Osama bin Laden
Al-Qaeda leader
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets. He was a member of the wealthy Saudi bin Laden family, and an ethnic Yemeni Kindite.
Biography
Osama bin Laden's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Osama bin Laden from around the web
The Legacy Called Obama
Huffington Post - 13 days
From the moment I awoke, angst wrapped itself around me. This was the day I, and countless people around the world, never wanted to see. This was the day Barack and Michelle Obama would bid our country farewell as President and First Lady. My emotions were scattered. In one moment, I felt a hollowness similar to when I lose a loved one. In another, the now familiar sense of despair about what will become of this country without President Obama's leadership. Then in the next, a gripping sadness that the golden era of Obama was now over. But it was not until I saw the status update of a Facebook friend that I was able to aptly characterize my feelings. She said that the departure of the Obamas felt like a bad break up. That is exactly what it felt like. My eight-year love affair with the Obamas was ending. And although I knew the day would one day come when they would leave, and take Malia, Sasha, Mrs. Robinson, Bo, and Sunny right along with them, it still hurt like hel ...
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Huffington Post article
American visa ban on Pakistan most likely: U.S. sources
Yahoo News - 25 days
Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 3 (ANI): White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has hinted that Pakistan may be added to the list of countries whose citizens are barred from entering the U.S. While, senior Trump official did not identify Pakistan by name sources close to the Trump administration have said that it is a matter of time before Pakistan is included in the list of nations whose passport holders are barred from entering the U.S. U.S. sources say that the President is "keenly aware" about who gave Osama Bin Laden shelter and from where most of the World's terrorism has emanated. Signals have already gone out to the Pakistani authorities about the impending decision which led to the current house arrest of LeT head Hafiz Saeed.
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Yahoo News article
Former SEAL Who Says He Killed Bin Laden Has Book Deal
abc News - 28 days
The Navy SEAL who has said he fired the shots that killed Osama bin Laden has a memoir coming out this spring
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abc News article
If Your Main Protest Against Trump's Muslim Ban Is 'Saudi Arabia,' You're Doing It Wrong
Huffington Post - about 1 month
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); With President Donald Trump expected to shortly announce restrictions on Muslim entry into the U.S. over fears of terrorism, critics have rushed to point out that several countries whose nationals have been linked to terror attacks on U.S. soil are not on the reported list of nations whose citizens will no longer be able to visit American shores. They mention Egypt, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and ― especially ― Saudi Arabia. This gotcha criticism m ...
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Huffington Post article
Obama releases final batch of bin Laden documents
Yahoo News - about 1 month
WASHINGTON (AP) — In its final hours, the Obama administration on Thursday released the last of three installments of documents belonging to Osama bin Laden that were seized in a 2011 raid that killed the al-Qaida leader in his secret compound.
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Yahoo News article
Redditors Imagine If Barack Obama Tweeted Like Donald Trump
Huffington Post - about 1 month
What if President Barack Obama had used the same offensive and inflammatory tone on Twitter that President-elect Donald Trump does? It’s probably safe to say that the last eight years could have shaped up a whole lot differently. With that in mind, Redditors have been imagining how Obama could have reacted on the micro-blogging service to scenarios including the death of al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, the 2012 re-election campaign and Trump’s own birther crusade against him. Some of the best posts we’ve seen so far are below: Comment from discussion If President Obama wrote his tweets the same way that Donald Trump does, what would have been some of his signature tweets over the past 8 years?. Comment from discussion If President Obama wrote his tweets the same way that Donald Trump does, what would have been some of his signature tweets over the past 8 years?. Comment from discussion If President Obama wrote his tweets the same way t ...
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Huffington Post article
Cory Booker Chooses Wall Street Over Main Street
Huffington Post - about 2 months
Oh, Senator Cory Booker. I was so looking forward to 2020, in hopes that you would run for president. But now I fear that your 2020 campaign is doomed before it even starts. You are a talented and thoughtful senator. Your leadership on the issue of criminal justice reform made you a rock star in my world. But now you’ve revealed yourself to be just another Wall Street Democrat, out-of-touch with the concerns of Main Street America, just like your party’s doomed 2016 nominee, Hillary “I’m Not The Bad Man Who Says Bad Things” Clinton. This week, the Senate got on the fast track to its first agenda item in erasing any evidence there was ever a black president - the repeal of Obamacare. Democrats offered amendment after amendment to try and save any sliver of it they could. One by one, those amendments all failed. But one amendment would have passed. Senators Bernie “Maybe Next Time You’ll Pay Attention To Huge Rallies” Sanders and Amy “The Non-Franken Minnesotan” Klobucha ...
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Huffington Post article
An Open Letter To President Barack H. Obama
Huffington Post - about 2 months
Anybody can do it, but not everybody can say it and have it become a part of one’s lifelong aspiration. Over the past eight years, you have inspired millions of people around the world to believe that one’s wildest dreams are in the realm of possibility. You have demonstrated that with hard work, dedication, persistence, and determination that one could truly turn a mere dream into reality. After watching your farewell address, a sea of tears rolled from my eyes. I did not want to accept the fact that in just a few short days, your time as Commander-in-Chief will be over. However, you will forever be my president. I keenly remember you running for president in 2008. I was a student at Florida A&M University and a legislative assistant at the Florida House of Representatives. It was during that time that I had an opportunity to meet both you and First Lady, Michelle Obama on your visit to Florida A&M University. Since that time, I have been a staunch supporter of the Obamas. ...
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Huffington Post article
I Am No Better Than Dylann Roof
Huffington Post - about 2 months
Every person is made in the image of God ― including me, my wife, my daughter and Dylann Roof. There is nothing that I can do for God to love me any more or any less. There is nothing that I could say to compromise God’s desire to be close to me, to know me and for me to be close and know Him. And that is the same for Dylann Roof.  I can claim that he is uniquely evil as Ta-Nehisi Coates puts it or weigh my options and decide to kill like Obama did Osama Bin-Laden. I could even just go with my gut and say “some people just need to die.” But that logic, that statement and killing someone as a punishment for murder is flawed and certainly not Christian. MLK puts it best, “Capital punishment is against the best judgment of modern criminology,” wrote King, “and, above all, against the highest expression of love in the nature of God.” Love your neighbor as yourself includes the white supremacists in our midst. Love for your enemies includes those who have harmed, abused, raped and m ...
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Huffington Post article
Trump's Post-truth World Ends With The Death Of Democracy
Huffington Post - about 2 months
"Post-truth" was the big word for 2016, according to Oxford Dictionaries. And why not? Donald Trump won the presidency with lies and half-truths and spin, so the word does indeed resonate. But America has been edging toward post-truth for a long time -- even at its founding, skeptics might say.  The "City on a Hill," forged on an image of Christian rectitude, witnessed the genocide of Native Americans ("savages") and the embrace of slavery based on specious theories of racial inferiority, even as the Bible taught the love of neighbor and the equality of all before God. More recently, America has witnessed the triumph of post-truth in the aftermath of 9/11. Recall how the attacks on 9/11 were falsely connected to Iraq, which was then connected to false claims of Iraq having active programs of WMD development, including "yellowcake" uranium as well as chemical and biological agents spread by aerial drones.  All proven false, but all used to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Indeed ...
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Huffington Post article
Our Government Made A Big Mistake In Failing To Support Israel At The U.N.
Huffington Post - 2 months
When the United States abstained on United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 on Israeli settlements, it was more than just a foreign policy error. It sold out a friend. It shows Israel and our allies that the United States can't be trusted. And most of all, it may result in Israel seeking an independent foreign policy that could trigger a nuclear exchange, undermining any hope Obama has of accomplishing any sort of foreign policy legacy. Isn't this just a meaningless United Nations resolution? That might be the case, if it was a United Nations General Assembly resolution, which involves votes from the entire membership of the U.N. Israel's enemies usually win those. But United Nations Security Council resolutions are more powerful. They have greater significance in international politics. Israel usually relies upon the United States to cast a veto in the United Nations Security Council to torpedo such a resolution. That's why an "abstain" vote hurts. Because ...
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Huffington Post article
'Don't Speak Arabic Here'
Huffington Post - 2 months
"Don't speak Arabic here." That was one of the first pieces of advice I recieved when I moved back to the United States after spending years in the Middle East, and it's a sentence that tends to ring in my ear very often. I did not hear it from an angry passer-by following the rhetoric of famous politicians. I did not hear it from the barista at the coffee shop I tend to frequent. I heard it from a person whose second language is Arabic, and I would lie to you if I told you that did not make me think twice about carrying around an Arabic novel to sit and read out in the public. I would also lie to you if I told you that didn't make me look around and see if anyone was looking at me suspiciously when I spoke Arabic in public. I felt like the person who warned me to not speak Arabic in America was telling me to betray my Arabic tongue and everyone who taught me it. However, I also felt like someone was trying to lock up part of my identity. I felt like the person who w ...
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Huffington Post article
Is Trump's America Ready for Kaleidoscopic World Chaos?
Huffington Post - 2 months
So that's that. Donald Trump is now formally the President-elect of the United States. The Electoral College met and voted on Monday. And with the hyped campaign to turn electors away from Trump having virtually no impact, while turning fewer electors away from Trump than those turned away from Hillary Clinton, Il Duce Donald's impending presidency is even more official. Despite the fact that the endlessly aggressive know-nothing candidate lost the national popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, a significant 2.1 percentage points, the widest margin of popular vote defeat for any of the five American presidents to win the White House on the archaic strength of the Electoral College alone, it is Trump who shocked almost all the experts by prevailing. He did it -- as I warned in a column the week before the election, and as Bernie Sanders campaigners warned the arrogantly unresponsive Clinton high command repeatedly -- by breaking through the so-called "Blue Wall" that Democ ...
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Huffington Post article
Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Is Like LinkedIn For Dictators
Huffington Post - 3 months
Washington DC: Goodyear Satire Co.-- Donald Trump has converted America's foreign policy into LinkedIn for Dictators. Polish up your killer resumes, the business of America is business again. Bringing "Greed is Good" to the Oval Office, President-Elect Donald "Gekko" Trump last week talked on the phone with the authoritarian strongman of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte, the rogue leader of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain, and the irrelevant president-ish of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen. Trump employs the same "ABC" method used by the real estate salesmen in 1992's "Glengarry Glen Ross". "Always Be Chaotic." Can we fire him before he's officially hired? Asking for a hundred million friends. In so doing, he upended decades of American foreign policy, approved of the killing of drug dealers, praised a leader who provides support to groups who are killing Americans, and caused a diplomatic incident with China. And all before he's on the clock! Can we fire him before he's officially ...
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Huffington Post article
Post-Election Life Advice: Leave The Screen World
Huffington Post - 3 months
If I’ve learned anything since the election it’s this: human existence is split into the Real World and the Screen World.  The Real World is amazing! People eat together. They laugh with their mouths. Museums, books, hugs, sex, high-fives! It’s a wonderful place, if you get a chance to go. Bucket list! The Screen World, on the other hand, is horrible. We live in the Screen World through our laptops, phones, and the flat-screen TVs that line the walls of offices, apartments, bars, train stations, airports, cafes, gyms and more! We’re told to live in the Screen World because we have to be aware of The Thing that’s going to kill us tomorrow, possibly. Weird thing is, when you eject yourself from the Screen World, you’ll notice that the Real World hasn’t changed. My takeaway? If you leave the Screen World, life is worth living! Here, look! I’m enjoying real life. Whoops! Here’s me going to the Screen World! I’ll never escape this endless hell-scape! I must stop t ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Osama bin Laden
    FIFTIES
  • 2011
    Age 53
    Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1:00 am local time (4:00 pm eastern time) by a United States special forces military unit.
    More Details Hide Details The operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, was ordered by United States President Barack Obama and carried out in a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operation by a team of United States Navy SEALs from the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as DEVGRU or informally by its former name, SEAL Team Six) of the Joint Special Operations Command, with support from CIA operatives on the ground. The raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad was launched from Afghanistan. After the raid, reports at the time stated that U.S. forces had taken bin Laden's body to Afghanistan for identification, then buried it at sea within 24 hours of his death. Critics accused Pakistan's military and security establishment of protecting bin Laden. For example, Mosharraf Zia, a leading Pakistani columnist, stated, "It seems deeply improbable that bin Laden could have been where he was killed without the knowledge of some parts of the Pakistani state. However, others argue the fact Bin Laden lived in a compound with a local family and never used the internet or a cell would have made him much harder to trace. Pakistan's president Asif Ali Zardari denied that his country's security forces sheltered bin Laden, and called any supposed support for bin Laden by the Pakistani government "baseless speculation".
    On May 2, 2011, bin Laden was shot and killed inside a private residential compound in Abbottabad, where he lived with a local family from Waziristan, during a covert operation conducted by members of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group and Central Intelligence Agency SAD/SOG operators on the orders of U.S. President Barack Obama.
    More Details Hide Details There is no universally accepted standard for transliterating Arabic words and Arabic names into English; however, bin Laden's name is most frequently rendered "Osama bin Laden". The FBI and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), as well as other U.S. governmental agencies, have used either "Usama bin Laden" or "Usama bin Ladin". Less common renderings include "Ussamah bin Ladin" and, in the French-language media, "Oussama ben Laden". Other spellings include "Binladen" or, as used by his family in the West, "Binladin". The decapitalization of bin is based on the convention of leaving short prepositions, articles, and patronymics uncapitalized in surnames; the nasab bin means "son of". The spellings with o and e come from a Persian-influenced pronunciation also used in Afghanistan, where bin Laden spent many years. Osama bin Laden's full name, Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, means "Osama, son of Mohammed, son of Awad, son of Laden". "Mohammed" refers to bin Laden's father Mohammed bin Laden; "Awad" refers to his grandfather, Awad bin Aboud bin Laden, a Kindite Hadhrami tribesman; "Laden" refers not to bin Laden's great-grandfather, who was named Aboud, but to a more distant ancestor.
    In April 2011, various intelligence outlets were able to pinpoint bin Laden's suspected location near Abbottabad, Pakistan.
    More Details Hide Details It was previously believed that bin Laden was hiding near the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas, but he was found away in a three-story mansion in Abbottabad at. Bin Laden's mansion was located southwest of the Pakistan Military Academy. Google Earth maps show that the compound was not present in 2001, but it was present on images taken in 2005.
    On May 2, 2011, the White House announced that U.S. Navy SEALs had successfully carried out the operation, killing him in his Abbottabad compound in Pakistan.
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    In April 2011, President Obama ordered a covert operation to kill or capture bin Laden.
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  • 2010
    Age 52
    In a 2010 letter, bin Laden chastised followers who had reinterpreted al-tatarrus—an Islamic doctrine meant to excuse the unintended killing of non-combatants in unusual circumstances—to justify routine massacres of Muslim civilians, which had turned Muslims against the extremist movement.
    More Details Hide Details Of the groups affiliated with al-Qaida, Bin Laden condemned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan for an attack on members of a hostile tribe, declaring that "the operation is not justified, as there were casualties of noncombatants." Bin Laden wrote that the tatarrus doctrine "needs to be revisited based on the modern-day context and clear boundaries established." He asked a subordinate to draw up a jihadist code of conduct that would constrain military operations in order to avoid civilian casualties. In Yemen, Bin Laden urged his allies to seek a "truce" that would bring the country "stability" or would at least "show the people that we are careful in keeping... the Muslims safe on the basis of peace." In Somalia, he called attention to the extreme poverty caused by constant warfare, and he advised al-Shabab to pursue economic development. He instructed his followers around the world to focus on education and persuasion rather than "entering into confrontations" with Islamic political parties.
  • 2009
    Age 51
    U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in December 2009 that officials had had no reliable information on bin Laden's whereabouts for years.
    More Details Hide Details One week later, General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said in December 2009 that al-Qaeda would not be defeated unless its leader, Osama bin Laden, were captured or killed. Testifying to the U.S. Congress, he said that bin Laden had become an "iconic figure, whose survival emboldens al-Qaeda as a franchising organization across the world", and that Obama's deployment of 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan meant that success would be possible. "I don't think that we can finally defeat al-Qaeda until he's captured or killed," McChrystal said of bin Laden. According to him, killing or capturing bin Laden would not spell the end of al-Qaeda, but the movement could not be eradicated while he remained at large.
  • 2008
    Age 50
    On October 7, 2008, in the second presidential debate, on foreign policy, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama pledged, "We will kill bin Laden.
    More Details Hide Details We will crush al-Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority." Upon being elected, then President-elect Obama expressed his plans to "renew U.S. commitment to finding al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, according to his national security advisers" in an effort to ratchet up the hunt for the terrorist. President Obama rejected the Bush administration's policy on bin Laden that "conflated all terror threats from al-Qaeda to Hamas to Hezbollah," replacing it with "a covert, laserlike focus on al-Qaeda and its spawn."
  • FORTIES
  • 2005
    Age 47
    The Washington Post also reported that the CIA unit composed of special operations paramilitary forces dedicated to capturing bin Laden was shut down in late 2005.
    More Details Hide Details U.S. and Afghanistan forces raided the mountain caves in Tora Bora between August 14–16, 2007. The military was drawn to the area after receiving intelligence of a pre-Ramadan meeting held by al-Qaeda members. After killing dozens of al-Qaeda and Taliban members, they did not find either Osama bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahiri.
  • 2004
    Age 46
    After his initial denial, Osama bin Laden in 2004 finally claimed responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
    More Details Hide Details The attacks involved the hijacking of four commercial passenger aircraft – United Airlines Flight 93, United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 11, and American Airlines Flight 77 – and flying two into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, and the third into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, destroying the former, and severely damaging the latter, while the fourth, either intended to target the United States Capitol or the White House in Washington, D.C., crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, with no survivors. The attacks resulted in the deaths of 2,996 people, including 2,192 civilians, 343 firefighters, and 71 law enforcement officers who were in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area; 70 civilians and 55 military personnel who were in the Pentagon; and 245 civilians, a law enforcement officer, and 19 hijackers on board the four airliners. In response to the attacks, the United States launched the War on Terror to depose the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and capture al-Qaeda operatives, and several countries strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation to preclude future attacks. The CIA's Special Activities Division was given the lead in tracking down and killing or capturing bin Laden. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has stated that classified evidence linking al-Qaeda and bin Laden to the September 11 attacks is clear and irrefutable. The UK Government reached a similar conclusion regarding al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden's culpability for the September 11 attacks, although the government report noted that the evidence presented is not necessarily sufficient to prosecute the case.
  • 2001
    Age 43
    It was not until eight days after the bombing of Afghanistan began in October 2001 that the Taliban finally did offer to turn over Osama bin Laden to a third-party country for trial in return for the United States ending the bombing.
    More Details Hide Details This offer was rejected by President Bush stating that this was no longer negotiable, with Bush responding "there's no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he's guilty."
    Years later, on October 10, 2001, bin Laden appeared as well on the initial list of the top 22 FBI Most Wanted Terrorists, which was released to the public by the President of the United States George W. Bush, in direct response to the September 11 attacks, but which was again based on the indictment for the 1998 embassy attack.
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    Attempts at assassination and requests for the extradition of bin Laden from the Taliban of Afghanistan were met with failure prior to the bombing of Afghanistan in October 2001. In 1999, U.S. President Bill Clinton convinced the United Nations to impose sanctions against Afghanistan in an attempt to force the Taliban to extradite him.
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    While referring to Osama bin Laden in a CNN film clip on September 17, 2001, then President George W. Bush stated, "I want justice.
    More Details Hide Details There is an old poster out west, as I recall, that said, 'Wanted dead or alive' ". Subsequently, bin Laden retreated further from public contact to avoid capture. Numerous speculative press reports were issued about his whereabouts or even death; some placed bin Laden in different locations during overlapping time periods. None were ever definitively proven. After military offensives in Afghanistan failed to uncover his whereabouts, Pakistan was regularly identified as his suspected hiding place. Some of the conflicting reports regarding bin Laden's continued whereabouts and mistaken claims about his death follow: On March 29, 2012 Pakistani newspaper Dawn acquired a report produced by Pakistani security officials, based on interrogation of his three surviving wives, that detailed his movements while living underground in Pakistan.
    According to The Washington Post, the U.S. government concluded that Osama bin Laden was present during the Battle of Tora Bora, Afghanistan in late 2001, and according to civilian and military officials with first-hand knowledge, failure by the United States to commit enough U.S. ground troops to hunt him led to his escape and was the gravest failure by the United States in the war against al-Qaeda.
    More Details Hide Details Intelligence officials assembled what they believed to be decisive evidence, from contemporary and subsequent interrogations and intercepted communications, that bin Laden began the Battle of Tora Bora inside the cave complex along Afghanistan's mountainous eastern border.
    In a videotape recovered by U.S. forces in November 2001 in Jalalabad, bin Laden was seen discussing the attack with Khaled al-Harbi in a way that indicates foreknowledge.
    More Details Hide Details The tape was broadcast on various news networks on December 13, 2001. The merits of this translation have been disputed. Arabist Dr. Abdel El M. Husseini stated: "This translation is very problematic. At the most important places where it is held to prove the guilt of bin Laden, it is not identical with the Arabic."
    Bin Laden initially denied involvement in the attacks. On September 16, 2001, bin Laden read a statement later broadcast by Qatar's Al Jazeera satellite channel denying responsibility for the attack.
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    The Bosnian daily Oslobođenje published in 2001 that three men, believed to be linked to bin Laden, were arrested in Sarajevo in July 2001.
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    From 2001 to 2011, bin Laden was a major target of the War on Terror, as the FBI placed a $25 million bounty on him in their search for him.
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  • 2000
    Age 42
    In 2000, prior to the September 11 attacks, Paul Bremer characterized the Clinton administration as "correctly focused on bin Laden", while Robert Oakley criticized their "obsession with Osama".
    More Details Hide Details Immediately after the September 11 attacks, U.S. government officials named bin Laden and the al-Qaeda organization as the prime suspects and offered a reward of $25 million for information leading to his capture or death. On July 13, 2007, the Senate voted to double the reward to $50 million though the amount was never changed. The Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association offered an additional $2 million reward.
    At the end of 2000, Richard Clarke revealed that Islamic militants headed by bin Laden had planned a triple attack on January 3, 2000 which would have included bombings in Jordan of the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman and tourists at Mount Nebo and a site on the Jordan River, the sinking of the destroyer in Yemen, as well as an attack on a target within the United States. The plan was foiled by the arrest of the Jordanian terrorist cell, the sinking of the explosive-filled skiff intended to target the destroyer, and the arrest of Ahmed Ressam. A former U.S. State Department official in October 2001 described Bosnia and Herzegovina as a safe haven for terrorists, and asserted that militant elements of the former Sarajevo government were protecting extremists, some with ties to Osama bin Laden.
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  • 1999
    Age 41
    In 1999 the press reported that bin Laden and his Tunisian assistant Mehrez Aodouni were granted citizenship and Bosnian passports in 1993 by the government in Sarajevo.
    More Details Hide Details This information was denied by the Bosnian government following the September 11 attacks, but it was later found that Aodouni was arrested in Turkey and that at that time he possessed the Bosnian passport. Following this revelation, a new explanation was given that bin Laden "did not personally collect his Bosnian passport" and that officials at the Bosnian embassy in Vienna, which issued the passport, could not have known who bin Laden was at the time.
    He is a former roommate of Ahmed Ressam, the man arrested at the Canadian-U.S. border in mid-December 1999 with a car full of nitroglycerin and bomb-making materials.
    More Details Hide Details He was convicted of colluding with Osama bin Laden by a French court. A Bosnian government search of passport and residency records, conducted at the urging of the United States, revealed other former Mujahideen who were linked to the same Algerian group or to other groups of suspected terrorists, and had lived in the area north of Sarajevo, the capital, in the past few years. Khalil al-Deek was arrested in Jordan in late December 1999 on suspicion of involvement in a plot to blow up tourist sites. A second man with Bosnian citizenship, Hamid Aich, lived in Canada at the same time as Atmani and worked for a charity associated with Osama bin Laden. In its June 26, 1997, report on the bombing of the Al Khobar building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, The New York Times noted that those arrested confessed to serving with Bosnian Muslims forces. Further, the captured men also admitted to ties with Osama bin Laden.
  • 1998
    Age 40
    Bin Laden was among a group of thirteen fugitive terrorists wanted on that latter list for questioning about the 1998 embassy bombings.
    More Details Hide Details Bin Laden remains the only fugitive ever to be listed on both FBI fugitive lists. Despite the multiple indictments listed above and multiple requests, the Taliban refused to extradite Osama bin Laden. They did however offer to try him before an Islamic court if evidence of Osama bin Laden's involvement in the September 11 attacks was provided.
    Osama bin Laden was first indicted by a grand jury of the United States on June 8, 1998 on a charges of "conspiracy to attack defense utilities of the United States" and prosecutors further charged that bin Laden was the head of the terrorist organization called al-Qaeda, and that he was a major financial backer of Islamic fighters worldwide.
    More Details Hide Details On November 4, 1998, Osama bin Laden was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, on charges of Murder of U.S. Nationals Outside the United States, Conspiracy to Murder U.S. Nationals Outside the United States, and Attacks on a Federal Facility Resulting in Death for his alleged role in the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The evidence against bin Laden included courtroom testimony by former al-Qaeda members and satellite phone records, from a phone purchased for him by al-Qaeda procurement agent Ziyad Khaleel in the United States. However the Taliban ruled not to extradite Bin Laden on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence published in the indictments and that non-Muslim courts lacked standing to try Muslims. Bin Laden became the 456th person listed on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, when he was added on June 7, 1999, following his indictment along with others for capital crimes in the 1998 embassy attacks.
    The U.S. State Department had identified this as a terrorist organization shortly before the 1998 embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. Milošević had argued that the United States aided the terrorists, which culminated in its backing of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War.
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    In December 1998, the Director of Central Intelligence Counterterrorist Center reported to President Bill Clinton that al-Qaeda was preparing for attacks in the United States of America, including the training of personnel to hijack aircraft.
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    Bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri organized an al-Qaeda congress on June 24, 1998. The 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings were a series of attacks that occurred on August 7, 1998, in which hundreds of people were killed in simultaneous truck bomb explosions at the United States embassies in the major East African cities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya.
    More Details Hide Details The attacks were linked to local members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, brought Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri to the attention of the United States public for the first time, and resulted in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation placing bin Laden on its Ten Most Wanted list.
    In a 1998 interview, bin Laden gave his birth date as March 10, 1957.
    More Details Hide Details Mohammed bin Laden divorced Hamida soon after Osama bin Laden was born. Mohammed recommended Hamida to Mohammed al-Attas, an associate. Al-Attas married Hamida in the late 1950s or early 1960s, and they are still together. The couple had four children, and bin Laden lived in the new household with three half-brothers and one half-sister. The bin Laden family made $5 billion in the construction industry, of which Osama later inherited around $25–30 million.
    In February 1998, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri co-signed a fatwa in the name of the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, which declared the killing of North Americans and their allies an "individual duty for every Muslim" to "liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) and the holy mosque (in Mecca) from their grip".
    More Details Hide Details At the public announcement of the fatwa bin Laden announced that North Americans are "very easy targets". He told the attending journalists, "You will see the results of this in a very short time."
    Bin Laden was on the American Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) lists of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives and Most Wanted Terrorists for his involvement in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1997
    Age 39
    In mid-1997, the Northern Alliance threatened to overrun Jalalabad, causing bin Laden to abandon his Najim Jihad compound and move his operations to Tarnak Farms in the south.
    More Details Hide Details Another successful attack was carried out in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan. Bin Laden helped cement his alliance with the Taliban by sending several hundred Afghan Arab fighters along to help the Taliban kill between five and six thousand Hazaras overrunning the city.
    It has been claimed that bin Laden funded the Luxor massacre of November 17, 1997, which killed 62 civilians, and outraged the Egyptian public.
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  • 1996
    Age 38
    In August 1996, bin Laden declared war against the United States. Despite the assurance of President George H.W. Bush to King Fahd in 1990, that all U.S. forces based in Saudi Arabia would be withdrawn once the Iraqi threat had been dealt with, by 1996 the Americans were still there.
    More Details Hide Details Bush cited the necessity of dealing with the remnants of Saddam's regime (which Bush had chosen not to destroy). Bin Laden's view was that "the 'evils' of the Middle East arose from America's attempt to take over the region and from its support for Israel. Saudi Arabia had been turned into 'an American colony". He issued a fatwā against the United States, which was first published in Al Quds Al Arabi, a London-based newspaper. It was entitled "Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places." Saudi Arabia is sometimes called "The Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Mecca and Medina, the two holiest places in Islam. The reference to "occupation" in the fatwā referred to US forces based in Saudi Arabia for the purpose of controlling air space in Iraq, known as Operation Southern Watch.
    Due to the increasing pressure on Sudan from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United States, bin Laden was permitted to leave for a country of his choice. He chose to return to Jalalabad, Afghanistan aboard a chartered flight on May 18, 1996; there he forged a close relationship with Mullah Mohammed Omar.
    More Details Hide Details According to the 9/11 Commission, the expulsion from Sudan significantly weakened bin Laden and his organization. Some African intelligence sources have argued that the expulsion left bin Laden without an option other than becoming a full-time radical, and that most of the 300 Afghan Arabs who left with him subsequently became terrorists. Various sources report that bin Laden lost between $20 million and $300 million in Sudan; the government seized his construction equipment, and bin Laden was forced to liquidate his businesses, land, and even his horses.
  • 1995
    Age 37
    In late 1995, when Bin Laden was still in Sudan, the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) learned that Sudanese officials were discussing with the Saudi government the possibility of expelling Bin Laden.
    More Details Hide Details CIA paramilitary officer Billy Waugh tracked down Bin Ladin in Sudan and prepared an operation to apprehend him, but was denied authorization. U.S. Ambassador Timothy Carney encouraged the Sudanese to pursue this course. The Saudis, however, did not want Bin Laden, giving as their reason their revocation of his citizenship. Sudan's minister of defense, Fatih Erwa, has claimed that Sudan offered to hand Bin Laden over to the United States. The Commission has found no credible evidence that this was so. Ambassador Carney had instructions only to push the Sudanese to expel Bin Laden. Ambassador Carney had no legal basis to ask for more from the Sudanese since, at the time, there was no indictment outstanding against bin Laden in any country. The 9/11 Commission Report further states: In February 1996, Sudanese officials began approaching officials from the United States and other governments, asking what actions of theirs might ease foreign pressure. In secret meetings with Saudi officials, Sudan offered to expel Bin Laden to Saudi Arabia and asked the Saudis to pardon him. U.S. officials became aware of these secret discussions, certainly by March. Saudi officials apparently wanted Bin Laden expelled from Sudan. They had already revoked his citizenship, however, and would not tolerate his presence in their country. Also Bin Laden may have no longer felt safe in Sudan, where he had already escaped at least one assassination attempt that he believed to have been the work of the Egyptian or Saudi regimes, and paid for by the CIA.
  • 1994
    Age 36
    They were charged for killing Silvan Becker, agent of Germany's domestic intelligence service, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, in the Terrorism Department, and his wife Vera in Libya on March 10, 1994.
    More Details Hide Details Bin Laden was still wanted by the Libyan government at the time of his death.
    In response, in 1994 Fahd stripped bin Laden of his Saudi citizenship and persuaded his family to cut off his $7 million a year stipend. By that time, bin Laden was being linked with Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), which made up the core of al-Qaeda. In 1995 the EIJ attempted to assassinate the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
    More Details Hide Details The attempt failed, and Sudan expelled the EIJ. The U.S. State Department accused Sudan of being a "sponsor of international terrorism" and bin Laden of operating "terrorist training camps in the Sudanese desert". According to Sudan officials, however, this stance became obsolete as the Islamist political leader Hassan al-Turabi lost influence in their country. The Sudanese wanted to engage with the U.S. but American officials refused to meet with them even after they had expelled bin Laden. It was not until 2000 that the State Department authorized U.S. intelligence officials to visit Sudan. The 9/11 Commission Report states:
  • 1992
    Age 34
    It is believed that the first bombing attack involving bin Laden was the December 29, 1992, bombing of the Gold Mihor Hotel in Aden in which two people were killed.
    More Details Hide Details It was after this bombing that al-Qaeda was reported to have developed its justification for the killing of innocent people. According to a fatwa issued by Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, the killing of someone standing near the enemy is justified because any innocent bystander will find a proper reward in death, going to Jannah (Paradise) if they were good Muslims and to Jahannam (hell) if they were bad or non-believers. The fatwa was issued to al-Qaeda members but not the general public. In the 1990s, bin Laden's al-Qaeda assisted jihadis financially and sometimes militarily in Algeria, Egypt and Afghanistan. In 1992 or 1993 bin Laden sent an emissary, Qari el-Said, with $40,000 to Algeria to aid the Islamists and urge war rather than negotiation with the government. Their advice was heeded. The war that followed caused the deaths of 150,000–200,000 Algerians and ended with the Islamist surrender to the government.
    Bin Laden continued to speak publicly against the Saudi government, for which the Saudis banished him. In 1992 he went to live in exile in Sudan, in a deal brokered by Ali Mohamed.
    More Details Hide Details Bin Laden's personal security detail consisted of "bodyguards personally selected by him." Their "arsenal included SAM-7 and Stinger missiles, AK-47s, RPGs, and PK machine guns (similar to an M60)." In Sudan, bin Laden established a new base for Mujahideen operations in Khartoum. He bought a house on Al-Mashtal Street in the affluent Al-Riyadh quarter and a retreat at Soba on the Blue Nile. During his time in Sudan, he heavily invested in the infrastructure, in agriculture and businesses. He was the Sudan agent for the British firm Hunting Surveys, and built roads using the same bulldozers he had employed to construct mountain tracks in Afghanistan. Many of his labourers were the same fighters who had been his comrades in the war against the Soviet Union. He was generous to the poor and popular with the people. He continued to criticize King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.
  • 1989
    Age 31
    Following the Soviet Union's withdrawal from Afghanistan in February 1989, Osama bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia in 1990 as a hero of jihad.
    More Details Hide Details Along with his Arab legion, he was thought to have "brought down the mighty superpower" of the Soviet Union. He was angered by the internecine tribal fighting among the Afghans. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait under Saddam Hussein on August 2, 1990, put the Saudi kingdom and the royal family at risk. With Iraqi forces on the Saudi border, Saddam's appeal to pan-Arabism was potentially inciting internal dissent. Bin Laden met with King Fahd, and Saudi Defense Minister Sultan, telling them not to depend on non-Muslim assistance from the United States and others, and offering to help defend Saudi Arabia with his Arab legion. Bin Laden's offer was rebuffed, and the Saudi monarchy invited the deployment of U.S. forces in Saudi territory. Bin Laden publicly denounced Saudi dependence on the U.S. military, arguing the two holiest shrines of Islam, Mecca and Medina, the cities in which the Prophet Mohamed received and recited Allah's message, should only be defended by Muslims. Bin Laden's criticism of the Saudi monarchy led them to try to silence him. The U.S. 82nd Airborne Division landed in north-eastern Saudi city of Dhahran and was deployed in the desert barely 400 miles from Medina.
  • 1988
    Age 30
    According to Wright, the group's real name was not used in public pronouncements because "its existence was still a closely held secret". His research suggests that al-Qaeda was formed at an August 11, 1988, meeting between "several senior leaders" of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Abdullah Azzam, and bin Laden, where it was agreed to join bin Laden's money with the expertise of the Islamic Jihad organization and take up the jihadist cause elsewhere after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan.
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    Notes of a meeting of bin Laden and others on August 20, 1988 indicate that al-Qaeda was a formal group by that time: "Basically an organized Islamic faction, its goal is to lift the word of God, to make his religion victorious."
    More Details Hide Details A list of requirements for membership itemized the following: listening ability, good manners, obedience, and making a pledge (bayat) to follow one's superiors.
    By 1988, bin Laden had split from Maktab al-Khidamat.
    More Details Hide Details While Azzam acted as support for Afghan fighters, bin Laden wanted a more military role. One of the main points leading to the split and the creation of al-Qaeda was Azzam's insistence that Arab fighters be integrated among the Afghan fighting groups instead of forming a separate fighting force.
    Bin Laden's eldest half-brother, Salem bin Laden, the subsequent head of the bin Laden family, was killed in 1988 near San Antonio, Texas, in the United States, when he accidentally flew a plane into power lines.
    More Details Hide Details The FBI described bin Laden as an adult as tall and thin, between and in height and weighing about, although the author Lawrence Wright, in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book on Al-Qaeda, The Looming Tower, writes that a number of bin Laden's close friends confirmed that reports of his height were greatly exaggerated, and that bin Laden was actually "just over tall". Bin Laden had an olive complexion and was left-handed, usually walking with a cane. He wore a plain white turban and he had stopped wearing the traditional Saudi male headdress. Bin Laden was described as soft-spoken and mild-mannered in demeanor. A major component of bin Laden's ideology was the concept that civilians from enemy countries, including women and children, were legitimate targets for jihadists to kill. According to former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer, who led the CIA's hunt for Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader was motivated by a belief that U.S. foreign policy has oppressed, killed, or otherwise harmed Muslims in the Middle East, condensed in the phrase, "They hate us for what we do, not who we are." Nonetheless, bin Laden criticized the U.S. for its secular form of governance, calling upon Americans to convert to Islam and "reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling, and usury", in a letter published in late 2002. His vocal criticism of Western government and society, and his claims that they were dominated by Jews, earned him respect from various sectors of the far right in Europe and North America.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1984
    Age 26
    By 1984, bin Laden and Azzam established Maktab al-Khidamat, which funneled money, arms and fighters from around the Arab world into Afghanistan.
    More Details Hide Details Through al-Khadamat, bin Laden's inherited family fortune paid for air tickets and accommodation, paid for paperwork with Pakistani authorities and provided other such services for the jihadi fighters. Bin Laden established camps inside Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan and trained volunteers from across the Muslim world to fight against the Soviet-backed regime, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan; he would also participate in some combat activity, such as the Battle of Jaji. It was during this time that he became idolised by many Arabs.
  • 1979
    Age 21
    After leaving college in 1979, bin Laden went to Pakistan, joined Abdullah Azzam and used money and machinery from his own construction company to help the Mujahideen resistance in the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
    More Details Hide Details He later told a journalist: "I felt outraged that an injustice had been committed against the people of Afghanistan." Under CIA's Operation Cyclone from 1979 to 1989, the United States and Saudi Arabia provided $40 billion worth of financial aid and weapons to almost 100,000 Mujahideen and "Afghan Arabs" from forty Muslim countries through Pakistan's ISI. Bin Laden met and built relations with Hamid Gul, who was a three-star general in the Pakistani army and head of the ISI agency. Although the United States provided the money and weapons, the training of militant groups was entirely done by the Pakistani Armed Forces and the ISI.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1974
    Age 16
    In 1974, at the age of 17, bin Laden married Najwa Ghanem at Latakia, Syria; they were separated before September 11, 2001.
    More Details Hide Details Bin Laden's other known wives were Khadijah Sharif (married 1983, divorced 1990s); Khairiah Sabar (married 1985); Siham Sabar (married 1987); and Amal al-Sadah (married 2000). Some sources also list a sixth wife, name unknown, whose marriage to bin Laden was annulled soon after the ceremony. Bin Laden fathered between 20 and 26 children with his wives. Many of bin Laden's children fled to Iran following the September 11 attacks and, Iranian authorities reportedly continue to control their movements. Nasser al-Bahri, who was bin Laden's personal bodyguard from 1997–2001, details bin Laden's personal life in his memoir. He describes him as a frugal man and strict father, who enjoyed taking his large family on shooting trips and picnics in the desert.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1968
    Age 10
    Bin Laden was raised as a devout Sunni Muslim. From 1968 to 1976, he attended the élite secular Al-Thager Model School.
    More Details Hide Details He studied economics and business administration at King Abdulaziz University. Some reports suggest he earned a degree in civil engineering in 1979, or a degree in public administration in 1981. One source described him as "hard working"; another said he left university during his third year without completing a college degree. At university, bin Laden's main interest was religion, where he was involved in both "interpreting the Quran and jihad" and charitable work. Other interests included writing poetry; reading, with the works of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and Charles de Gaulle said to be among his favorites; black stallions; and association football, in which he enjoyed playing at centre forward and followed the English club Arsenal F.C.
  • 1967
    Age 9
    Bin Laden's father Mohammed died in 1967 in an airplane crash in Saudi Arabia when his American pilot Jim Harrington misjudged a landing.
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  • 1957
    Born
    Born on March 10, 1957.
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