|His wealth brought him closer to the most prominent Saudi families. In his book, "The Kingdom: Arabia and the House of Saud" (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1981), Robert Lacey describes bin Laden's ties with Adnan Kashoggi of the famous Saudi family. Mohammed bin Laden was indirectly responsible for Adnan Kashoggi's fortune, writes Lacey. |
In the 1950s, Kashoggi returned to Saudi Arabia from the United States. He met with Mohammed bin Laden, who was a friend of his father. Bin Laden told him that he was urgently in need of trucks. Kashoggi promised to help. He put bin Laden in contact with an American truck manufacturer whom he'd known during his college years.
According to Lacey, a half-million-dollar deal was closed several weeks later and Kashoggi received $25,000 in commission from the American manufacturer. He sent the check to bin Laden, who promptly sent back a check for double the amount. Don't be ashamed to take a commission, he told Kashoggi. And this is how Kashoggi's career as a middleman began, writes Lacey.