Evidence that Osama bin Laden visited America

Steve Coll in The New Yorker:

ScreenHunter_06 Jul. 08 17.17 The question of whether Osama bin Laden has ever visited the United States, a subject on which I have expended an unhealthy amount of energy in the course of various journalistic and biographical research, has now seemingly been settled. Osama was here for two weeks in 1979, it seems, and he visited Indiana and Los Angeles, among other places. He had a favorable encounter with an American medical doctor; he also reportedly met in Los Angeles with his spiritual mentor of the time, the Palestinian radical Abdullah Azzam. All this is according to a forthcoming book by Osama’s first wife, Najwa Bin Laden, and his son Omar Bin Laden, to be published in the autumn by St. Martin’s Press.

First, some context for the book’s disclosures:

In the autumn of 2005, while conducting research in Saudi Arabia for the book that became “The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century,” I met a Saudi journalist named Khaled Batarfi, who had been a neighbor and friend of Osama Bin Laden in their teenage years. During one of our interviews, Batarfi offered an account of Osama’s early travels—to London, to Africa on Safari, and to the United States—that was suggestive of a young man who had more direct experience of the West than was generally understood.

More here.