Prince Charles of the British royal family is facing new scrutiny after a report last week that revealed his charity took a £1 million donation from two half-brothers of former Al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden in 2013.
Brothers Bakr and Shafiq Bin Laden — the half brothers of Osama — gave the £1 million (then-worth about $1.6 million) donation to the Prince of Wales’ Charitable Fund (PWCF), the Sunday Times first reported Saturday. The donation came after Bakr Bin Laden met Prince Charles at his Clarence House royal residence in London.
Prince Charles is the oldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and next in line to the British throne.
Osama Bin Laden founded Al Qaeda in 1988 and led the terrorist as it carried out multiple terrorist attacks against the U.S., including the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks which together killed around 3,000 Americans.
Osama Bin Laden continued to lead Al Qaeda while in hiding until he was killed in a U.S. special operations raid on May 2, 2011.
According to the Sunday Times, Prince Charles agreed to the donation from Bakr and Shafiq over the objections of his advisors at Clarence House and PWCF.
The Bin Laden family founded the Saudi Binladen Group (SBG). The company has taken part in major construction projects throughout the Arabian Peninsula.
Bakr Bin Laden is the former chairman and former largest shareholder of SBG, and now serves as patriarch of the wealthy Bin Laden family.
Bakr, Shafiq and Osama were all sons of SBG founder Mohammed Bin Awad Bin Laden. The three sons were born of different wives of Mohammed Bin Awad.
Prince Charles originally met Bakr just two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 Al Qaeda attacks, the Guardian reported at the time. The two met at a dinner organized for the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.
The Bin Laden family has links to the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and Prince Charles is a patron of the center.
Prince Charles reported decision to accept the donation from the half-brothers of the 9/11 terrorist mastermind has sparked outrage among the families of the victims.
“I don’t think he should be king of anything,” Jim Riches told the New York Post.
“He is an incompetent,” added Riches, whose then-29-year-old son Jimmy Riches was a firefighter killed in the attack. “A regular person would see what they did.”
“I’m pissed off,” Riches continued/ He should put himself in my shoes. If it was his son [who died in the World Trade Center], he would be completely different.”
Monica Iken, whose husband Michael Patrick Iken died in the 9/11 attack, said “It’s shocking and makes my skin crawl.” She added, “I will never go to England. I thought they were our allies but I would not support what he supports.”
The Royal Family has not issued any statement addressing the 2013 donation.