Fact Check

Osama bin Laden and Gum Arabic

Does terrorist Osame bin Laden own extensive gum arabic holdings?

Published Sept. 19, 2001


Claim:   Osama bin Laden owns extensive gum arabic holdings.

Status:   Not any more.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2001]

Early this morning I was listening to the news. One of the commentators said that Osama Bin Laden owns a HUGE amount of stock in the company that makes Gum Arabic.

Gum Arabic is known to be in some Softdrinks and many other food items. Check your cupboards and refrigerators, if you have products that use Gum Arabic get rid of them and do not buy products with the Gum Arabic additive.

If we continue to use these products that contain Gum Arabic we are in essence supporting this mans terrorist attacks against OUR FELLOW AMERICANS!

One thing that the US helps Osama Bin Laden is, he owns the COMPANY that makes GUM ARABIC mostly used in pop "MOUNTAIN DEW" IS ONE OF THEM, and other things. GUM ARABIC keeps things from settling in bottles and cans. STOP BUYING ANYTHING WITH GUM ARABIC IN ITS CONTENTS. THE MONEY Goes to Bin Laden company. PLEASE SEND THIS TO EVERYONE. This was on the news today.

Origins:   The September 11 2001 attack on America has given rise to numerous rumors, some of which center on where terrorist Osama bin Laden gains his financing. In the wake of the attacks, rumors and and several erroneous media reports have linked him and his financial interests to a number of organizations and industries around the


The exact extent of bin Laden's fortune can only be guessed at. The most commonly mentioned figures
indicate he is worth approximately $300 million USD. Drug running in Afghanistan is now thought to be a principal source of his income, as well as donations from wealthy Arabs who support his cause.

Gum arabic is a resin that is used as an emulsifier in soft drinks, a thickener in candies and jellies, a binder in special-purpose inks and drugs, even a foam stabilizer in beer. Its name derives from the fact that the gum was shipped to Europe from Arabic ports.

According to The National Soft Drink Association: "The U.S. State Department was very specific in saying it has no evidence that bin Laden has any interest in the Sudanese gum arabic industry." (The National Soft Drink Association is the premier trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute alcohol free beverages in the United States.)

American industries that utilize gum arabic from Sudan — confectionery, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals dietary fiber, printing and some citrus-based soft drinks — obtain the final form of the product from domestic importers under the licensed approval of the U.S. State Department.

In a September 15, 1998 Baltimore Sun article, a U.S. State Department official said bin Laden divested himself of all (Sudanese) holdings when he was expelled from Sudan in 1996. In that same report, the Sun, quoting another State Department official said, "Bin Laden and his cronies tried to take over all the gum arabic crop in the early 1990's, 'but failed in their attempt.'"

Additionally, the Gum Arabic Company of Sudan, Ltd., which controls all gum arabic exports from Sudan, repeatedly has denied any bin Laden involvement in the gum arabic market in Sudan, dating back to 1969.

Barbara "ungummed" Mikkelson

Additional Information:
      The National Soft Drink Association Statement Regarding Gum Arabic   Gum Arabic   (The National Soft Drink Association)

Last updated:   7 March 2008

  Sources Sources:

    Bentham, Martin.   "Terror Chief Has Global Cash Machine."

    Daily Telegraph.   16 September 2001   (p. 11).

    Bowman, Tom and Ann LoLordo.   "Sanctions on Sudan Bend for Gum Supply."

    The Baltimore Sun.   15 September 1998   (p. A1).

    PR Newswire.   "The National Soft Drink Association Statement Regarding Gum Arabic."

    17 September 2001.

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