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It's said war - war never changes. Men do, through the roads they walk. And this road - has reached its end.Osama bin Laden From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Bin laden) Jump to: navigation, search "Osama" and "bin Laden" redirect here. For other uses, see Osama (disambiguation) and bin Laden (disambiguation). Osama bin Ladenأسامة بن لادنOsama bin Laden in 1997BornMarch 10, 1957(1957-03-10)Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaDiedMay 2, 2011(2011-05-02) (aged 54)Abbottabad, Pakistan 34°10′9″N 73°14′33″E / 34.16917°N 73.2425°E / 34.16917; 73.2425Cause of deathBallistic traumaYears active1979–2011SuccessorAyman Al-ZawahiriReligionSunni Islam (Qutbism) Children show all (20)[show]
- Abdul Rahman
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden ( /oʊˈsɑːmə bɪn ˈlɑːdən/; Arabic: أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن, ʾUsāmah bin Muḥammad bin ʿAwaḍ bin Lādin; March 10, 1957 – May 2, 2011a) was the founder of 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.
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. From 2001 to 2011, bin Laden was a major target of the War on Terror, with a US$25 million bounty by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
After being placed on the FBI's Most Wanted list, bin Laden remained in hiding during three U.S. presidential administrations. On May 2, 2011, bin Laden was shot and killed inside a private residential compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, by U.S. Navy SEALs and CIA operatives in a covert operation ordered by United States President Barack Obama. Shortly after his death, bin Laden's body was buried at sea. Al-Qaeda acknowledged his death on May 6, 2011, vowing to retaliate.Contents [hide]
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Personal life
- 3 Name
- 4 Beliefs and ideology
- 5 Militant activity
- 6 Criminal charges
- 7 Attempted capture by the United States
- 8 Activities and whereabouts after the September 11 attacks
- 9 Death
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden ( /oʊˈsɑːmə bɪn moʊˈhɑːmɨd bɪn əˈwɑːd bɪn ˈlɑːdən/) was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a son of Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, a wealthy businessman with close ties to the Saudi royal family, and Mohammed bin Laden's tenth wife, Hamida al-Attas (then called Alia Ghanem). In a 1998 interview, bin Laden gave his birth date as March 10, 1957.
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.
Bin Laden was raised as a devout Wahhabi Muslim. From 1968 to 1976, he attended the élite secular Al-Thager Model School. 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 fortunes of Arsenal F.C.Personal life
In 1974, at the age of 17, bin Laden married Najwa Ghanem at Latakia, Syria; they were divorced before September 11, 2001. 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 as of 2010[update] Iranian authorities reportedly continue to control their movement.
Bin Laden's father Mohammed died in 1967 in an airplane crash in Saudi Arabia when his American pilot misjudged a landing. 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.
The FBI described bin Laden as an adult as tall and thin, between 6 ft 4 in and 6 ft 6 in (193–198 cm) in height and weighing about 165 pounds (75 kg). Interviewer Lawrence Wright, on the other hand, described him as quite slender, but not particularly 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.Name
There is no universally accepted standard for transliterating Arabic words and Arabic names into English; 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", both of which may be abbreviated as "UBL". 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 and articles uncapitalized in surnames; however, bin means "son of" and is not strictly speaking a preposition or article. 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.
The Arabic linguistic convention would be to refer to him as "Osama" or "Osama bin Laden", not "bin Laden" alone, as "bin Laden" is a patronymic, not a surname in the Western manner. According to bin Laden's son Omar bin Laden, the family's hereditary surname is "al-Qahtani" (Arabic: القحطاني, āl-Qaḥṭānī), but bin Laden's father Mohammed bin Laden never officially registered the name.
Osama bin Laden had also assumed the kunyah "Abū ʿAbdāllāh" ("father of Abdallah"). His admirers have referred to him by several nicknames, including the "Prince" or "Emir" (الالمجاهد, al-Amīr), the "Sheik" (الشيخ, aš-Šayḫ), the "Jihadist Sheik" or "Sheik al-Mujahid" (شيخ المجاهد, al-Muǧāhid Šayḫ), "Hajj" (حج, Ḥaǧǧ), and the "Director". The word ʾusāmah (أسامة) means "lion", earning him the nicknames "Lion" and "Lion Sheik".Beliefs and ideology Main article: Beliefs and ideology of Osama bin Laden
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."
Bin Laden also said only the restoration of Sharia law would "set things right" in the Muslim world, and that alternatives such as "pan-Arabism, socialism, communism, democracy" must be opposed. This belief, in conjunction with violent jihad, has sometimes been called Qutbism after being promoted by Sayyid Qutb. Bin Laden believed that Afghanistan, under the rule of Mullah Omar's Taliban, was "the only Islamic country" in the Muslim world. Bin Laden consistently dwelt on the need for violent jihad to right what he believed were injustices against Muslims perpetrated by the United States and sometimes by other non-Muslim states, the need to eliminate the state of Israel, and the necessity of forcing the United States to withdraw from the Middle East. He also called on Americans to "reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling, and usury", in an October 2002 letter.
Bin Laden's ideology included the idea that innocent civilians, including women and children, are legitimate targets of jihad. Bin Laden was anti-Semitic, and delivered warnings against alleged Jewish conspiracies: "These Jews are masters of usury and leaders in treachery. They will leave you nothing, either in this world or the next." Shia Muslims have been listed along with "heretics, [...] America, and Israel" as the four principal "enemies of Islam" at ideology classes of bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization.
Bin Laden opposed music on religious grounds, and his attitude towards technology was mixed. He was interested in "earth-moving machinery and genetic engineering of plants" on the one hand, but rejected "chilled water" on the other.
His viewpoints and methods of achieving them had led to him being designated as a terrorist by scholars, journalists from The New York Times, the BBC, and Qatari news station Al Jazeera, analysts such as Peter Bergen, Michael Scheuer, Marc Sageman, and Bruce Hoffman and he was indicted on terrorism charges by law enforcement agencies in Madrid, New York City, and Tripoli.
Bin Laden's overall strategy against much larger enemies such as the Soviet Union and United States was to lure them into a long War of Attrition in Muslim countries, attracting large numbers of jihadists who would never surrender. He believed this would lead to economic collapse of the enemy nation. Al-Qaeda manuals clearly outline this strategy.Militant activity Main article: Militant activity of Osama bin Laden See also: CIA-Osama bin Laden controversy Mujahideen in Afghanistan
After leaving college in 1979, bin Laden went to Pakistan and joined Abdullah Azzam to take part in the Soviet war in Afghanistan. During Operation Cyclone from 1979 to 1989, the United States provided financial aid and weapons to the mujahideen leaders through Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (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.
By 1984, bin Laden and Azzam established Maktab al-Khidamat, which funneled money, arms and fighters from around the Arab world into Afghanistan. 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 used it to train volunteer fighters against the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. It was during his time in Pakistan that he began wearing camouflage-print jackets and carrying a Russian-made assault rifle.Formation and structuring of Al-Qaeda Main article: Al-Qaeda
By 1988, bin Laden had split from Maktab al-Khidamat. 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. Notes of a meeting of bin Laden and others on August 20, 1988, indicate 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." A list of requirements for membership itemized the following: listening ability, good manners, obedience, and making a pledge (bayat) to follow one's superiors.
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. 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, who along with his Arab legion "had brought down the mighty superpower" of the Soviet Union.
The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait under Saddam Hussein on August 2, 1990, put the Saudi kingdom and the House of Saud at risk, with Iraqi forces on the Saudi border and Saddam's appeal to pan-Arabism 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, offering to help defend Saudi Arabia with his mujahideen. Bin Laden's offer was rebuffed, and after the Saudi monarchy invited the deployment of U.S. troops in Saudi territory, Bin Laden publicly denounced Saudi Arabia's dependence on the U.S. military. Bin Laden believed the presence of foreign troops in the "land of the two mosques" (Mecca and Medina) profaned sacred soil. Bin Laden's criticism of the Saudi monarchy led that government to attempt to silence him.
Shortly after Saudi Arabia invited U.S. troops into Saudi Arabia, bin Laden turned his attention to attacks on the West. On November 8, 1990, the FBI raided the New Jersey home of El Sayyid Nosair, an associate of al-Qaeda operative Ali Mohamed, discovering copious evidence of terrorist plots, including plans to blow up New York City skyscrapers. This marked the earliest discovery of al-Qaeda terrorist plans outside of Muslim countries. Nosair was eventually convicted in connection to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and later admitted guilt for the murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane in New York on November 5, 1990.
Bin Laden continued to speak publicly against the Saudi government for harboring American troops, for which the Saudis banished him. He went to live in exile in Sudan, in 1992, in a deal brokered by Ali Mohamed.Sudan and return to Afghanistan
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 the country he heavily invested in the infrastructure and in agriculture and businesses. He continued his verbal assault on King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, and in response, on March 5, 1994, Fahd sent an emissary to Sudan demanding bin Laden's passport. His family was persuaded to cut off his $7 million a year stipend. By now bin Laden was strongly associated with Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), which made up the core of al-Qaeda. In 1995 the EIJ attempted to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The attempt failed, and the EIJ was expelled from Sudan.
Sudan also began efforts to expel bin Laden. The 9/11 Commission Report states:
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. CIA paramilitary officer Billy Waugh tracked down Bin Ladin in the 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.
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, or both.
In May 1996, under increasing pressure on Sudan, from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United States, bin Laden returned to Jalalabad, Afghanistan aboard a chartered flight, and there forged a close relationship with Mullah Mohammed Omar. When bin Laden left Sudan, he and his organization were significantly weakened, despite his ambitions and organizational skills.
In August, 1996, bin Laden declared war against the United States. This fatwā was first published in Al Quds Al Arabi, a London-based newspaper. The fatwā is 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 refers to U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia for the purpose of controlling air space in Iraq, known as Operation Southern Watch.
In Afghanistan, bin Laden and al-Qaeda raised money from "donors from the days of the Soviet jihad", and from the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to establish more training camps for Mujahideen fighters.
Bin Laden effectively had hijacked Ariana Afghan Airlines, which ferried Islamic militants, arms, cash and opium through the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan as well as provided false identifications to members of bin Laden's terrorist network. Viktor Bout helped to run the airline, maintaining planes and loading cargo. Michael Scheuer, head of the CIA's bin Laden unit, concluded that Ariana was being used as a "terrorist taxi service".Early attacks and aid for attacks Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir with Osama bin Laden in 1997
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 their 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 but the war that followed killed 150,000–200,000 Algerians and ended with Islamist surrender to the government.
Bin Laden funded the Luxor massacre of November 17, 1997, which killed 62 civilians, but outraged the Egyptian public. In mid-1997, the Northern Alliance threatened to overrun Jalalabad, causing bin Laden to abandon his Nazim Jihad compound and move his operations to Tarnak Farms in the south.
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 hundreds of Afghan Arab fighters along to help the Taliban kill between five and six thousand Hazaras overrunning the city.
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". 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."
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.
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. 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.
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 USS The Sullivans 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.Yugoslav Wars See also: Bosnian mujahideen
A former U.S. State Department official in October 2001 described Bosnia and Herzegovina as a safe haven for terrorists, after it was revealed that militant elements of the former Sarajevo government were protecting extremists, some with ties to Osama bin Laden. In 1997, Rzeczpospolita, one of the largest Polish daily newspapers, reported that intelligence services of the Nordic-Polish SFOR Brigade suspected that a center for training terrorists from Islamic countries was located in the Bocina Donja village near Maglaj in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1992, hundreds of volunteers joined an "all-mujahedeen unit" called El Moujahed in an abandoned hillside factory, a compound with a hospital and prayer hall.
According to Middle East intelligence reports, bin Laden financed small convoys of recruits from the Arab world through his businesses in Sudan. Among them was Karim Said Atmani who was identified by authorities as the document forger for a group of Algerians accused of plotting the bombings in the United States of America. 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. 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 60 miles (97 km) 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.
In 1999 it was revealed that bin Laden and his Tunisian assistant Mehrez Aodouni were granted citizenship and Bosnian passports in 1993 by the government in Sarajevo. 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. The Bosnian daily Oslobođenje published in 2001 that three men, believed to be linked to bin Laden, were arrested in Sarajevo in July 2001. The three, one of whom was identified as Imad El Misri, were Egyptian nationals. The paper said that two of the suspects were holding Bosnian passports.
In 1998 it was reported that bin Laden was operating his al-Qaeda network out of Albania. The Charleston Gazette quoted Fatos Klosi, the head of the Albanian intelligence service, as saying a network run by Saudi exile Osama bin Laden sent units to fight in the Serbian province of Kosovo. Confirmation of these activities came from Claude Kader, a French national who said he was a member of bin Laden's Albanian network.
By 1998 four members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) were arrested in Albania and extradited to Egypt.