Bin Laden's life with $5,000 bride

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Osama bin Laden's former bodyguard has provided a rare glimpse of the terror chief's private life. Nasir Ahmad Nasir al-Bahri, known as Abu Jandal, gave his first ever interview to a London-based Arabic newspaper on Tuesday.

He told them he believed Bin Laden still had three of his four wives with him in Afghanistan, including one for whom he paid a $5,000 dowry. The Yemeni told the newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi that he met the al-Qa'ida chief at the end of 1996 and became his personal bodyguard. Among his responsibilities was running two of the organisation's "guesthouses" in Kabul and Kandahar in Afghanistan.

He was also asked to supervise personally Bin Laden's fourth marriage in 2000 to a woman from Yemen, who remains with her fugitive husband.

"From what I know she is still with her husband, and so are his other three wives, except for his first wife, Umm-Abdullah, who left long before the incidents and did not return."

It is his description of the organisation's structure and decision-making that will interest the world's intelligence agencies, however. He said: "Al-Qa'ida pursues a method or principle that calls for the 'centralisation of decision and decentralisation of execution'. The decision was made centrally, but the method of attack and execution was the duty of field commanders."

He said that the body that "green-lighted" attacks on particular targets was called the "military affairs committee".

Interestingly the Yemeni denied that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is Bin Laden's lieutenant in Iraq. "Al-Qa'ida had expected the fall of the Iraqi regime, and many elements entered Iraq and are now fighting with the Iraqi resistance."

He said the organisation had not been penetrated by Western intelligence because Bin Laden chose his key lieutenants, or "elements", from the "steel and the fire".

"It is from within the battle that elements are chosen, and hypocrites and agents cannot join battlefronts."

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