Image: Omar Osama bin Laden, Zaina Alsabah
Nasser Nasser  /  AP file
Omar Osama bin Laden, right, and his British-born wife Jane Felix-Brown, now known as Zaina Alsabah, speak during an interview in Cairo, Egypt, in January.
updated 11/5/2008 3:51:19 PM ET 2008-11-05T20:51:19

Spain rejected an asylum request from a son of Osama bin Laden on Wednesday after deciding he had not met the conditions necessary for him to remain.

Omar Osama bin Laden, 27, flew to Spain earlier this week and remains in a transit area at Madrid's Barajas Airport, an Interior Ministry official said. He has 24 hours to appeal the government's decision.

"The Interior Ministry has not accepted the request for asylum because this does not meet the conditions necessary for entering Spain," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government policy.

The official would not elaborate or discuss the younger bin Laden's reasons for seeking asylum.

Omar Osama bin Laden is a metals trader who had been living in Cairo with his wife. He has not renounced his father, but has said he wants to be an "ambassador for peace" between the Muslim world and the West.

The Spanish official said the government usually seeks a recommendation from the U.N. refugee agency in asylum request cases and he said the agency also recommended against asylum.

Omar Osama bin Laden — one of the al-Qaida leader's 19 children — arrived in Madrid Monday on a flight from Cairo. He had been traveling on a Saudi passport.

The younger bin Laden caused a tabloid storm last year after marrying a British woman, 52-year-old Jane Felix-Browne, who has since taken the name Zaina Alsabah. She said in May that Omar Osama bin Laden had been denied a British residency request.

In media interviews, Omar Osama bin Laden has declined to directly condemn his father or the Sept. 11 attacks, instead condemning all violent acts and saying simply that he has a different approach to problems than his father.

Osama bin Laden is believed to be hiding in the Pakistan-Afghan border region.

The younger bin Laden had moved to Afghanistan with his father in 1996 after living with him in Sudan, and trained at an al-Qaida camp. But Omar has said he hasn't seen his father since he left Afghanistan in 2000 and returned to his homeland of Saudi Arabia.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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