Tuesday, February 28, 2006

THE former Melbourne taxi driver convicted this week of receiving cash from al-Qaeda has told of his meetings with Osama bin Laden, and how the world's most-wanted man had a softer side.

"You know, he didn't mind being hugged, but kisses he didn't like," says Joseph "Jihad Jack" Thomas, the 32-year-old father of three who trained under the al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan just months before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on Washington and New York.

Thomas, who was also found guilty of passport fraud but acquitted of two other terrorism-related charges, was asked for his impression of bin Laden during an interview on ABC's Four Corners last night.

The Muslim convert says bin Laden is "very polite, and humble and shy . . . and he was just, seemed to float, really float across the floor".

Well, isn't that just lovely? OBL, the huggable, nice guy mass-murderer. Good grief.

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