Once the most wanted terrorist in the world, Osama bin Laden was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to a Yemeni father; Mohammed Bin Laden and a Syrian mother, Alia Ghanem in 1957.
Being the 17th of 52 children brought into this world by his Yemeni immigrant father who was a multi billionaire from his construction business. His mother was married off at the age of 14 to Mohammed Bin Laden.
As at the time of Muhammad’s demise in 1967 in a plane crash, his well established construction company had become one of the largest construction firms in the Middle East, and the bin Laden family had close ties to the Saudi Arabia royal family.
He attended Al Thagr High School in Jeddah. He married his first spouse in 1974 and attended King Abdul Aziz University to study business administration also in Jeddah, where he studied economics although he did not earn a degree.
At was at this same institute that he met some Muslim radicals who would transform his life from a moderate Muslim to a hardcore jihadist. Notable among them was the man Abdullah Azaam, a militant leader and Islamic revivalist Said Qutb
Mohammed bin Laden took a number of his children to study abroad.
In the year 1950s and 1960s, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia had less quality educational institutions, so some of Mohammed’s kids were sent to Better schools in England, Lebanon, United States and Europe.
Osama was highly educated and also a very religious person hence, he decided to abide by the tenets of Islam concerning marriage. At the young age of 17, he got married to his first wife who was his cousin Najawa Ghanem, 14 years old.
As customs demanded, she adopted the name of her first Born male child as “Umm Abdullah” and she was addressed as such. Osama subsequently married three women in addition to his first wife namely: Umm Hamza, Umm Khalid and Umm Ali.
The soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to impose their communist party rule on the people and Bin Laden being a Muslim deemed it as a threat to Islam and strongly oppose this act of aggression.
He began a vigorous campaign by recruiting Afghanistan warlords who opposes the invasion. He successfully supported the holy fighters or mujahideen with his wealth as well as his time and energy.
In 1984, he joined forces with Azzam to recruit brainwashed arabs to assist their afghan and Pakistan associates to fight the soviet. In 1988, he had organized a number of Jihadist with their names in a database this group became known as Alqaeda, meaning the base in Arabic.
Al Qaeda is unique among terrorist organizations in its organization
and structure. The soviet pulled out of Afghanistan after a humiliating defeat by the Mujahideen who were supported by the USA.
He returned home to Saudi Arabia to a hero’s welcome but soon became infuriated at the Saudi Authorities for allowing American troops to be deployed in the country and to stop Saddam Hussein’s threat against the Kingdom.
He was banned and his passport seized, he later travelled to Sudan and he was also Targeted there. The only safe haven for him was Afghanistan where the taliban protected him. He declared war on America and started plotting terrorist attacks against them.
Notable was the September 11th attacks on the world Trade center In 2001 when 19 militants associated with al-Qaeda staged the attacks, the United States led a military coalition that overthrew the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Finally on May 1, 2011, American soldiers killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at his compound near Islamabad, Pakistan where he had been hiding for years.
Security Intelligence officials are of the view that Bin Laden was responsible for many deadly acts of terrorism, among them was the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. This notorious Jihadist had been on the FBI’s “most wanted” list for more than a decade.
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