Bin Laden tycoon aims to build Arab-Africa sea bridge

DJIBOUTI, April 28, 2008 (AFP) – Moses once parted the Red Sea … now Osama bin Laden’s half-brother is planning to build a bridge over it. Building on engineering feats such as the Channel Tunnel between England and France, the Panama Canal linking the Atlantic to the Pacific and the Suez Canal joining the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, the proposed bridge would link Yemen to Djibouti, creating a man-made link between the Middle East and Africa.

Costing 14 billion euros (22 billion dollars), stretching around 28.5 kilometres (18 miles) and encompassing a six-lane motorway and a four-track railway, the bridge would be of Biblical proportions.

Meanwhile the man behind it bears a familiar name, too — Tarek bin Laden, half-brother of the leader of Al-Qaeda.

Tarek, a Saudi construction magnate, has been lobbying the Yemen and Djibouti governments to back the project, which would create a direct link between Arabia and east Africa, without the need to travel by the Sinai peninsula.

Djibouti Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita said his government was not actively involved.

“The project fell on us from the sky with the