Ambitious Civic Project Planned by Terrorist's Brother

Osama bin Laden's brother has announced plans to build the world's longest suspension bridge, connecting Africa and Arabia, and building two state-of-the-art cities at each end -- a project that is expected to cost upwards of $200 billion.
August 23, 2008, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"The brother of the world's most famous terrorist wants to build the world's longest suspension bridge, linking two continents across the world's most dangerous waters. As if that's not enough, he also plans to build two new cities – one at each end."

"If Sheikh Tarek bin Laden is joking, it's an expensive gag. The Al Noor project will cost some $200bn (£100bn) and, according to Sheikh Bin Laden's people, he has already ploughed hundreds of millions of dollars into the scheme himself."

"The project is nothing if not ambitious. A bridge, 18 miles long, will link Africa with Arabia across the Bab al-Mandib (Gate of Tears), the strait connecting the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden. Two cities, one in tiny Djibouti, the other in Yemen, will sit at either end."

"The new metropolises, the Saudi developer claims, will be the envy of the world: the finest hospitals and schools, world-class universities and sporting facilities – everything will be the biggest and the best. Building them will require a staggering influx of migrant labour. The Djibouti city alone needs 850,000 workers – the country's entire population (children and babies included) is 800,000."

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Published on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 in The Independent
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