound gifts from the Qatari royal family. Last month, the British media revealed that Charles had met with Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al Thani between 2011 and 2015, during which time he had received shopping bags full of cash totaling more than £2.5 million ($3.07 million). Between 2007 until 2013, Al Thani presided as Qatar’s prime minister.
The Prince of Wales is no new to controversy, and there have been prior questions about his friendship with the Bin Laden family. After meeting Bakr at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies in 2000, Charles received criticism from the British press when, less than a month after the 9/11 attacks, he had dinner with Osama’s brother.