Arsenal is one of the most popular football clubs in the world. Thus, it is a common thing for Arsenal if many football lovers admire this club in London. Their fans are even known to not only come from ordinary people. A famous rapper, Jay-Z also claimed that he was a lover of the Arsenal club.
Besides Jay-Z, there are other big names that also become part of the London cannon team fans, such as singer Dido, actor Tom Cruise, Queen Band Group, until several politicians such as Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Prince Harry, and Leader Cuba Fidel Castro. Believe it or not, the Al-Qaeda leader named Osama Bin Laden also claimed that he was an Arsenal fan.
This disclosure was exposed right after the events of WTC 9-11 in the book published by Adam Robinson, Bin Laden: Behind the Mask of a Terrorist. Since then, the credibility of the disclosure has been reinforced by several writers, including the famous Bin Laden biographer Yossef Bodansky.
It was known that Osama often watched Arsenal matches at Highbury while living in London in the 1990s. Not only during home games but Osama also often came directly to the stadium for Arsenal’s matches, including when Arsenal beat Parma in the 1993/94 Cup Winners Cup final at Parken Stadium, Copenhagen.
Not only that, but Osama also bought costumes for Ian Wright, Arsenal’s reliable attacker in the era of the 90s, for his son, Abdullah. This was revealed by a writer named Adam Robinson.
A friend during his childhood, Khaled Batarfi commented on Osama,
“In the summer, after we came home from the mosque, we used to play together. When we argued about whether “that was the goal, it was a violation”, he was the only one who was reluctant to argue. He just played happily and didn’t want to argue while playing football. “
Former Osama bodyguard, Nasser Al Bahri also said,
“He is tall but can also do volley kicks.”
According to Yossef Bodansky, after enjoying his time as an Arsenal fan, Osama Bin Laden left England, avoiding extradition to Saudi Arabia. Four years later, he became the main suspect in the bombing of the US Embassy in Kenya and Tanzania. Some said that it was a second plan after his attempt to slaughter the English and American teams at the 1998 World Cup failed a few weeks earlier.
As long as the news about Osama was talked about, Arsenal fans began to create a strange song,
“Osama, Woah, Osama, Woah, He’s hiding near Kabul, He loves Arsenal, Osama Oh-oh-oh-oh!”
After he was called as an international criminal, Arsenal even had to hold a press conference to ban him from entering Highbury,
“We have seen news in several media. Obviously, in the future, he will no longer be allowed to be at Highbury,”
The relationship of this Al Qaeda’s leader with Arsenal did not end sweetly. In the end, Osama became a blacklist of visitors who were not allowed to enter the Highbury stadium.
Osama himself was killed on May 1, 2011, in an attack carried out by the United States Navy, Navy Seals. Osama was accused of being responsible for the September 1, 2001 terror attack on the United States, which had killed nearly 3,000 people.