The Newest Bin Laden Is a 51-Year-Old British Woman

"The first camp," she explained, "is filled with those who will say, 'What is she trying to prove, she's old enough to be his mother!' The second will be made up of supportive people, who will appreciate her confidence. And then, there's the third lot, who will question the man's motives, and wonder if he's looking for a mother figure."

What drove Felix-Browne into Omar bin Laden's arms is anyone's guess, but she is only the latest in a long line of older women choosing to marry younger men.

In 1998, the U.K. Office for National Statistics released figures showing that 26 percent of all British women who tied the knot between 1963 and 1998 had chosen to do so with younger men. The percentage of women who married men more than six years their junior doubled from 3 percent to 7 percent.

In a sense, this is a story as old as time; even the prophet Mohammed married a woman, Khadija, who was 15 years older than he was and a successful businesswoman to boot. Khadija later became the first person to convert to Islam and was Mohammed's only wife until she died at the age of 64. He then married several more times.

So, can such relationships last, despite the age difference?

Knowles told ABC News that they can and often do work out in the long run, "but only if the couple is clear about their relationship."

"They need to be strong," she said, "because of the often negative response they invite from the rest of society. They need to work hard to make sure that such prejudices do not affect their relationship."

Furthermore, she said that "an understanding and supportive family is key to such relationships surviving, especially when the two parties make it public."

It's unclear just how much support the new Mr. and Mrs. bin Laden can expect from their family.

For one thing, father and son have not met since 2000, Felix-Browne told The Times.

More importantly, the groom's father; the most wanted terrorist in the world; presumably has more pressing concerns on his mind than welcoming his latest daughter-in-law to the family.

If they do meet, Felix-Browne told the Times that she plans to ask her father-in-law about Sept. 11 and find out if he was responsible.

But for now, her biggest worry is meeting her husband again, whose passport has been confiscated by Saudi authorities until further notice.

Edward Wrong and Christine Brouwer contributed to this story.

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