Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden

Overview
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (icon; , ; March 10, 1957 May 2, 2011) was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks
Timeline of al-Qaeda attacks
The following is a list of attacks which have been allegedly carried out by Al-Qaeda.-Early 1990s:On December 29, 1992, the first attack by Al Qaeda was carried out in Aden, Yemen. That evening, a bomb went off at the Gold Mohur hotel, where U.S. troops had been staying while en-route to Somalia,...

 against civilian and military targets. He was a member of the wealthy Saudi bin Laden family
Bin Laden family
The bin Laden family , also spelled bin Ladin, is a wealthy family intimately connected with the innermost circles of the Saudi royal family. The family was thrown into media spotlight through the activities of one of its members, Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks...

, and an ethnic Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

i Kindite.

Bin Laden was on the American Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

's (FBI) lists of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
The FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list arose from a conversation held in late 1949 between J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, and William Kinsey Hutchinson, International News Service Editor-in-Chief, who were discussing ways to promote capture of the...

 and Most Wanted Terrorists
FBI Most Wanted Terrorists
The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Most Wanted Terrorists is a list of fugitives who have been indicted by sitting Federal grand juries in the United States district courts, for alleged crimes of terrorism. The initial list was formed in late 2001 in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks...

 for his involvement in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings
1998 United States embassy bombings
The 1998 United States 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 East African capitals of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. The date of the...

.
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Encyclopedia
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (icon; , ; March 10, 1957 May 2, 2011) was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks
Timeline of al-Qaeda attacks
The following is a list of attacks which have been allegedly carried out by Al-Qaeda.-Early 1990s:On December 29, 1992, the first attack by Al Qaeda was carried out in Aden, Yemen. That evening, a bomb went off at the Gold Mohur hotel, where U.S. troops had been staying while en-route to Somalia,...

 against civilian and military targets. He was a member of the wealthy Saudi bin Laden family
Bin Laden family
The bin Laden family , also spelled bin Ladin, is a wealthy family intimately connected with the innermost circles of the Saudi royal family. The family was thrown into media spotlight through the activities of one of its members, Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks...

, and an ethnic Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

i Kindite.

Bin Laden was on the American Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

's (FBI) lists of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
The FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list arose from a conversation held in late 1949 between J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, and William Kinsey Hutchinson, International News Service Editor-in-Chief, who were discussing ways to promote capture of the...

 and Most Wanted Terrorists
FBI Most Wanted Terrorists
The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Most Wanted Terrorists is a list of fugitives who have been indicted by sitting Federal grand juries in the United States district courts, for alleged crimes of terrorism. The initial list was formed in late 2001 in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks...

 for his involvement in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings
1998 United States embassy bombings
The 1998 United States 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 East African capitals of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. The date of the...

. From 2001 to 2011, bin Laden was a major target of the War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

, with a 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
Death of Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden, then head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 a.m. local time by a United States special forces military unit....

 inside a private residential compound
Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad
Osama bin Laden's compound, known locally as the Waziristan Haveli , is the safe house in which Osama bin Laden was hiding when he was killed. The structure is located at the end of a dirt road in Abbottabad, Pakistan. About 35 Miles north of the capital, Islamibad, and just 0.8 miles southwest of...

 in Abbottabad
Abbottabad
Abbottabad is a city located in the Hazara region of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in Pakistan. The city is situated in the Orash Valley, northeast of the capital Islamabad and east of Peshawar at an altitude of and is the capital of the Abbottabad District...

, Pakistan, by U.S. Navy SEALs
United States Navy SEALs
The United States Navy's Sea, Air and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command as well as the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command.The acronym is derived from their...

 and CIA operatives in a covert operation ordered by United States President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

. Shortly after his death, bin Laden's body was buried at sea. Al-Qaeda acknowledged his death on May 6, 2011, vowing to retaliate.

Early life and education


Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was born in Riyadh
Riyadh
Riyadh is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia. It is also the capital of Riyadh Province, and belongs to the historical regions of Najd and Al-Yamama. It is situated in the center of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau, and is home to 5,254,560 people, and the urban center of a...

, Saudi Arabia, a son of Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, a billionaire construction magnate with close ties to the Saudi royal family, and Mohammed bin Laden's tenth wife, Hamida al-Attas
Hamida al-Attas
Hamida al-Attas , born Alia Ghanem , is the mother of Osama bin Laden. She came from a Sunni Syrian family of two brothers and another sister, although it has been rumoured that her family are Alawites. She married Mohammed bin Laden in Latakia in 1956 and moved to Saudi Arabia with her husband....

 (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
Al-Thager Model School
A secondary school in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the Al-Thager Model School is a two-story building that used to house both primary and secondary grades, as well as residential dormitories on the second level.-History:...

. He studied economics and business administration at King Abdulaziz University
King Abdulaziz University
King Abdulaziz University was founded in 1967 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Designed by English architect John Elliott, it had 2,000 teachers and more than 37,000 students in 2000/2001....

. Some reports suggest he earned a degree in civil engineering
Civil engineering
Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings...

 in 1979, or a degree in public administration
Public administration
Public Administration houses the implementation of government policy and an academic discipline that studies this implementation and that prepares civil servants for this work. As a "field of inquiry with a diverse scope" its "fundamental goal.....

 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
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

" and charitable work. Other interests included writing poetry; reading, with the works of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery
Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein
Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, KG, GCB, DSO, PC , nicknamed "Monty" and the "Spartan General" was a British Army officer. He saw action in the First World War, when he was seriously wounded, and during the Second World War he commanded the 8th Army from...

 and Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

 said to be among his favorites; black stallion
Stallion
A Stallion is a male horse.Stallion may also refer to:* Stallion , an American pop rock group* Stallion , a figure in the Gobot toyline* Stallion , a character in the console role-playing game series...

s; and association football, in which he enjoyed playing at centre forward
Striker
Forwards, also known as strikers, are the players on a team in association football who play nearest to the opposing team's goal, and are therefore principally responsible for scoring goals...

 and followed the fortunes of Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...


Personal life


In 1974, at the age of 17, bin Laden married Najwa Ghanem at Latakia
Latakia
Latakia, or Latakiyah , is the principal port city of Syria, as well as the capital of the Latakia Governorate. In addition to serving as a port, the city is a manufacturing center for surrounding agricultural towns and villages...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

; 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 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
Salem bin Laden
Salem bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was a Saudi Arabian investor and businessman.-Life:Considered the eldest son of Mohammed bin Laden, the founder of Saudi Binladin Group and a half-brother and cousin of the infamous terrorist...

, 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
Lawrence Wright
Lawrence Wright is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, screenwriter, staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, and fellow at the Center for Law and Security at the New York University School of Law...

, 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
Turban
In English, Turban refers to several types of headwear popularly worn in the Middle East, North Africa, Punjab, Jamaica and Southwest Asia. A commonly used synonym is Pagri, the Indian word for turban.-Styles:...

 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
Transliteration
Transliteration is a subset of the science of hermeneutics. It is a form of translation, and is the practice of converting a text from one script into another...

 Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 words and Arabic name
Arabic name
Long ago, Arabic names were based on a long naming system; most Arabs did not simply have given/middle/family names, but a full chain of names. This system was in use throughout the Arab world. Today however, Arabic names are similar in structure to those of Modern and Western names...

s into English; bin Laden's name is most frequently rendered "Osama bin Laden". The FBI and Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 (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
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

-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
Hadhrami people
The Hadhrami or Hadharem are people from the Hadhramaut and their descendants in diaspora communities around the world. They speak Hadhrami Arabic....

 tribesman; "Laden" refers not to bin Laden's great-grandfather, who was named Aboud, but to a more distant ancestor.

The Arabic linguistic
Natural language
In the philosophy of language, a natural language is any language which arises in an unpremeditated fashion as the result of the innate facility for language possessed by the human intellect. A natural language is typically used for communication, and may be spoken, signed, or written...

 convention would be to refer to him as "Osama" or "Osama bin Laden", not "bin Laden" alone, as "bin Laden" is a patronymic
Patronymic
A patronym, or patronymic, is a component of a personal name based on the name of one's father, grandfather or an even earlier male ancestor. A component of a name based on the name of one's mother or a female ancestor is a matronymic. Each is a means of conveying lineage.In many areas patronyms...

, not a surname in the Western manner. According to bin Laden's son Omar bin Laden, the family's hereditary surname is "al-Qahtani" , but bin Laden's father Mohammed bin Laden
Mohammed bin Laden
Sheikh Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was a wealthy investor, businessman, and patriarch of the bin Laden family. He was a Yemeni emmigrant to Saudi Arabia, and married 22 times, fathering at least 54 children...

 never officially registered the name.

Osama bin Laden had also assumed the kunyah
Kunya (Arabic)
A kunya is a teknonym, the name of an adult derived from their child, especially their eldest son, in Arabic names.A kunya is expressed by the use of abū or umm in a genitive construction, i.e "father of" or "mother of" as a honorific in place of or alongside given names in the Arab world and the...

 "Abū ʿAbdāllāh" ("father of Abdallah"). His admirers have referred to him by several nickname
Nickname
A nickname is "a usually familiar or humorous but sometimes pointed or cruel name given to a person or place, as a supposedly appropriate replacement for or addition to the proper name.", or a name similar in origin and pronunciation from the original name....

s, including the "Prince" or "Emir
Emir
Emir , meaning "commander", "general", or "prince"; also transliterated as Amir, Aamir or Ameer) is a title of high office, used throughout the Muslim world...

" (الأمير, al-Amīr), the "Sheik
Sheikh
Not to be confused with sikhSheikh — also spelled Sheik or Shaikh, or transliterated as Shaykh — is an honorific in the Arabic language that literally means "elder" and carries the meaning "leader and/or governor"...

" (الشيخ, aš-Šayḫ), the "Jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

ist Sheik" or "Sheik al-Mujahid
Mujahideen
Mujahideen are Muslims who struggle in the path of God. The word is from the same Arabic triliteral as jihad .Mujahideen is also transliterated from Arabic as mujahedin, mujahedeen, mudžahedin, mudžahidin, mujahidīn, mujaheddīn and more.-Origin of the concept:The beginnings of Jihad are traced...

" (شيخ المجاهد, al-Muǧāhid Šayḫ), "Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

" (حج, Ḥaǧǧ), and the "Director". The word ʾusāmah (أسامة) means "lion", earning him the nicknames "Lion" and "Lion Sheik".

Beliefs and ideology


According to former CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 analyst Michael Scheuer
Michael Scheuer
Michael F. Scheuer is a former CIA intelligence officer, American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst. He is currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's Center for Peace and Security Studies...

, 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
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 law would "set things right" in the Muslim world, and that alternatives such as "pan-Arabism
Pan-Arabism
Pan-Arabism is an ideology espousing the unification--or, sometimes, close cooperation and solidarity against perceived enemies of the Arabs--of the countries of the Arab world, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Sea. It is closely connected to Arab nationalism, which asserts that the Arabs...

, socialism, communism, democracy" must be opposed. This belief, in conjunction with violent jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

, has sometimes been called Qutbism
Qutbism
Qutbism is a strain of Sunni Islamist ideology and activism, based on the thought and writings of Sayyid Qutb, an Islamist and former leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood who was executed in 1966. It has been described as advancing the ideology of jihadism, i.e...

 after being promoted by Sayyid Qutb
Sayyid Qutb
Sayyid Qutb was an Egyptian author, educator, Islamist theorist, poet, and the leading member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and '60s....

. Bin Laden believed that Afghanistan, under the rule of Mullah Omar
Mohammed Omar
Mullah Mohammed Omar , often simply called Mullah Omar, is the leader of the Taliban movement that operates in Afghanistan. He was Afghanistan's de facto head of state from 1996 to late 2001, under the official title "Head of the Supreme Council"...

'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
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, 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
Usury
Usury Originally, when the charging of interest was still banned by Christian churches, usury simply meant the charging of interest at any rate . In countries where the charging of interest became acceptable, the term came to be used for interest above the rate allowed by law...

", 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
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

, [...] 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
Genetic engineering
Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification, is the direct human manipulation of an organism's genome using modern DNA technology. It involves the introduction of foreign DNA or synthetic genes into the organism of interest...

 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
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, and Qatari news station Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar...

, analysts such as Peter Bergen
Peter Bergen
Peter Bergen is a print and television journalist, author, and CNN's national security analyst. Bergen produced the first television interview with Osama Bin Laden in 1997. The interview, which aired on CNN, marked the first time that bin Laden declared war against the United States to a Western...

, Michael Scheuer
Michael Scheuer
Michael F. Scheuer is a former CIA intelligence officer, American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst. He is currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's Center for Peace and Security Studies...

, Marc Sageman
Marc Sageman
Marc Sageman , M.D., Ph.D., is a former CIA Operations Officer who was based in Islamabad from 1987 to 1989, where he worked closely with Afghanistan's mujahedin. He has advised various branches of the U.S. government in the War on Terror...

, and Bruce Hoffman and he was indicted on terrorism charges by law enforcement agencies in Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, New York City, and Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

.

Bin Laden's overall strategy against much larger enemies such as the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and United States was to lure them into a long war of attrition
Attrition warfare
Attrition warfare is a military strategy in which a belligerent side attempts to win a war by wearing down its enemy to the point of collapse through continuous losses in personnel and matériel....

 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


Mujahideen in Afghanistan


After leaving college in 1979, bin Laden went to Pakistan and joined Abdullah Azzam
Abdullah Yusuf Azzam
Abdullah Yusuf Azzam was a highly influential Palestinian Sunni Islamic scholar and theologian, who preached in favor of defensive jihad by Muslims to help the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet invaders...

 to take part in the Soviet war in Afghanistan
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

. During Operation Cyclone
Operation Cyclone
Operation Cyclone was the code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency program to arm, train, and finance the Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, 1979 to 1989...

 from 1979 to 1989, the United States provided financial aid and weapons to the mujahideen
Mujahideen
Mujahideen are Muslims who struggle in the path of God. The word is from the same Arabic triliteral as jihad .Mujahideen is also transliterated from Arabic as mujahedin, mujahedeen, mudžahedin, mudžahidin, mujahidīn, mujaheddīn and more.-Origin of the concept:The beginnings of Jihad are traced...

 leaders through Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 (ISI). Bin Laden met and built relations with Hamid Gul, who was a three-star general
Lieutenant General (Pakistan)
Pakistan Army has followed British Army rank system since its independence from British Empire in 1947. However, the crown in the ranks has been replaced with a star and crescent, which symbolizes the sovereignty of Government of Pakistan....

 in the Pakistani army
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

 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
Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was a government of Afghanistan between 1978 and 1992. It was both ideologically close to and economically dependent on the Soviet Union, and was a major belligerent of the Afghan Civil War.- Saur Revolution :...

. It was during his time in Pakistan that he began wearing camouflage-print
Camouflage
Camouflage is a method of concealment that allows an otherwise visible animal, military vehicle, or other object to remain unnoticed, by blending with its environment. Examples include a leopard's spotted coat, the battledress of a modern soldier and a leaf-mimic butterfly...

 jackets and carrying a Russian-made assault rifle
Assault rifle
An assault rifle is a selective fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles are the standard infantry weapons in most modern armies...

.

Formation and structuring of 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
Abdullah Yusuf Azzam
Abdullah Yusuf Azzam was a highly influential Palestinian Sunni Islamic scholar and theologian, who preached in favor of defensive jihad by Muslims to help the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet invaders...

, 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
Invasion of Kuwait
The Invasion of Kuwait, also known as the Iraq-Kuwait War, was a major conflict between the Republic of Iraq and the State of Kuwait, which resulted in the seven-month long Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, which subsequently led to direct military intervention by United States-led forces in the Gulf...

 under Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 on August 2, 1990, put the Saudi kingdom and the House of Saud
House of Saud
The House of Saud , also called the Al Saud, is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia and one of the wealthiest and most powerful dynasties in the world. The family holds thousands of members...

 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
Fahd of Saudi Arabia
Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, was King of Saudi Arabia from 1982 to 2005...

, 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
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 and Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

) 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 raid
Raid (military)
Raid, also known as depredation, is a military tactic or operational warfare mission which has a specific purpose and is not normally intended to capture and hold terrain, but instead finish with the raiding force quickly retreating to a previous defended position prior to the enemy forces being...

ed the New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 home of El Sayyid Nosair
El Sayyid Nosair
El Sayyid Nosair is an Egyptian-born American citizen, convicted of involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing...

, an associate of al-Qaeda operative Ali Mohamed
Ali Mohamed
Ali Abdul Saoud Mohamed, is a double agent who worked for both the CIA and Egyptian Islamic Jihad simultaneously, reporting on the workings of each for the benefit of the other....

, 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
1993 World Trade Center bombing
The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred on February 26, 1993, when a truck bomb was detonated below the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 1,336 lb urea nitrate–hydrogen gas enhanced device was intended to knock the North Tower into the South Tower , bringing...

, and later admitted guilt for the murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane
Meir Kahane
Martin David Kahane , also known as Meir Kahane , was an American-Israeli rabbi and ultra-nationalist writer and political figure. He was an ordained Orthodox rabbi and later served as a member of the Israeli Knesset...

 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
Khartoum
Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran"...

. He bought a house
Osama bin Laden's house in Khartoum
Osama bin Laden's house in Khartoum is a pink and beige brick-and-stucco three-storey house on Al-Mashtal Street in the affluent Al-Riyadh quarter of Khartoum, Sudan, where Osama bin Laden lived between 1991 and 1996.-Background:...

 on Al-Mashtal Street in the affluent Al-Riyadh quarter and a retreat at Soba
Soba (city)
Soba is the name of the capital of Alodia. E. A. Wallis Budge identified it with a group of ruins on the Blue Nile 12 miles from Khartoum, where there are remains of a Meroitic temple that had been converted into a Christian church. This would place Soba in the modern-day Sudanese state of Al Jazirah...

 on the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
The Blue Nile is a river originating at Lake Tana in Ethiopia. With the White Nile, the river is one of the two major tributaries of the 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
Hosni Mubarak
Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak is a former Egyptian politician and military commander. He served as the fourth President of Egypt from 1981 to 2011....

. The attempt failed, and the EIJ was expelled from Sudan.

As a result of his dealings in and advocacy of violent extremist jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

, Osama bin Laden lost his Saudi citizenship in 1994 and was disowned by his billionaire family.

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
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 (CIA) learned that Sudanese officials were discussing with the Saudi government the possibility of expelling Bin Laden. CIA paramilitary officer Billy Waugh
Billy Waugh
Sergeant Major William "Billy" Waugh , is a highly decorated American Special Forces soldier and a Central Intelligence Agency Paramilitary Operations Officer who served in the United States military and CIA special operations for more than fifty years. SGM Waugh served in the U.S...

 tracked down Bin Ladin in the Sudan and prepared an operation to apprehend him, but was denied authorization. U.S. Ambassador Timothy Carney
Timothy M. Carney
Timothy Michael Carney is a retired American diplomat and consultant.-Biography:Carney was born in Missouri and went on to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1966. He studied advanced Southeast Asian affairs at Cornell University in 1975-76. Carney joined the Foreign...

 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
9/11 Commission Report
The 9/11 Commission Report, formally named Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, is the official report of the events leading up to the September 11, 2001 attacks...

 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
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, and the United States, bin Laden returned to Jalalabad, Afghanistan
Jalalabad
Jalalabad , formerly called Adinapour, as documented by the 7th century Hsüan-tsang, is a city in eastern Afghanistan. Located at the junction of the Kabul River and Kunar River near the Laghman valley, Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar province. It is linked by approximately of highway with...

 aboard a chartered flight, and there forged a close relationship with Mullah Mohammed Omar
Mohammed Omar
Mullah Mohammed Omar , often simply called Mullah Omar, is the leader of the Taliban movement that operates in Afghanistan. He was Afghanistan's de facto head of state from 1996 to late 2001, under the official title "Head of the Supreme Council"...

. 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
Fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a 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
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 is sometimes called "The Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 and Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

, the two holiest places in Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. 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
Operation Southern Watch
Operation Southern Watch was an operation conducted by Joint Task Force Southwest Asia with the mission of monitoring and controlling airspace south of the 32nd Parallel in Iraq, following the 1991 Gulf War until the 2003 invasion of Iraq.-Summary:Operation Southern Watch began on 27 August 1992...

.

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
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 (ISI) to establish more training camps for Mujahideen fighters.

Bin Laden effectively had hijacked Ariana Afghan Airlines
Ariana Afghan Airlines
Ariana Afghan Airlines Co. Ltd. is the oldest and the national airline of Afghanistan, and is currently the largest Afghan airline, headquartered in Kabul...

, 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
Viktor Bout
Viktor Anatolyevich Bout is a convicted arms smuggler. A citizen of Russia, he was arrested in Thailand in 2008 and was extradited in 2010 to the United States to stand trial on terrorism charges after being accused of smuggling arms to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia to use against...

 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



It is believed that the first bombing attack involving bin Laden was the December 29, 1992, bombing of the Gold Mihor Hotel in Aden
Aden
Aden is a seaport city in Yemen, located by the eastern approach to the Red Sea , some 170 kilometres east of Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately 800,000. Aden's ancient, natural harbour lies in the crater of an extinct volcano which now forms a peninsula, joined to the mainland by a...

 in which two people were killed.

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
Mamdouh Mahmud Salim
Mamdouh Mahmud Salim is an alleged co-founder of the Islamist terrorist network al-Qaeda. He was arrested on 16 September 1998 near the German town Munich...

, the killing of someone standing near the enemy is justified because any innocent bystander will find their proper reward in death, going to Jannah
Jannah
Jannah , is the Islamic conception of paradise. The Arabic word Jannah is a shortened version meaning simply "Garden". According to Islamic eschatology, after death, one will reside in the grave until the appointed resurrection on . Muslims believe that the treatment of the individual in the life...

 (Paradise) if they were good Muslims and to Jahannam
Jahannam
Jahannam is the Arabic language equivalent to Hell. The term comes from the Greek Gehenna, itself derived from the Hebrew geographical name for the Valley of Hinnom.-Jahannam in the Qur'an:...

 (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
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, 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
Northern Alliance
The Afghan Northern Alliance is a military-political umbrella organization created by the Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1996.Northern Alliance may also refer to:*Northern Alliance , a Canadian white supremacist group...

 threatened to overrun Jalalabad, causing bin Laden to abandon his Nazim Jihad
Nazim Jihad
Najim Jihad is the name given to a housing compound outside Jalalabad, Afghanistan, which is the former home of Osama bin Laden and approximately 250 followers....

 compound and move his operations to Tarnak Farms
Tarnak Farms
Tarnak Farms refers to a former Afghan training camp near Kandahar.The camp is very near the Kandahar airport.The Al-Qaeda camp is alleged to have offered training constructing bombs, using poisons, urban warfare, and assassination...

 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
Ayman al-Zawahiri
Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri is an Egyptian physician, Islamic theologian and current leader of al-Qaeda. He was previously the second and last "emir" of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, having succeeded Abbud al-Zumar in the latter role when Egyptian authorities sentenced al-Zumar to life...

 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
Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque also known as al-Aqsa, is the third holiest site in Sunni Islam and is located in the Old City of Jerusalem...

 (in Jerusalem) and the holy mosque (in Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

) 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
Director of Central Intelligence
The Office of United States Director of Central Intelligence was the head of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, the principal intelligence advisor to the President and the National Security Council, and the coordinator of intelligence activities among and between the various United...

 Counterterrorist Center reported to President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 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
Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam , formerly Mzizima, is the largest city in Tanzania. It is also the country's richest city and a regionally important economic centre. Dar es Salaam is actually an administrative province within Tanzania, and consists of three local government areas or administrative districts: ...

, Tanzania and Nairobi
Nairobi
Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya. The city and its surrounding area also forms the Nairobi County. The name "Nairobi" comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyirobi, which translates to "the place of cool waters". However, it is popularly known as the "Green City in the Sun" and is...

, Kenya. The attacks were linked to local members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, brought Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri
Ayman al-Zawahiri
Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri is an Egyptian physician, Islamic theologian and current leader of al-Qaeda. He was previously the second and last "emir" of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, having succeeded Abbud al-Zumar in the latter role when Egyptian authorities sentenced al-Zumar to life...

 to the attention of the United States public for the first time, and resulted in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 placing bin Laden on its Ten Most Wanted
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
The FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list arose from a conversation held in late 1949 between J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, and William Kinsey Hutchinson, International News Service Editor-in-Chief, who were discussing ways to promote capture of the...

 list.

At the end of 2000, Richard Clarke
Richard A. Clarke
Richard Alan Clarke was a U.S. government employee for 30 years, 1973–2003. He worked for the State Department during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush appointed him to chair the Counter-terrorism Security Group and to a seat on the United States National...

 revealed that Islamic militants headed by bin Laden had planned a triple attack on January 3, 2000
2000 millennium attack plots
The Year 2000 attack plots were terrorist attacks planned to occur on or near January 1, 2000: the bombing of four sites in Jordan, the bombing of Los Angeles International Airport , and the bombing of the USS The Sullivans. The first two plots were foiled by law enforcement agencies; the third was...

 which would have included bombings in Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 of the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

 and tourists at Mount Nebo
Mount Nebo (Jordan)
Mount Nebo is an elevated ridge that is approximately 817 meters above sea level, in what is now western Jordan. The view from the summit provides a panorama of the Holy Land and, to the north, a more limited one of the valley of the River Jordan...

 and a site on the Jordan River, the sinking of the destroyer USS The Sullivans
USS The Sullivans
Two ships of the United States Navy have borne the name USS The Sullivans, named in honor of the five Sullivan brothers who lost their lives when their ship, USS Juneau , was sunk in November 1942. This was the greatest loss by any one family during World War II.* The first, , was a Fletcher-class...

 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
Ahmed Ressam
Ahmed Ressam is an Algerian al-Qaeda member who lived in Montreal, Canada.He was convicted of attempting to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport on New Year's Eve 1999, as part of the foiled 2000 millennium attack plots...

.

Yugoslav Wars


A former U.S. State Department official in October 2001 described Bosnia and Herzegovina as a safe haven for terrorists, after it was asserted that militant elements of the former Sarajevo government were protecting extremists, some with ties to Osama bin Laden. In 1997, Rzeczpospolita
Rzeczpospolita (newspaper)
Rzeczpospolita is a Polish national daily newspaper, with a circulation around of 160,000. Issued every day except Sunday. Rzeczpospolita was printed in broadsheet format, then switched to compact at October 16, 2007...

, one of the largest Polish daily newspapers, reported that intelligence services of the Nordic-Polish SFOR
SFOR
The Stabilisation Force was a NATO-led multinational peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina which was tasked with upholding the Dayton Agreement. It replaced the previous force IFOR...

 Brigade suspected that a center for training terrorists from Islamic countries was located in the Bocina Donja village near Maglaj
Maglaj
Maglaj is a town and municipality in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is situated in the northern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the Zenica-Doboj canton. The city lies south of the city of Doboj, the regional trade, education, culture, entertainment, and business centre. The municipality of Maglaj is one of...

 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
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

. Among them was Karim Said Atmani
Karim Said Atmani
A Moroccan living illegally in Montreal since 1995, Karim Said Atmani was alleged to be a document-forger for the Groupe Islamique Armé, and shared an apartment with Ahmed Ressam....

 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
Ahmed Ressam
Ahmed Ressam is an Algerian al-Qaeda member who lived in Montreal, Canada.He was convicted of attempting to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport on New Year's Eve 1999, as part of the foiled 2000 millennium attack plots...

, 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 (96.6 km) north of Sarajevo, the capital, in the past few years. Khalil al-Deek
Khalil al-Deek
Khalil Said al-Deek – , aka Joseph Adams after 1996 was a dual US-Jordanian citizen who came to USA to study computer science....

, 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
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 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 Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian 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
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

. The Charleston Gazette
The Charleston Gazette
The Charleston Gazette is a five-day morning newspaper in Charleston, West Virginia. It is published Monday through Friday mornings. On Saturday and Sunday mornings the combined Charleston Gazette-Mail is published, which is, more or less, similar to the Gazette.The Gazette was established in...

 quoted Fatos Klosi, the head of the Albanian intelligence service
SHISH
This article is about the Albanian intelligence service. For other meanings of shish, go to Shish .The State Intelligence Service , commonly known by its acronym SHISH, is the primary intelligence agency of Albania...

, as saying a network run by Saudi exile Osama bin Laden sent units to fight in the Serbian province of Kosovo
Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

. 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.

During his trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, is a...

 former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević
Slobodan Milošević
Slobodan Milošević was President of Serbia and Yugoslavia. He served as the President of Socialist Republic of Serbia and Republic of Serbia from 1989 until 1997 in three terms and as President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000...

 presented FBI documents that verified bin Laden's al-Qaeda had a presence in the Balkans and aided the Kosovo Liberation Army, which was identified by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization shortly before the 1998 embassy bombings in Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

 and Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

. Milošević had argued that the United States aided the terrorists which culminated in its backing of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was NATO's military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War. The strikes lasted from March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999...

 during the Kosovo War.

September 11, 2001 attacks


After his denial, Osama bin Laden finally claimed responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States in 2004. The attacks involved the hijacking of four commercial passenger aircraft, the subsequent destruction of those planes and the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

 in New York City, New York, severe damage to The Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

 in Arlington, Virginia, and the deaths of 2,974 people and the nineteen hijackers. In response to the attacks, the United States launched a War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

 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
Special Activities Division
The Special Activities Division is a division in the United States Central Intelligence Agency's National Clandestine Service responsible for covert operations known as "special activities"...

 was given the lead in tracking down and killing or capturing bin Laden.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 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 notes that the evidence presented is not necessarily sufficient for a prosecutable case.

Bin Laden initially denied involvement in the attacks. On September 16, 2001, bin Laden read a statement later broadcast by Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

's Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar...

 satellite channel denying responsibility for the attack.

In a videotape recovered by U.S. forces in November 2001 in Jalalabad, bin Laden was seen discussing the attack with Khaled al-Harbi
Khaled al-Harbi
Khaled bin Ouda bin Mohammed al-Harbi, is a Saudi national who was associated with Osama bin Laden's mujahadeen group in the 1980s, and is thought to have rejoined bin Laden and al-Qaeda in the mid-1990s...

 in a way that indicates foreknowledge. 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."
In the 2004 Osama bin Laden video
2004 Osama bin Laden video
On October 29, 2004, at 21:00 UTC, the Arab television network, Al Jazeera, broadcast excerpts from a videotape of Osama bin Laden addressing the people of the United States, in which he accepts responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks, condemns the Bush government's response to those...

, bin Laden abandoned his denials without retracting past statements. In it he stated he had personally directed the nineteen hijackers. In the 18-minute tape, played on Al-Jazeera, four days before the American presidential election, bin Laden accused U.S. President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 of negligence on the hijacking
Aircraft hijacking
Aircraft hijacking is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group. In most cases, the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers. Occasionally, however, the hijackers have flown the aircraft themselves, such as the September 11 attacks of 2001...

 of the planes on September 11.

According to the tapes, bin Laden claimed he was inspired to destroy the World Trade Center after watching the destruction of towers in Lebanon by Israel during the 1982 Lebanon War
1982 Lebanon War
The 1982 Lebanon War , , called Operation Peace for Galilee by Israel, and later known in Israel as the Lebanon War and First Lebanon War, began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon...

.

Through two other tapes aired by Al Jazeera in 2006, Osama bin Laden announced, "I am the one in charge of the nineteen brothers. [...] I was responsible for entrusting the nineteen brothers [...] with the raids" (May 23, 2006). In the tapes he was seen with Ramzi bin al-Shibh, as well as two of the 9/11 hijackers, Hamza al-Ghamdi
Hamza al-Ghamdi
Hamza al-Ghamdi was one of five hijackers of United Airlines Flight 175 as part of the September 11 attacks....

 and Wail al-Shehri
Wail al-Shehri
Wail Mohammed al-Shehri was one of five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 11, which was hijacked and flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center as part of the September 11 attacks....

, as they made preparations for the attacks (videotape broadcast September 7, 2006).

Identified motivations of the September 11 attacks
Motivations of the September 11 attacks
The September 11th attacks were an organized terrorist act carried out by 19 hijackers, and organized by numerous members of al-Qaeda. Reasons for the attacks were stated before and after the attacks in several sources, including the Fatawā of Osama bin Laden, the videos of Ayman al-Zawahiri,...

 include the support of Israel by the United States, presence of the U.S. military
Operation Southern Watch
Operation Southern Watch was an operation conducted by Joint Task Force Southwest Asia with the mission of monitoring and controlling airspace south of the 32nd Parallel in Iraq, following the 1991 Gulf War until the 2003 invasion of Iraq.-Summary:Operation Southern Watch began on 27 August 1992...

 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, and the U.S. enforcement of sanctions against Iraq
Iraq sanctions
The Iraq sanctions were a near-total financial and trade embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council on the nation of Iraq. They began August 6, 1990, four days after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, stayed largely in force until May 2003 , and certain portions including reparations to Kuwait...

.

Criminal charges


On March 16, 1998, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 issued the first official Interpol
Interpol
Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

 arrest warrant
Arrest warrant
An arrest warrant is a warrant issued by and on behalf of the state, which authorizes the arrest and detention of an individual.-Canada:Arrest warrants are issued by a judge or justice of the peace under the Criminal Code of Canada....

 against bin Laden and three other people. 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. Bin Laden was still wanted by the Libyan government at the time of his death. Osama bin Laden was first indicted by the United States on June 8, 1998, when a grand jury
Grand jury
A grand jury is a type of jury that determines whether a criminal indictment will issue. Currently, only the United States retains grand juries, although some other common law jurisdictions formerly employed them, and most other jurisdictions employ some other type of preliminary hearing...

 indicted Osama bin Laden on charges of killing five Americans and two Indians in the November 14, 1995, truck bombing of a U.S.-operated Saudi National Guard training center in Riyadh.
Bin Laden was charged with "conspiracy to attack defense utilities of the United States" and prosecutors further charged that bin Laden is the head of the terrorist organization called al-Qaeda, and that he was a major financial backer of Islamic fighters worldwide. Bin Laden denied involvement but praised the attack. 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
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is a federal district court. Appeals from the Southern District of New York are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (in case...

, 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
1998 United States embassy bombings
The 1998 United States 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 East African capitals of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. The date of the...

 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
Ziyad Khaleel
Ziyad Khaleel, also known as Khalil Ziyad, Ziyad Sadaqa, and Ziyad Abdulrahman, was a Palestinian-American al-Qaeda member, based in the United States, primarily in Colorado, Florida, Michigan and Missouri...

 in the United States.

Bin Laden became the 456th person listed
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, 1990s
The FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives during the 1990s is a list, maintained for a fifth decade, of the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.-FBI 10 Most Wanted Fugitives to begin the 1990s:...

 on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
The FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list arose from a conversation held in late 1949 between J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, and William Kinsey Hutchinson, International News Service Editor-in-Chief, who were discussing ways to promote capture of the...

 list, when he was added to the list on June 7, 1999, following his indictment along with others for capital crimes
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

 in the 1998 embassy attacks. 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
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 convinced the United Nations to impose sanctions against Afghanistan in an attempt to force the Taliban to extradite him.

Years later, on October 10, 2001, bin Laden appeared as well on the initial list of the top 22 FBI Most Wanted Terrorists
FBI Most Wanted Terrorists
The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Most Wanted Terrorists is a list of fugitives who have been indicted by sitting Federal grand juries in the United States district courts, for alleged crimes of terrorism. The initial list was formed in late 2001 in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks...

, which was released to the public by the President of the United States George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

, in direct response to the September 11 attacks, but which was again based on the indictment for the 1998 embassy attack. Bin Laden was among a group of thirteen fugitive terrorists wanted on that latter list for questioning about the 1998 embassy bombings. 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. 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. 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."

On June 15, 2011, federal prosecutors of the United States of America officially dropped all criminal charges against Osama Bin Laden following his death in May.

Attempted capture by the United States



Clinton administration


Capturing Osama bin Laden had been an objective of the United States government since the presidency of Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

. Shortly after the September 11 attacks it was revealed that President Clinton had signed a directive authorizing the CIA (and specifically their elite Special Activities Division
Special Activities Division
The Special Activities Division is a division in the United States Central Intelligence Agency's National Clandestine Service responsible for covert operations known as "special activities"...

) to apprehend bin Laden and bring him to the United States to stand trial after the 1998 United States embassy bombings
1998 United States embassy bombings
The 1998 United States 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 East African capitals of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. The date of the...

 in Africa; if taking bin Laden alive was deemed impossible, then deadly force was authorized. On August 20, 1998, 66 cruise missiles launched by United States Navy ships in the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui in northeastern Somalia and Kanyakumari in India...

 struck bin Laden's training camps near Khost
Khost
Khost or Khowst is a city in eastern Afghanistan. It is the capital of Khost province, which is a mountainous region near Afghanistan's border with Pakistan...

 in Afghanistan, narrowly missing him by a few hours. In 1999 the CIA, together with Pakistani military intelligence, had prepared a team of approximately 60 Pakistani commandos to infiltrate Afghanistan to capture or kill bin Laden, but the plan was aborted by the 1999 Pakistani coup d'état; in 2000, foreign operatives working on behalf of the CIA had fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a convoy of vehicles in which bin Laden was traveling through the mountains of Afghanistan, hitting one of the vehicles but not the one in which bin Laden was riding.

In 2000, prior to the September 11 attacks, Paul Bremer characterized the Clinton administration as "correctly focused on bin Laden", while Robert Oakley
Robert Oakley
Robert Bigger Oakley is a retired American diplomat. During his career as a Foreign Service Officer, Oakley served as United States Ambassador to Zaire, Somalia, and Pakistan, and later as a special envoy during the American involvement in Somalia in the early 1990s.-Department of State:Oakley...

 criticized their "obsession with Osama".

Bush administration


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, this figure was doubled to $50 million. The Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association
Air Transport Association
Airlines for America , formerly known as Air Transport Association of America, Inc. , is America's oldest and largest airline trade association. A4A member airlines and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. Based in Washington, D.C., the...

 offered an additional $2 million reward.

According to The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

, the U.S. government concluded that Osama bin Laden was present during the Battle of Tora Bora
Battle of Tora Bora
The Battle of Tora Bora was a military engagement that took place in Afghanistan in December 2001, during the opening stages of the war in that country launched following the 9/11 attacks on the United States. The U.S...

, 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. Intelligence officials have assembled what they believe 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.

The Washington Post also reported that the CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 unit composed of their special operations paramilitary forces dedicated to capturing bin Laden was shut down in late 2005. Bush had previously defended this scaling back of the effort several times, saying, "I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."

U.S. and Afghanistan forces raided the mountain caves in Tora Bora
Tora Bora
Tora Bora , known locally as Spīn Ghar , is a cave complex situated in the White Mountains of eastern Afghanistan, in the Pachir Wa Agam District of Nangarhar province, approximately west of the Khyber Pass and north of the border of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Pakistan...

 between August 14–16, 2007. The military was drawn to the area after receiving intelligence of a pre-Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

 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
Ayman al-Zawahiri
Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri is an Egyptian physician, Islamic theologian and current leader of al-Qaeda. He was previously the second and last "emir" of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, having succeeded Abbud al-Zumar in the latter role when Egyptian authorities sentenced al-Zumar to life...

.

Obama administration


On October 7, 2008, in the second presidential debate, on foreign policy, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama pledged, "We will kill bin Laden. 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 "with a covert, laserlike focus on al-Qaeda and its spawn."

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
Robert Gates
Dr. Robert Michael Gates is a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W....

 said in December 2009 that officials had had no reliable information on bin Laden's whereabouts for years. One week later, General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said in December 2009 that al-Qaeda will not be defeated unless its leader, Osama bin Laden, is captured or killed. Testifying to the U.S. Congress, he said 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. "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."

In April 2011, President Obama ordered a covert operation to kill or capture bin Laden. On May 1, 2011, the White House announced that U.S. Navy SEALs
United States Navy SEALs
The United States Navy's Sea, Air and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command as well as the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command.The acronym is derived from their...

 had carried it out, killing him
Death of Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden, then head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 a.m. local time by a United States special forces military unit....

 in his Abbottabad
Abbottabad
Abbottabad is a city located in the Hazara region of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in Pakistan. The city is situated in the Orash Valley, northeast of the capital Islamabad and east of Peshawar at an altitude of and is the capital of the Abbottabad District...

, Pakistan compound.

Activities and whereabouts after the September 11 attacks


While referring to Osama bin Laden in a CNN film clip on September 17, 2001, then President George W. Bush stated, "I want justice. 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:
  • In December 11, 2005, a letter from Atiyah Abd al-Rahman
    Atiyah Abd al-Rahman
    Atiyah Abd Al Rahman was reported by the US State Department to be a senior member of al-Qaeda and a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and Ansar al-Sunna...

     to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
    Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
    Abu Musab al-Zarqawi ; October 30, 1966 – June 7, 2006), born Ahmad Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh was a Jordanian militant Islamist who ran a paramilitary training camp in Afghanistan...

     indicated that bin Laden and the al-Qaeda leadership were based in the Waziristan
    Waziristan
    Waziristan is a mountainous region near the Northwest of Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering some 11,585 km² . The area is entirely populated by ethnic Pashtuns . The language spoken in the valley is Pashto/Pakhto...

     region of Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

     at the time. In the letter, translated by the United States military's Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, "Atiyah" instructs Zarqawi to "send messengers from your end to Waziristan so that they meet with the brothers of the leadership [...] I am now on a visit to them and I am writing you this letter as I am with them..." Al-Rahman also indicates that bin Laden and al-Qaeda are "weak" and "have many of their own problems." The letter has been deemed authentic by military and counterterrorism officials, according to The Washington Post
    The Washington Post
    The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

    .
  • Al-Qaeda continued to release time-sensitive and professionally-verified videos demonstrating bin Laden's continued survival as recently as August 2007.
  • In 2009, a research team led by Thomas W. Gillespie and John A. Agnew
    John A. Agnew
    John A. Agnew is a prominent British-American political geographer. Agnew was educated at the Universities of Exeter and Liverpool in England and Ohio State in the United States.-Life and career:...

     of UCLA used satellite-aided geographical analysis to pinpoint three compounds in Parachinar
    Parachinar
    Parachinar is the capital of Kurram Agency, FATA of Pakistan. It is about 290 km west of the capital, Islamabad...

     as bin Laden's likely hideouts. .
  • In March 2009, the New York Daily News
    New York Daily News
    The Daily News of New York City is the fourth most widely circulated daily newspaper in the United States with a daily circulation of 605,677, as of November 1, 2011....

     reported that the hunt for bin Laden had centered in the Chitral District
    Chitral District
    Chitral is a district in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan that contains the town of Chitral. It has an area of 14,850 km² and a population of 318,689 at the 1998 Census, which had subsequently risen to about 378,000 people by 2004. It has one of the highest mountains of the world,...

     of Pakistan, including the Kalam Valley
    Kalam valley
    Kalam Valley is a valley along the upper reaches of the Swat River in Swat, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.Kalam Valley is known for its waterfalls, lakes and lush green hills, and is a 270 km drive from Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan...

    . Author, Rohan Gunaratna
    Rohan Gunaratna
    Rohan Gunaratna is an international terrorism expert. He is the head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research ] at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore...

    , stated that captured al-Qaeda leaders had confirmed that bin Laden was hiding in Chitral.
  • In the first week of December 2009, a Taliban detainee in Pakistan said he had information that bin Laden was in Afghanistan in 2009. The detainee reported that in January or February (2009) he met a trusted contact who had seen bin Laden in Afghanistan about 15 to 20 days earlier. However, on December 6, 2009, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
    Robert Gates
    Dr. Robert Michael Gates is a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W....

     stated that the United States had had no reliable information on the whereabouts of bin Laden in years. Pakistan's Prime Minister Gillani
    Yousaf Raza Gillani
    Yousuf Raza Gilani is the current prime minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. He was nominated as Prime Minister by the PPP, with the support of its coalition partners, Pakistan Muslim League , Awami National Party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and Muttahida Qaumi Movement, on 22 March 2008...

     rejected claims that Osama bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan.
  • On Dec. 9, 2009 BBC News reported that U.S. Army General Stanley A. McChrystal
    Stanley A. McChrystal
    Stanley Allen McChrystal is a retired four-star general in the United States Army. His last assignment was as Commander, International Security Assistance Force and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan...

    , who served as Commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan from June 15, 2009 until June 23, 2010 emphasized the continued importance of the capture or killing of bin Laden, thus indicating that the U.S. high command believed that bin Laden was still alive
  • On February 2, 2010, Afghan president, Hamid Karzai
    Hamid Karzai
    Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

     arrived in Saudi Arabia for an official visit. The agenda included discussion of a possible Saudi role in Karzai’s plan to reintegrate Taliban militants. During the visit an anonymous official of the Saudi Foreign Ministry declared that the kingdom had no intention of getting involved in peacemaking in Afghanistan unless the Taliban severed ties with extremists and expelled Osama bin Laden.
  • On June 7, 2010, the Kuwaiti newspaper, Al Siyassa reported that bin Laden was hiding out in the mountainous town of Savzevar, in north eastern Iran
    Iran
    Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

    . The Australian News,online edition published the claim on June 9. On June 9, The Australian News, online edition repeated the claim.
  • On October 18, 2010, an unnamed NATO official suggested that bin Laden was "alive and well and living comfortably" in Pakistan, protected by elements of the country's intelligence services. A senior Pakistani official denied the allegations and said the accusations were designed to put pressure on the Pakistani government ahead of talks aimed at strengthening ties between Pakistan and the United States.
  • On April 16, 2011, a leaked Al Jazeera
    Al Jazeera
    Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar...

     report claimed that bin Laden had been captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Whereabouts just prior to his death


In April 2011, various intelligence outlets were able to pinpoint bin Laden's suspected location near Abbottabad
Abbottabad
Abbottabad is a city located in the Hazara region of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in Pakistan. The city is situated in the Orash Valley, northeast of the capital Islamabad and east of Peshawar at an altitude of and is the capital of the Abbottabad District...

, Pakistan. It was originally believed that bin Laden was hiding near the border between Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas
Federally Administered Tribal Areas
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas are a semi-autonomous tribal region in the northwest of Pakistan, lying between the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and the neighboring country of Afghanistan. The FATA comprise seven Agencies and six FRs...

, but he was found 100 miles (160.9 km) away in a three-story mansion in Abbottabad
Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad
Osama bin Laden's compound, known locally as the Waziristan Haveli , is the safe house in which Osama bin Laden was hiding when he was killed. The structure is located at the end of a dirt road in Abbottabad, Pakistan. About 35 Miles north of the capital, Islamibad, and just 0.8 miles southwest of...

 at 34°10′9.51"N 73°14′32.78"E. Bin Laden's mansion was located 0.8 miles (1.3 km) southwest of the Pakistan Military Academy
Pakistan Military Academy
The Pakistan Military Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service military academy. It is located at Kakul near Abbottabad in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan....

, the country's "West Point". Google Earth maps show that the compound was not present in 2001, but was present on images taken in 2005.

Death


Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 a.m. local time
Pakistan Standard Time
Pakistan Time is the time zone for Pakistan. It is 5 hours ahead of GMT/UTC .The only tz database zone is Asia/Karachi.-History:The current Pakistan time was set up at midnight between 29 September and 30 1951...

 by a United States special forces
Special forces
Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

 military unit.
The operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, was ordered by United States President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 and carried out in a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 (CIA) operation by a team of United States Navy SEALs
United States Navy SEALs
The United States Navy's Sea, Air and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command as well as the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command.The acronym is derived from their...

 from the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group , commonly known as DEVGRU and informally by its former name SEAL Team Six , is one of the United States' four secretive counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units .The vast majority of information about DEVGRU is highly classified, and...

 (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
Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad
Osama bin Laden's compound, known locally as the Waziristan Haveli , is the safe house in which Osama bin Laden was hiding when he was killed. The structure is located at the end of a dirt road in Abbottabad, Pakistan. About 35 Miles north of the capital, Islamibad, and just 0.8 miles southwest of...

 in Abbottabad
Abbottabad
Abbottabad is a city located in the Hazara region of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in Pakistan. The city is situated in the Orash Valley, northeast of the capital Islamabad and east of Peshawar at an altitude of and is the capital of the Abbottabad District...

, Pakistan was launched from Afghanistan. After the raid, U.S. forces took bin Laden's body to Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 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 Zaidi, 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." Pakistan's president Asif Ali Zardari
Asif Ali Zardari
Asif Ali Zardari is the 11th and current President of Pakistan and the Co-Chairman of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party . He is also the widower of Benazir Bhutto, who served two nonconsecutive terms as Prime Minister....

 denied that his country's security forces sheltered bin Laden, and called any supposed support for bin Laden by the Pakistani government "baseless speculation".

It was speculated that the issue might further strain U.S. ties with Pakistan. Bin Laden was killed in what some suggest was his residence for five years. It was an expensive compound located less than a mile from Pakistan's version of West Point, probably built for him and less than 100 kilometers' drive from the capital.

The Pakistani government's foreign office issued a statement that "categorically denies" any reports by the media that the country's leadership, "civil as well as military, had any prior knowledge of the U.S. operation against Osama bin Laden".

Pakistan's United States envoy, ambassador Husain Haqqani
Husain Haqqani
Husain Haqqani or Hussain Haqqani is the former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States, appointed by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani in April 2008 and was resigned on November 22, 2011...

, promises a "full inquiry" into how Pakistani intelligence services failed to find bin Laden in a fortified compound, just a few hours drive from Islamabad, and stated that "obviously bin Laden did have a support system; the issue is, was that support system within the government and the state of Pakistan or within the society of Pakistan?"

See also



  • Afghan civil war
  • Childhood, education and personal life of Osama bin Laden
    Childhood, education and personal life of Osama bin Laden
    Osama bin Laden, a militant Islamist and founder of al Qaeda in 1988, believed Muslims should kill civilians and military personnel from the United States and allied countries until they withdrew support for Israel and withdrew military forces from Islamic countries. He was indicted in United...

  • Fatawā of Osama bin Laden
    Fatawā of Osama bin Laden
    Osama bin Laden wrote what is referred to as a fatwā in August 1996, and was one of several signatories of another and shorter fatwa in February 1998. Both documents appeared initially in the Arabic-language London newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi...

  • Islamic fundamentalism
    Islamic fundamentalism
    Islamic fundamentalism is a term used to describe religious ideologies seen as advocating a return to the "fundamentals" of Islam: the Quran and the Sunnah. Definitions of the term vary. According to Christine L...

  • Islamic mujahid movement
  • Islamic terrorism
  • Osama bin Laden in popular culture
    Osama bin Laden in popular culture
    Osama bin Laden has been depicted and parodied in several films and TV shows. Notable examples include:*Bin Laden: The Early Years - a 2001 TV documentary. Director: Jon Blair...

  • Pakistan and state terrorism
    Pakistan and state terrorism
    Pakistan has been accused by neighbours India, Afghanistan, Iran and western nations like the United States, and the United Kingdom of its involvement in terrorist activities in India as well as Afghanistan . Pakistan's tribal region is Branded as a "Haven for Terrorism", it is considered among...

  • The Golden Chain
    The Golden Chain
    The "Golden Chain" is a list of purported sponsors of Al Qaeda that was seized in March 2002 in a raid by Bosnian police of the premises of the Benevolence International Foundation in Sarajevo. The list includes at least 20 top Saudi and Gulf State financial sponsors including bankers,...

  • War against Islam
  • Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad
    Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad
    Osama bin Laden's compound, known locally as the Waziristan Haveli , is the safe house in which Osama bin Laden was hiding when he was killed. The structure is located at the end of a dirt road in Abbottabad, Pakistan. About 35 Miles north of the capital, Islamibad, and just 0.8 miles southwest of...


Further reading


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External links


  • Osama bin Laden collected news and commentary at Dawn
    Dawn (newspaper)
    Dawn is Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper. One of the country's two largest English-language dailies, it is the flagship of the Dawn Group of Newspapers, published by Pakistan Herald Publications, which also owns the Herald, a magazine, the evening paper The Star and...

  • Full text: bin Laden's 'letter to America', The Observer
    The Observer
    The Observer is a British newspaper, published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its daily sister paper The Guardian, which acquired it in 1993, it takes a liberal or social democratic line on most issues. It is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.-Origins:The first issue,...

    , November 24, 2002
  • Hunting Bin Laden, PBS Frontline, (November 2002)
  • Young Osama, Steve Coll, The New Yorker
    The New Yorker
    The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...

    , December 12, 2005
  • How the World Sees Osama bin Laden, slideshow by Life
    Life (magazine)
    Life generally refers to three American magazines:*A humor and general interest magazine published from 1883 to 1936. Time founder Henry Luce bought the magazine in 1936 solely so that he could acquire the rights to its name....

  • The Osama bin Laden File from The National Security Archive, posted May 2, 2011