Bin Laden’s Niece in GQ Photo Spread

Wafah Dufour, Osama bin Laden’s niece, has posed for a racy photos for GQ magazine.

Bin Laden’s niece appears in racy photos (AP)

Osama bin Laden’s niece, in an interview with GQ magazine in which she appears scantily clad, says she has nothing in common with the al Qaeda leader and simply wants acceptance by Americans. “Everyone relates me to that man, and I have nothing to do with him,” Wafah Dufour, the daughter of bin Laden’s half brother, Yeslam Binladin, says in the January edition of the magazine, referring to the al Qaeda leader. “I want to be accepted here, but I feel that everybody’s judging me and rejecting me,” said the California-born Dufour, a law graduate who lives in New York. “Come on, where’s the American spirit? Accept me. I want to be embraced, because my values are like yours. And I’m here. I’m not hiding.”

Dufour, who adopted her mother’s maiden name after the September 11, 2001, attacks that have been blamed on bin Laden, appears in several provocative photos in the magazine. In one, she is sprawled on a bed wearing lingerie and a feather boa. In another, she appears in a bubble bath-filled tub.

The pictures are likely to be considered obscene by conservative Muslims in and outside of Saudi Arabia where women are required to be veiled.

Photo Wafah Dufour, niece of Osama bin Laden, poses during a photo session for the January 2006 issue of GQ Magazine. The article is entitled, “It Isn’t Easy Being the Sexy Bin Laden“and appears on pages 51-58 of the January issue which arrived in the mail yesterday. She’s a reasonably attractive woman but I don’t find the photos particularly provocative. Of course, I’m not a devout, traditionalist Muslim. A small version of the full-page shot that opens the article in the print edition, taken from the Web excerpt, is at right.

The other photos have her playing the guitar and showing a little leg; submerged in a tiny bubble-filled bathtub and exposing her shoulders and part of her leg; and as an 8-year-old posing with her family.

This is a legitimate case where, as the old joke says, you read it for the article. The Web version has only a small part of the story, which is pretty fascinating.

Ms. Dufour passes by Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, who is lunching with designer Isaac Mizrahi, then stops at the next table to meet former Sony Music chairman Tommy Mottola and NBC head Jeff Zucker.

“You know Wafah bin Ladin?†Valvo asks the men loudly.

“Wafah Dufour,†she snaps, shooting him a look that’s more pleading than hostile.

The niece of the man who orchestrated the destruction of the World Trade Center seventy-eight blocks to the south has a point. After September 11, the name bin Laden (which is how it’s spelled when referring to Osama) turned radioactive, borderline satanic-by-association. It made her feel cursed, presumed guilty—made her wonder if it might keep her from ever getting a record deal. So she took her mother’s maiden name, Dufour, which makes for a better first impression, even though the bin Laden taint is always there.

Ms. Dufour, who’s vague about her age but almost certainly younger than 30, sits down at a good corner table and thanks me for helping her tell her story. “It’s really important for me,†she says with a French accent. “I was born in the States, and I want people to know I’m American, and I want people here to understand that I’m like anyone in New York. For me, it’s home.

“It’s really tough that I have to always explain myself,†she continues in a soft, husky voice. “It’s like every time I meet someone, I have to move a huge mountain that’s in front of me, and sometimes I get tired.â€

One can imagine.

Update: The other two photos, courtesy This is London:

Photo: Wafah 'Bin Laden' Dufour Provocative: Strumming a guitar, Wafar Dufour changed her name from Wafar Bin Laden after September 11 Photo: Wafah 'Bin Laden' Dufour Wafah's poses seem calculated to offend her uncle Osama Bin Laden

Update (3/11/06): See Wafah Dufour Bin Ladin Reality Show

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Fersboo says:

    “It’s like every time I meet someone, I have to move a huge mountain that’s in front of me, and sometimes I get tired.”

    Poor girl.

  2. Anderson says:

    I accept her! I accept her!

    Where do I go to accept her?

  3. Chuck says:

    WOW! She can be whatever she wants to be; Wafah, Bin Laden, Whaetever…

  4. She also says in the article that she would not date a fundamentalist Muslim man, which, by the way, I am not.

  5. Rick Moya says:

    She’s still making money off the name and taking advantage of the publicity she can get for his name even while “denouncing” his name. Truth is: if she really didn’t want anybody to associate her with the name, she simply wouldn’t tell anybody that she’s related to Bin Laden.

    The FBI should keep track of her finances.

  6. Steph says:

    Why would anyone know she was related to bin laden with the last name she uses? She would have to tell them I’d bet in 99 percent of the cases.

    A good friend of mine is related to Jeffrey Dahmer. She is his brother’s daughter. She changed her last name to her mother’s maiden name professionally. She is a well known journalist in Milwaukee The only reason people would know she was his niece was if she told them. I won’t reveal who it is because she has never told her readers. Her bosses know and that’s the only people who matter.

  7. Herb says:

    She’s way to skinny

  8. anne says:

    This woman clearly wants attention and it appears that the attention she’s getting isn;t really flattering at all from what i’ve read of other users comments. Keep trying Wafah!

  9. Peter says:

    Something fishy here…she doesnt want anything to do with “that man” she mentions in her interview…changes her name to become anonymous and then gives an interview and poses for pictures that have already hit every news service in the world…so that she again becomes known as Bin Ladens neice…so tell me again why she changed her name?? I am confused.

  10. a says:

    I’d hit it.

  11. Dennis says:

    Everone should get off her back. The US made the “how to succeed rules” she is just living by them. Look at the other young people who are posing the same way. An as far as relatives go look in your closet before you start throwing stones

  12. lisa says:

    She is beautiful. Just accept her why would she want anything to do with him? she has the life here. Just believe her when she says she has nothing to do with him!

  13. Jerome says:

    I think she is very brave and beautiful, hopefully she will inspire women in the middle east who have no voice.