Omar bin Laden, who preaches nonviolence, was lured to Northern Ireland thanks to a popular ballad
Omar bin Laden, the fourth eldest son of Osama bin Laden, reportedly visited Northern Ireland sometime last year after being inspired by the famous Irish ballad “Carrickfergus.”
According to a report in the Irish Mail on Sunday, a friend of Omar bin Laden said: "Omar has always wanted to go to Carrickfergus because he loves the song.
“It's hard to believe he was growing up in the Middle East thinking and dreaming about going to somewhere like Carrickfergus.
"You would think he would find somewhere like Carrickfergus too cold."
Bin Laden reportedly traveled to Dublin Airport before continuing on to Co Antrim to visit the famous Carrickfergus Castle.
The friend added: “During his visit to Carrickfergus he went up into the tower of the castle and watched as one of the staff there used an old-style crossbow to demonstrate how the castle was defended in times past."
The ballad Carrickfergus has been covered by a litany of performers, but the meaning of the famous song, whose original melody has been traced to an Irish language song "Do Bhí Bean Uasal" ("There Was a Noblewoman"), is sometimes contested.
Omar bin Laden is the only member of bin Laden's children to publicly condemn him for the 9/11 terror attacks in New York City.
In his 2009 memoir “Growing Up bin Laden: Osama’s Wife and Son Take Us Inside Their Secret World,” Omar bin Laden wrote: “Although I cannot simply order my heart to stop loving my father, I do not agree with his behavior. There are times that I feel my heart swell with anger at his actions, which have harmed many people, people he did not know, as well as members of his own family.
"As the son of Osama bin Laden, I am truly sorry for all the terrible things that have happened, the innocent lives that have been destroyed, the grief that still lingers in many hearts.”
After Osama bin Laden’s death in 2011, several of the terrorist’s sons issued a statement to the New York Times which read in part: “We want to remind the world that Omar bin Laden, the fourth-born son of our father, always disagreed with our father regarding any violence and always sent messages to our father, that he must change his ways and that no civilians should be attacked under any circumstances.
“Despite the difficulty of publicly disagreeing with our father, he never hesitated to condemn any violent attacks made by anyone, and expressed sorrow for the victims of any and all attacks.”