In Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad, CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen reveals that the reclusive killer was an advocate of polygamy. In an excerpt provided exclusively to Secrets, he writes:
“His family life in Abbottabad was a source of genuine solace for bin Laden, who believed deeply that polygamy was a religious obligation. To his close male friends he used to joke, ‘I don’t understand why people take only one wife. If you take four wives you live like a groom.’”
But, adds Manhunt, it wasn’t easy keeping up with his concubines. In fact, he mixed up a natural version of Viagra and dyed his hair black.
“Bin Laden was vain,” a source familiar with the contents of the book said. “Bin Laden regularly applied Just for Men dye to his hair and beard to try to maintain a youthful appearance now that he was midway through his fifties.”
And his attempts to live like Playboy’s Hugh Hefner didn’t end there. “To keep up with the regimen required by four wives, bin Laden used Avena syrup – a natural Viagra made from wild oats – which was found in large supply in the compound” where he was killed, Manhunt reveals.
Bergen is one of the world’s authorities on the 9/11 mastermind. He interviewed him 1997 and for his book he interviewed dozens of sources including officials who debriefed bin Laden’s wives and children. He also got access to the bin Laden’s Pakistan residence before the government demolished it.