Osama Bin Laden, the global instability maker, was a gold bug, documents have recently revealed. A few months before his 2011 death, the leader of the Al-Qaeda organization had predicted the gold price would double to $3,000 a troy ounce, which has not happened thus far.
In 2010, Bin Laden—the mastermind of the September 2001 attacks on the United States—wrote a letter to Al-Qaeda’s management instructing them to set aside about $1.7 million to purchase gold bars and coins, The New York Times reported. (Source: “As an Investor, Osama bin Laden Was Bullish on Gold,” The New York Times, April 5, 2016.)
The Arabic letter was part of the tranche of intelligence recovered by Navy SEALs in the raid on Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011 that was declassified by the Central Intelligence Agency last month.
The letter was written in December 2010 and shows Bin Laden trying to decide what to do with $5.0 million in ransom paid by the Afghani government to free one of its diplomats. (Source: “Osama bin Laden an INVESTOR? Former Al Qaeda leader told followers to invest money in gold,” Express, April 6, 2016.)
He told Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, the Al-Qaeda general manager, to avoid the Pakistani currency because its “value has been declining.” (Source: “Osama bin Laden Orders an Investment in Gold,” The New York Times, last accessed April 6, 2016.)
Bin Laden wrote: “Even with occasional drops, in the next few years the price of gold will reach $3,000 an ounce.”
Bin Laden said the yellow metal should be bought in coins or bars, which he referred to as “10 tolas,” a common denomination for gold bars in South Asia. The rest should be split between euros, Kuwaiti dinars, and Chinese yuan, which should all be spent before the gold, according to his instructions.
However, when Bin Laden wrote his letter the gold price closed at $1,414.08 a troy ounce. Bullion peaked at $1,900 a troy ounce five months after his death. Today, the gold price is at $1,223 a troy ounce in New York trading.