Khadr family

Khadr family
Maha (Maryam in arms), Zaynab (Abdulkareem in arms), Abdurahman and Abdullah.

The Khadr family (أسرة خضر) is a Canadian family noted for their ties to Osama bin Laden and alleged connections to al Qaeda.[1][2] The family maintains that they have not broken any Canadian laws, and they have never been charged with any crimes by Canadian authorities.[3]

The Khadr family comprises:

  • Their children:
  • Zaynab Khadr (born 1979), a daughter
  • Abdullah Khadr (born 1981), a son who returned to Canada in 2005, was arrested on behalf of the United States and held for 5 years while an extradition request was reviewed. Ontario Superior Court ordered him released in 2010 citing "shocking and unjustifiable" human rights violations.[4][5][6]
  • Abdurahman Khadr (born 1982), a son notable for press interviews dubbing the Khadrs "an al-Qaeda family" and his co-operation with the United States intelligence services
  • Ibrahim Khadr (born 1985), a son, who had a congenital heart defect and died in 1988[7]
  • Omar Khadr (born 1986), a son captured by American forces following a 2002 firefight and currently held in Guantanamo Bay
  • Abdulkareem Khadr (born 1989), a son who was made a paraplegic in a Pakistani attack that killed his father
  • Maryam Khadr (born 1991), the youngest daughter



In 1986, the family was living in an apartment in Peshawar on an $800 monthly allowance.[8]

The family returned to Canada and rented an apartment near Bloor/Dundas in 1992 following an incident in Afghanistan that left Ahmed crippled, and later moved into the Bloor/Lansdowne area.[citation needed]

After leaving Canada a year and a half later, the family moved into a three-room house in September 1997.[9] During this time, the family visited Nazim Jihad, the family home of Osama bin Laden in Jalalabad which the children nicknamed "Star Wars",[10] and stayed at the compound the following year during the father's absence. The family say they stayed two days, while the FBI says it was a month.[10][11] They subsequently moved to the Karte Parwan neighbourhood of Kabul and lived there from 1999-2001.[12] The Khadrs were registered as operators of a Canadian charity, and closed their office in the upscale Wazir Akbar Khan neighbourhood to bring work in their own home.[10]

Maha (Abdulkareem in arms), Omar, Zaynab, Abdurahman (facing camera) and Maryam (foreground) Khadr.

Following the Invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, Maha, Abdulkareem, Maryam, Zaynab and her daughter Safia joined a convoy leaving Kabul traveling towards Gardez, but discovered that their intended residence had been bombed.[13]

They then traveled to an orphanage that Ahmed had run, and in 2003 stayed briefly in with a family in Birmal, Pakistan. They finally moved in with a Pashto family in a hut in the mountains, where they saw Ahmed monthly.[13]


When Maha and Abdulkareem used the family's savings to return to Canada on April 9, 2004,[14] Stockwell Day, Bob Runciman and John Cannis were among a public outcry calling for the Khadrs' citizenship to be revoked, and for the pair to be deported.[15] Others suggested it was unfair to revoke citizenship from people who held views contrary to the government or majority.[15]

Some Canadians complained that the Khadrs had "taken advantage of" Canada, living off its social services, while decrying it as a morally corrupted country.[16] Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty dissented, stating that the province would recognise the family's right to Ontario Health Insurance Plan medical coverage and to be treated like any other Canadian family.[17]

In 2005, following Zaynab's return to the country, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer Konrad Shourie stated that "The entire family is affiliated with al Qaeda and has participated in some form or another with these criminal extremist elements".[18]

A noted friend of the family, former Pakistani Air Force officer and ISI agent Khalid Khawaja spoke in their defence saying they were being unfairly targeted by Canadian authorities because of a deference to the United States, and Islamophobia.[19]

Since returning to Canada, the Khadr family has been described as "poverty-stricken".[20]

In their 2008 report concerning Mahmoud Jaballah, Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) stated that Omar and Abdulkareem attended "training camps".[21] In late October 2010, Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to charges against him in a military tribunal, admitting to having received "one-on-one terrorist training from an al-Qaeda operative and that he threw the grenade that killed U.S. Sergeant Christopher Speer".[22]

On June 4, 2010 the youngest member of the family, paraplegic Abdulkareem Ahmed Khadr, 21, surrendered himself to Canadian police and has since been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and child molestation, which he denies.


  1. ^ Son of al Qaeda, Frontline (PBS)
  2. ^ Faction linked to Khadr claims attacks: Allegedly formed by Canadian, National Post, July 13, 2006
  3. ^ Struck, Doug. Washington Post, "In Canada, an Outcast Family Finds Support", June 9 2005
  4. ^ Michelle Shephard (2010-08-04). "Court rejects Abdullah Khadr extradition request". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2010-08-04. "Extradition orders to the U.S. are rarely denied, but Superior Court Justice Christopher Speyer ruled Wednesday that “this was an exceptional case on many levels.”"  mirror
  5. ^ Linda Nguyen (2010-08-04). "Court frees Abdullah Khadr, turns down U.S. extradition request". National Post. Retrieved 2010-08-04. "“He’s getting married. He’s engaged,” said Mr. Whitling. “He just wants to settle down and live a quiet life.”"  mirror
  6. ^ "Abdullah Khadr released after court ruling: Ontario judge denies U.S. extradition request". CBC News. 2010-08-04. Retrieved 2010-08-05. "On Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Christopher Speyer granted a stay of proceedings in his case — effectively shelving it, meaning the extradition request was denied. Khadr, 29, was then released from custody." 
  7. ^ Ian Mulgrew (April 26, 2008). "An extreme case: Omar Khadr's upbringing explains a lot". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  8. ^ Cahill, Jack. Toronto Star, "'Pretty toys' maiming Afghan kids", September 25 1986
  9. ^ Stackhouse, John. Globe and Mail, "Canadian sought for questioning in car bombing", September 5, 1998
  10. ^ a b c Shephard, Michelle (2008). Guantanamo's Child. John Wiley & Sons. 
  11. ^ Hughes, Gregory T. Federal Bureau of Investigation, "Affidavit of Gregory T. Hughes", 2005
  12. ^ Testimony of Abdurahman Khadr as a witness in the trial against Charkaoui, July 13 2004
  13. ^ a b "Married to the Jihad: The Lonely World of al-Qaida", March 27, 2004
  14. ^ Yahoo news, "Two members of family that has been linked to al-Qaida return to Canada", April 9 2004
  15. ^ a b Bagnall, Janet. Montreal Gazette, "Citizen of convenience? So what?", March 24 2005
  16. ^ Rana, Abbas. The Hill Times, "Why Canadian federal political leaders should be talking about Omar Khadr now", April 21 2008
  17. ^ CTV News, "Khadrs entitled to fair treatment: Ont. premier", April 14 2004
  18. ^ CTV News, "Khadr laptop seized at Toronto airport: report, Marc 3 2005
  19. ^ Bell, Stewart. National Post, "Khadrs Reveal Bin Laden Ties", January 24, 2004
  20. ^ Humphreys, Adrian. National Post, Khadrs must pay $102M, February 20 2006
  21. ^ Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Summary of the Security Intelligence Report concerning Mahmoud Jaballah, February 22, 2008
  22. ^ [Globe and Mail], [1], October, 2010

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