The 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States were a watershed moment in 21st-century politics, which would see the western world’s attention shift from the Soviet Union to Islamic terrorist organizations as their biggest security threat. The attacks that killed around 3,000 people and destroyed the World Trade Centre towers, as well as a part of Pentagon, were carried out by al-Qaida under the leadership of Osama bin Laden.

A number of members of the bin Laden family were in the United States when the attacks took place. While some were running their business, others were in schools and universities.

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Soon after the attack, a brother of bin Laden made a call to the Washington-based Saudi Arabian Embassy in order to ask for protection from public rage, the New York Times had reported. The individual was kept in a room at the Watergate Hotel and was advised against opening the door.

The FBI helped the younger members of the bin Laden family to escape to Texas. They were then taken to Washington, according to The Times.

The 9/11 Commission was founded to detail the events of the terror attacks. In its report, the commission had discussed the way the FBI had handled the bin Laden family’s evacuation. The report stated, “FBI conducted a satisfactory screening of Saudi nationals who left the United States on charter flights. The Saudi government was advised of and agreed to the FBI’s requirements that passengers be identified and checked against various databases before the flights departed.”

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History of the bin Laden family

The bin Laden family is one of the richest families of Saudi Arabia. The family has a multi-national construction business called the Saudi Binladin Group. Members of the bin Laden family disowned Obama in 1994 due to his involvement in extremist activities.

The Saudi Arabian government had also revoked his passport after bin Laden spoke up against them for allowing the United States to base US troops in the country for the Gulf Wars.