Bin Laden could not read English

The Independent‘s Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk makes an interesting point in his latest article. The books Osama bin Laden supposedly had were presumably in English. But Fisk points out that when he met bin Laden in 1997, he couldn’t understand English.

Fisk writes: “And then there are the books, Chomsky, Woodward & Co. Quite an English-language reading list –if bin Laden could read English. But when I met him in 1997, he could hardly speak a word. Did he have language tutors in Abbottabad?” (Source:…)

If the books allegedly found in bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad were indeed in English and bin Laden hadn’t learned to speak/read English, this leads to the question: Why would someone have a collection of books in a language they were unable to understand?