Osama Bin Laden Biography
responsible for various attacks on civilians and military organizations of many western countries. He was most notorious for being responsible for the attack on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in the U.S on September 11th, 2001, and he was also one of the most wanted terrorists by the F.B.I (with a $25 million reward on his capture) before he was killed in Pakistan in a covert operation by the U.S military operatives ordered by Barack Obama.
Nickname: Geronimo, Mujahid Sheikh, Lion Sheikh
Date of Birth: 10th March, 1957
Place of Birth: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Origin: Saudi Arabian
Profession: Islami Militant and Terrorist
Known for: Terrorist Activities
Childhood and Growing Years
Osama bin Laden, was born Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, to a wealthy family. His father, Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was a billionaire of Yemeni origin, who was a wealthy construction magnate, investor and astute businessman with a close relationship with the royal Saudi family. His mother was Alia Ghanem, who was Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden’s tenth wife. Osama bin Laden was born on March 10th, 1957 in Saudi Arabia in the town of Riyadh. He was the only child born to his parents, and they were divorced soon after his birth. He was the seventh child of his father, who fathered a total of 50 children from his 22 marriages. His father was a billionaire, and bin Laden inherited around $30 million after his father’s death in September 1967.
Bin Laden was raised in a religious and rigid household, and he was a Wahhabi Muslim. Osama studied at the Al-Thager Model School, which was one of the most elite high schools in Jeddah at the time, from 1968 to 1976. By the age of 14, he was clearly acknowledged as a brilliant albeit shy student. Because of his outstanding academics, he was invited to be a part of a small Islamic study group for extra credits. It was here that he memorized the Qoran in its entirety, and it was also here that he got introduced to the concept of a violent jihad. He and a group of friends started adopting an activist approach towards Islam, advocating the implementation of a pure Islamic law at their school, dressing in imitation of the prophet etc.
He got married at the age of 18 to his first cousin Najwa Ghanem, in Syria. He then went on to study business administration and Economics at the King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, where there are varying accounts of his graduation. While some believe he got a degree in Public Administration, others believe he studied Civil Engineering which would be useful to him when he joined his father’s business.
He is said to have married a total of 6 times, and fathered around 20-25 children. Most of his wives and children are said to have fled to Iran after the September 11 attacks, where their movements are currently closely monitored by Iranian Authorities.
Claim to Fame
Osama bin Laden, soon after graduating college in 1979, made his way to Pakistan and met a few refugees and leaders in the Soviet War in Afghanistan and was inspired by them. He started collecting supplies and funds to support the mujahideen in Afghanistan to facilitate them in the war. He did this for quite a few years, helping the mujahideen grow stronger, and his trips to Afghanistan increased in frequency. By then he had inherited his father’s fortune, and he used this money, and his status in his country to gather support from locals in the war. The Afghan Jihad was also being backed by money and weapons from the U.S Military, and after the withdrawal of Soviets from Afghanistan, he felt betrayed as his contribution was overshadowed by that of the U.S. in 1989.
Meanwhile, he had also started Al-Qaeda in 1988, as he wanted a more military role and say in Afghanistan. He started this formal group with its focal point as jihad. This was in one way responsible for the withdrawal of Soviet troops, and
Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, Iraq in 1990, and he immediately sent letters to the king suggesting a plan of action on how to deal with the situation, and offered the help of his men, and suggested various military tactics which would ensure their victory. But the Saudi government enlisted the help of the U.S military in this regard. He took it as a personal affront, and he was vociferously discontent about the presence of U.S troops on Saudi soil. This led to his exile from Saudi Arabia in 1992, after which he lived in Sudan.
His first attack was a bombing of the Gold Mihor Hotel in Aden, Yemen in which two civilians were killed. This was the first organized attack from his end which justified his ideology of killing innocent people in the name of jihad. They believed that the killing of innocent people who are in the vicinity of “the enemy” is justified as that person would find his true reward after death, by going to heaven or hell, as they deserve. This fatwa (directive) was circulated amongst the Al-Qaeda.
He funded various militant groups in countries like Egypt, Afghanistan and Algeria, where he encouraged Islamist groups to start war rather than attempt peaceful negotiations with the governments of those countries.
His next major attack was the Luxor Massacre, in Egypt on 17th November 1997, which resulted in the death of around 62 civilians. He supported an Islamist organization in Egypt which was trying to undermine the 1997 Non-violent peace initiatives which were in place and to propel the Egyptian economy into regression.
He was also strengthening his ties with the Taliban in Afghanistan, and carried out a few successful attacks there helping the Taliban kill thousands of people.
Osama bin Laden first came to the notice of the U.S due to the simultaneous bombings of the U.S Embassies that were carried out in 1998 on his command. Hundreds of people were killed in these explosions.
He truly became infamous with the organized attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, and the partial destruction of the Pentagon in Virginia. He is said to be the mastermind behind the attacks that was arguably one of the most sudden and destructive attacks in U.S history, causing massive loss of life and property. Close to 3000 people were killed in these explosions, which were carried out by hijacking four commercial planes, and crashing them into these buildings. He personally claimed responsibility for recruiting and training the 19 hijackers responsible for the attack, in a video released a few days after the attack.
This act of his spawned the War on Terrorism initiative by the U.S, to put an end to these wrongful acts by terrorists. The major focus of the war was the Taliban in Afghanistan, and to remand the operatives of Al-Qaeda which was responsible for this attack. Three administrations of the U.S government continued this initiative, and was ultimately successful in the capture and deayth of this Most Wanetd Fugitive.
After almost a decade in hiding, the manhunt for Osama came to an end in May, 2011 when a covert military operation by the C.I.A and U.S Navy Seals found the elusive Laden in his luxury hideout, a private residence in Abottabad, Pakistan. He was killed in a gun battle following his discovery, and he was shot in the eye.
Following his death, he was then taken to Afghanistan, and after confirmation of identity, he was buried at sea as there was no country willing to accept to bury the remains of a wanted terrorist on its soil. The Al-Qaida acknowledged the death of their leader a few days after the news became public, and also vowed to retaliate against the death of their leader.
“I have sworn to only live free. Even if I find bitter the taste of death, I don’t want to die humiliated or deceived.”
“We treat them in the same way. Those who kill our women and innocent, we kill their women and innocent, until they refrain.”
“I support any Muslims, whether here or abroad.”
“America is a great power possessed of tremendous military might and a wide ranging economy but all this is built on an unstable foundation, which can be targeted, with special attention to its obvious weak spots. If America is hit in one hundredth of these weak spots, God willing, it will stumble, wither away and relinquish world leadership.”