The Bel Air mansion owned by Osama Bin Laden’s half-brother, Ibrahim Bin Laden, has been listed for $28,000,000. The property has sat vacant for 20 years, since the September 11 attacks, and was listed last Wednesday.
Coldwell Banker’s Florence Mattar, the listing agent of the property, confirmed to Los Angeles that Bin Laden is the owner, saying “you can check the title: Ibrahim Bin Laden,” before adding that she did not want to discuss it more as the way the media has “twisted it around is disgusting.”
Property records show the seven-bedroom, five-bathroom house was built in 1931 and sits on 2.16 acres down the street from the Hotel Bel Air. The structure was designed in the Mediterranean Revival style, but 20 years of abandonment are obvious. Photos of the property show large swathes of brown grass and dirt patches, broken walkway tiles and stone banisters, and a dried, neglected fountain. Photos of a sparkling, filled-in pool appear to be Photoshopped, but that is unconfirmed. No photos of the interiors are currently available, but one can imagine the insides look similarly maintained.
The Bin-Laden family emigrated from Yemen to Saudi Arabia in the early 20th century and amassed great wealth after starting a construction company that landed major contracts including military bases and major renovations to the al-Haram Mosque in Mecca.
Ibrahim Bin Laden came to Los Angeles to attend USC, according to Steven Coll’s The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century. In the mid-1980s, he met Christine Hartunian, the daughter of a wealthy Armenian businessman in Orange County, through his friend Dodi Fayed (yes, Princess Diana’s one-time beau). Bin Laden bought the Bel Air home in 1983 for $1.6 million, and lived there with Christine and their daughter until they divorced in 1991.
Today, the empty 7,106-square-foot home pales in comparison to the properties surrounding it. Bin Laden’s immediate neighbors, as Dirt.com reports, are Beny Alagem (owner of the Beverly Hills Hotel) and his 36,000-square-foot manse, as well as Jeffrey Kaplan (who reportedly owns several mobile home parks) and his 43,000-square-foot estate. It’s safe to assume that whoever buys the Bin Laden property will knock it down and build a much larger home on the grounds.
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