A son of Osama bin Laden has asked Spain for political asylum and is being held at Madrid airport while authorities study his request, Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said.
The son, who has a Saudi passport, arrived on a stopover flight from Cairo bound for Morocco along with his British wife, the minister said.
"In 72 hours, the ministry will say whether he (bin Laden) is entitled to asylum or not, independently of the consequences", Rubalcaba told a news conference. "At the moment, the law is being applied."
Spanish newspaper El Pais identified the son as Omar bin Laden, who lived with his father during his exile in Sudan and later with him in Afghanistan, where he was trained in an al Qaeda camp, until 2000.
The paper added that the 28-year-old bin Laden arrived in Madrid with 52-year-old Briton Zaina al Sabah (previously known as Jane Felix-Browne), who he met in Egypt in 2006.
Omar bin Laden applied to Britain for a visa earlier this year but was turned down.