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Osama bin Laden

Most recenty in the headlines with the news of his death in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden — the leader of the militant group Al Qaeda who claimed responsibility for the 911 terrorist attacks — was born Osama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Laden on March 10, 1957 in Riyahd, Saudi Arabia.

Related News, Bios & Pictures | Quotes

Having grown up in a privileged household, headed by his father Mohammed Awad bin Laden - a wealthy building contractor to the Saudi royal family - he was later schooled at one of the most prestigeous schools in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Bin Laden was first married at 17 in 1974 and later took several other wives. (He reportedly has fathered a total of 24 children including sons Abdallah, Omar, Saad and Mohammed - the latter two following in their father's footsteps as militant Islamists.)

First report: Osama bin Laden killed

In 1979, he earned his college degree in civil engineering at King Abdulaziz University, where he also is believed to have been first heavily influenced by members of the Muslim Brotherhood and anti-Western jihad. The same year, with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, bin Laden became completely radicalized and helped use his family's considerable fortune to fund the resistance effort.

Along with additional help from the CIA, he also personally traveled to the war front to fight in the armed struggle and coordinate other Muslim forces throughout the region.

A threat to the West

Despite America's secret help in defeating Soviet forces in Afghanistan, bin Laden next turned his sights on the U.S.and issued a fatwa or edict in 1998 for jihad against the West. Specific demands for the withdrawal of military forces from Israel and the Mideast also included a call for killing U.S. civilians and military personnel

Since the start of his war against the West, bin Laden has been linked to major terrorist bombings around the world including assaults on U.S. embassies in Africa, several attacks in Bali, commuter trains in Madrid and the USS Cole attack in 2000.

The 9/11 2001 attacks have never been directly linked to bin Laden, although he reportedly had an active hand in plotting and funding the crashing of two commercial airliners into the World Trade Center resulting in 2,988 deaths.

Amid rumors of his death in 2006, the alleged end of the al-Qaeda leader supposedly began with a report by the Saudi secret service to the Saudi Arabian government, which in turn transferred the information to the French secret service. The French government, however, has never publicly acknowledge receipt of any such document.

For years, Bin Laden's whereabouts continued to remain a mystery, although anecdotal evidence continued to point to Afghanistan, where the perceived war of the world's major superpowers against Islam first began.

Osama on Video

Bin Laden (or someone looking very much like him) has appeared in carefully crafted videos following the terrorist bombing in New York in 2001, but his communication with the outside world has since waned.

After failing to appear in new video footage since October 2004, Bin Laden purportedly released his last communication to coincide with the 9/11 attacks in 2007. although speculation about its authenticity continue.

President Obama announces that
Bin Laden is killed in Pakistan.


Osama is Dead

On the evening of May 1, 2011, headines blared around the world with the news of Osama Bin Laden's death as the result of an airstrike by US forces forces in a mansion outside the capital of Islamabad in Abbottābad, Pakistan

As more details emerged, it was reported that a CIA-led operation was largely responsibile for killing Osama bin Laden and recovering his body, this following a decade-long hunt for the elusive militant leader.


Related News, Pictures & Biographies:

Osama bin Laden - Wikipedia

frontline: hunting bin Laden

BBC News - Who is Osama bin Laden?

FBI Ten Mosted Wanted List

CBC News Indepth - Osama bin Laden


Osama bin Laden quotes

If the American government is serious about avoiding explosions inside the U.S., then let it stop provoking the feelings of 1,250 million Muslims. CNN 1997.

We believe that the biggest thieves in the world are Americans and the biggest terrorists on earth are the Americans. ABC's Nightline, June 1998.

For the American forces to expect anything from me personally reflects a very narrow perception. Thousands of millions of Muslims are angry. The Americans should expect reactions from the Muslim world that are proportionate to the injustice they inflict. Time Magazine December 1998.

We, God willing, will continue to fight you and will continue martyrdom operations inside and outside the United States until you abandon your oppression and foolish acts. - audiotape broadcast on Al Jazeera, October 2003.

• O American people, I am speaking to tell you about the ideal way to avoid another Manhattan, about war and its causes and results. - videotape on Al Jazeera, October 2004.

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