London: George W Bush invited Osama bin Laden's son Omar to the White House in the final days of his presidency in a last-ditch attempt to track down the world's most wanted terrorist, bin Laden junior has claimed.
The fourth son of the al-Qaeda terror network founder has claimed that he received a visit from White House staff in January 2009 at his home in Doha, the capital of the Gulf state of Qatar.
"They invited me to accompany them to the White House, offered to defend, help and protect me, on the condition that I helped them find my father," he told Spanish daily newspaper 'La Vanguardia'.
But the 29-year-old said he refused because of filial duty. "I told them I was sorry but it wasn't something I could do. He is my father and I am his son, and as is the way the son must love and respect his father," he said.
Omar added: "Even if in many cases a man may be against the ideas of his father." But the son who was once groomed to take over from bin Laden later admitted that he had had no contact with his father for almost a decade.
The younger bin Laden claims to have renounced violence and walked away from his father's compound in the Tora Bora mountains of Afghanistan, months before the attacks on September 11, 2001.
"Since I was at his side I have not received any messages from my father," Britain's 'The Daily Telegraph' quoted him as telling the Spanish newspaper.
A spokesman for the White House said no comment would be made on activities carried out under the previous administration. "We cannot provide any insight as to whether such a thing happened or not," he said.
First Published: Tuesday, April 05, 2011, 15:57