Reuters Caption: Fernando Aguirre, locally known as Osama Ben Laden, patrols a slum in Bogota January 17, 2008. Aguirre, who claims to be the son of al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, patrols the most dangerous slums of Bogota and lives from the contributions received from those seeking his protection. Aguirre informs police on petty crimes being committed and is allowed by authorities to brandish his fake rifle. Picture taken on January 17
Considering this is Columbia, I highly doubt his rifle is fake. I don't think a guy claiming he's Osama bin Laden could extort money if he didn't have fire power, otherwise he'd just be the villiage idiot, allowed to parade around with a toy gun.
Does Reuters only take governments by their word when they are NOT the U.S.? Either they are far too credulous or Reuters just blew this guy's cover and he's going to lose his source of income or be gunned down by people with REAL rifles.