OSAMA bin Laden was “not impressed” when he visited Shakespeare Birthplace.
The late leader of al-Qaida wrote down his thoughts about the Bard’s home, and British culture in general, in his journal which has been released by the CIA. It was among 470,000 documents collected from Bin Laden’s house after he was killed by US special forces in 2011.
Although Bin Laden was previously reported to have travelled to the west, the release of his personal journal has provided the first confirmation.
The architect of the 9/11 attacks spent ten weeks in the UK as a teenager, during which he was reported to have taken an English language course at Oxford.
And the wealthy son of a Saudi construction billionaire also made a number of visits to Stratford during his stay satting in the journal he was “not impressed” by British society and culture.
He continued: “We went every Sunday to visit Shakespeare’s house. I was not impressed and I saw that they were a society different from ours and that they were a morally loose society.”
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust – which cares for the birthplace – was unaware of its notorious visitor prior to the release of the journal.
A spokeswoman said: “It is difficult to know what to say. We get millions of visitors from all of the world, including many younger visitors, and who knows what they will become in the future.
“I think we can say it has been picked up because Shakespeare is so iconic and an emblem of British culture.”
The CIA said it had released the journal and other documents “in the interest of transparency and to enhance public understanding of al-Qaida and in Laden.”
The CIA said it had released the treasure trove “in the interest of transparency and to enhance public understanding” of al-Qaida and Bin Laden.