The donation was made after Charles met two relatives of the terrorist mastermind in London
British Prince Charles “personally secured” a £1 million ($1.2 million) donation to his charity from Osama bin Laden’s family in 2013, The Times reported on Sunday. The Prince of Wales has only recently been investigated for taking “bags of cash” of the Qatari royal family.
Charles “mediated the payment” after a private meeting with Bakr and Shafiq bin Laden at his London residence of Clarence House in October 2013, the paper’s sources claimed. Bakr and Shafiq are half-brothers of Osama Bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda and the mastermind of 9/11, who was shot dead by US special forces in Pakistan two years before the meeting.
According to the Times, Charles agreed to the donation despite objections from his staff and the Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation (PWCF). Charles reportedly chose not to return the money as it would embarrass the brothers.
However, PWCF chairman Sir Ian Cheshire told the newspaper that all five trustees of the charity “whole” agreed to accept the donation after listening to the concerns. Another source told The Guardian that the prince was not urged to return the money, disputing suggestions that he personally brokered the deal.
There is no suggestion that Bakr or Shafiq bin Laden ever financed or were involved in terrorism, The Times stressed.
The UK Charity Commission last week dropped an investigation into multimillion-pound donations made to the PWCF by the Qatari royal family. British media reported last month that between 2011 and 2015, Charles had received shopping bags full of cash totaling more than £2.5 million ($3.07 million) during meetings with Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al Thani. Al Thani was Prime Minister of Qatar from 2007 to 2013.
The Prince of Wales is no stranger to controversy, and his relationship with the bin Laden family has been questioned before. After Charles was introduced to Bakr at the Oxford Center of Islamic Studies in 2000, Charles was criticized by the British press for dining with Osama’s brother the following October, less than a month after the 9/11 attacks.
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