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Last Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008, 13:18 GMT
Bin Laden's son wants peace role
Omar Osama bin Laden
Omar says a truce between the West and al-Qaeda is possible
Osama Bin Laden's son has said he wants to become an "ambassador for peace" between Muslims and the West.

Omar Osama Bin Laden, 26, told the Associated Press that he was planning a horse race across North Africa to promote peace between nations.

"It's about changing the ideas of the Western mind," he said.

Without renouncing his father, who leads the al-Qaeda network, Omar said there was a better way to defend Islam than militancy.

'Another way'

"A lot of people think Arabs - especially the Bin Ladens, especially the sons of Osama - are all terrorists. This is not the truth," Omar told AP in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

I don't want to be in that situation to just fight
Omar Osama Bin Laden

Omar is one of the 19 children of Saudi Arabian-born Osama Bin Laden. He said he had lived with his father in Sudan after Riyadh stripped his father of Saudi citizenship in 1994.

In 1996, Omar said they moved to Afghanistan, where he trained at an al-Qaeda camp.

Osama Bin Laden
Omar claims not to have seen his father since 2000

But he said he later decided that there was another way, leaving his father in 2000 and returning to Saudi Arabia.

"I don't want to be in that situation to just fight.

"I like to find another way and this other way may be like we do now, talking," he said.

In the interview, Omar did not criticise his father, saying he was trying to defend the Muslim cause.

He claimed that he had not seen or been in contact with his father since leaving Afghanistan.

Omar now runs a contracting company in Saudi Arabia, but spends much of his time in Egypt.

Horse race

To draw attention to the cause of peace, he said he planned to organise the 3,000-mile (4,825km) endurance horse race across Africa in March.

Teams from around the world would be invited to join in what Omar described as an equine version of the Paris-Dakar car rally which was cancelled this year.

"I heard the rally was stopped because of al-Qaeda. I don't think they are going to stop me," Omar said.

He said his British wife would also take part in the race.

Omar caused a media storm last year when he married Jane Felix-Browne, 52, who later took the name Zaina Alsabah.

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