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Does Osama bin Laden Own Snapple?

Netlore Archive: Does terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden have financial ties to major corporations like Cadbury-Schweppes (makers of Snapple) and General Electric?

Description: Email rumor
Circulating since: Sep. 2001
Status: False

Example #1:
Email text contributed by Cheryl B., Sep. 27, 2001:

Subject: BOYCOTT

What can you do to help stop Osama bin Laden? How about boycotting his products so his cash flow starts to dry up? Pretty simple, if you ask the people at the Wall Street Journal. Today's WSJ outlines, in great detail, how Osama gets his millions from his father's company...Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) headquartered in Jeddah. This group has annual revenues of FIVE BILLION US greenbacks, some of which goes to Osama to pay off his many puppets who are stupid enough to go around blowing themselves up for a few bucks and some geek named Mohammed. I don't know about you, but I am interested in learning more about how Osama gets his millions. And if there's a way we can slow down his cash flow, he'll eventually run out of extra funds to pay out to those idiot diaper-heads.

DID YOU KNOW that Binladin gets a bunch of its income from partnerships with General Electric? GE holds a stake in a power equipment company in Saudi Arabia that is majority-owned by the Binladin family. GE also supplied equipment to several Suadi power plants built by the Binladin Group. Money in Osama's pocket.

DID YOU KNOW that the Binladin group is also part owner of the Saudi distributor of Snapple beverages? Yes, Cadbury Schweppes PLC, which owns Snapple, contributes to Osama's secret cache of terrorist efforts.

Don't buy GE products. Don't buy Snapple or Schweppes beverages. Don't pay those ridiculous prices for Cadbury chocolates. All that extra mark-up simply goes toward helping Osama anyway.

Pass the word.

Do something.

Forward this baby.

Example #2:
Email text contributed by Jill S., Sep. 30, 2001:

Subject: Boycott bin landen groups

Hey guys i just want everyone to know what kind of companies this guy bin landen is tied to.know its your choice if you want to put money in his pockets for more attacks on us i say boycott all these companies. we do not want to finace any more of our own distruction.

citibank norstar nortel motorola omiphone shell gas schwepps snapple and any hotels that have anything to do with the lotus corp.

pass this along to everyone you know.

Analysis: The nugget of truth behind this misguided rumor is that the multibillion-dollar Saudi Binladin Group, owned and controlled by Osama bin Laden's vast family, does indeed have past or present financial ties with such companies as General Electric, Motorola, Shell Oil and Snapple.

The rub, as they say, is that the Binladin Group does not have any financial ties with Osama, the exiled "black sheep" of the family. Admittedly, it would be hard to prove that none of Osama bin Laden's dozens of siblings has ever contributed secretly to al Qaeda's coffers, but investigators have so far found no evidence of this, and both General Electric and Motorola have expressed confidence that the Binladin Group does not contribute to terrorist activities. Other named companies are said to be "monitoring the situation," while still others have severed relationships entirely with SBG to protect their reputations.

Cadbury-Schweppes, owner of Snapple, is one such company. At no time did the Binladin Group have direct financial ties to Cadbury-Schweppes, but it did have investments in a company that distributed Cadbury-Schweppes products. Cadbury-Schweppes has terminated that arrangement. The Binladin Group currently has no connection whatsoever, not even indirectly, with Snapple.

Sources and further reading:

Bin Laden Taint Hurts Family Empire
The Guardian, 21 September 2001

Binladin Name 'Hijacked'
BBC News, 8 October 2001

Net Hoaxes Terrorize Unsuspecting Firms
Bloomberg, 30 November 2001

Statement by Snapple CEO
Snapple.com press release, 16 October 2001

Bin Laden's Big Family Has Big Ties to Big Biz
NY Post, 23 September 2001


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