After it was revealed this week that Prince Charles’ personal charity, the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, accepted $1.2 million from the family of Osama bin Laden, 9/11 families are “pissed off” — and questioning whether the royal should ever be a monarch.
“I don’t think he should be king of anything,” Jim Riches — who lost his 29-year-old firefighter son, Jimmy Riches, in the attack — told The Post. “He is an incompetent. A regular person would see what they did … yet he turns around and takes their money. I’m pissed off. He should put himself in my shoes. If it was his son [who died in the World Trade Center], he would be completely different.”
Charles, 73, met with Bakr and Shafiq bin Laden, the half-brothers of Osama bin Laden, in London on Oct. 30, 2013, to broker the payment, according to the Sunday Times of London.
“I’m personally surprised that anyone would take blood money connected to the person responsible for murdering 3,000 lives,” said Monica Iken, whose husband Michael Patrick Iken, died in the Twin Towers on 9/11. “It’s shocking and makes my skin crawl … I will never go to England. I thought they were our allies but I would not support what he supports.”
By the same token, Iken added, Charles should steer clear of the 9/11 Memorial Museum: “The families would be in an uproar if he went there.”
Prince Charles’s advisers reportedly warned of outrage if word of the transaction leaked. But Gordon Haberman, whose daughter Andrea Lyn Haberman perished in the Trade Center attack while on her first business trip to New York City, wonders if the bin Laden brothers actually wanted the news to get out.
“I don’t believe that the two brothers are involved in terrorist activity. It was probably [given] to bring them credibility. But the charity should have turned it down,” Haberman, past president of Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial and Education Center, told The Post. “This is in poor taste and I am deeply disappointed. It hurts all of us.”
In June, the Sunday Times of London reported that Prince Charles accepted suitcases and shopping bags stuffed with millions of dollars worth of cash from a controversial Qatari politician between 2011 and 2015.
Brett Eagleson’s father, Bruce died in the WTC attack, and the founder of 9/11 Justice has an idea for how Charles can make up for his missteps.
“He should give the money back and be investigated for any other money he’s received from sources such as this one,” Eagleson told The Post. “I think it’s a good question as to whether or not he should be made king. Maybe [not receiving the kingship] will be a consequence of the investigation.”
Taking the funds, Eagleson added, “is disgraceful to the lives lost on 9/11 and the lives lost through terror funding.”
A former firefighter himself, Jim Riches told The Post that he “picked up body parts for eight months [at the Trade Center] after 9/11.”
As he sees it, “This is all about greed and a willingness to take money from anyone. It’s a horrible thing. Taking that money soils them.”
The royal family, Riches added, “have money and yet they are for sale. Three thousand people are dead [because of the attack planned by bin Laden] and you take money from the guy’s brother? It’s a shame and it’s horrible.”