Global War on Terrorism. He was a Saudi Arabian citizen until stateless thereafter and a member of the wealthy bin Laden family. He helped to fund the Mujahideen by funneling arms, money and fighters from the Arab world into Afghanistan, and gained popularity among many Arabs. After establishing a new base in Afghanistan, he declared a war against the United States, initiating a series of bombings and related attacks. Bin Laden is most well known for his role in masterminding the September 11 attacks , which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3, and prompted the United States to initiate the War on Terror.
He subsequently became the subject of a decade-long international manhunt. President Barack Obama. There is no universally accepted standard for transliterating Arabic words and Arabic names into English ;  however, bin Laden's name is most frequently rendered "Osama bin Laden". Less common renderings include "Ussamah bin Ladin" and, in the French-language media, "Oussama ben Laden".
Other spellings include "Binladen" or, as used by his family in the West, "Binladin". The decapitalization of bin is based on the convention of leaving short prepositions, articles, and patronymics uncapitalized in surnames; the nasab bin means "son of".
The spellings with o and e come from a Persian -influenced pronunciation also used in Afghanistan, where bin Laden spent many years. The Arabic linguistic convention would be to refer to him as "Osama" or "Osama bin Laden", not "bin Laden" alone, as "bin Laden" is a patronymic , not a surname in the Western manner.
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 s or early s, and they are still together. Bin Laden was raised as a devout Sunni Muslim. Some reports suggest he earned a degree in civil engineering in ,  or a degree in public administration in At age 17 in , bin Laden married Najwa Ghanem at Latakia , Syria;  they were separated before September 11, Bin Laden's other known wives were Khadijah Sharif married , divorced s ; Khairiah Sabar married ; Siham Sabar married ; and Amal al-Sadah married Some sources also list a sixth wife, name unknown, whose marriage to bin Laden was annulled soon after the ceremony.
Nasser al-Bahri, who was bin Laden's personal bodyguard from —, details bin Laden's personal life in his memoir. He describes him as a frugal man and strict father, who enjoyed taking his large family on shooting trips and picnics in the desert. Bin Laden's father Mohammed died in in an airplane crash in Saudi Arabia when his American pilot Jim Harrington  misjudged a landing.
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The FBI described bin Laden as an adult as tall and thin, between 1. He wore a plain white keffiyeh. Bin Laden had stopped wearing the traditional Saudi male keffiyeh and instead wore the traditional Yemeni male keffiyeh.
A major component of bin Laden's ideology was the concept that civilians from enemy countries, including women and children, were legitimate targets for jihadists to kill.
Bin Laden believed that the Islamic world was in crisis and that the complete restoration of Sharia law would be the only way to "set things right" in the Muslim world. He opposed such alternatives as secular government,  as well as " pan-Arabism , socialism, communism, democracy.
These beliefs, in conjunction with violent jihad , have sometimes been called Qutbism after being promoted by Sayyid Qutb. His viewpoints and methods of achieving them had led to him being designated as a terrorist by scholars,   journalists from The New York Times ,   the BBC ,  and Qatari news station Al Jazeera ,  analysts such as Peter Bergen ,  Michael Scheuer ,  Marc Sageman ,  and Bruce Hoffman.
In , he condemned the United States for its hypocrisy in not labeling the bombing of Hiroshima as terrorism. In November , he maintained that revenge killing of Americans was justified because he claimed that Islamic law allows believers to attack invaders even when the enemy uses human shields. However, according to Rodenbeck, "this classical position was originally intended as a legal justification for the accidental killings of civilians under very limited circumstances — not as a basis for the intentional targeting of noncombatants.
Bin Laden's overall strategy for achieving his goals against much larger enemies such as the Soviet Union and United States was to lure them into a long war of attrition in Muslim countries, attracting large numbers of jihadists who would never surrender.
Osama bin Laden
He believed this would lead to economic collapse of the enemy countries, by "bleeding" them dry. In a tape broadcast by al-Jazeera, bin Laden spoke of "bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy". A number of errors and inconsistencies in bin Laden's arguments have been alleged by authors such as Max Rodenbeck and Noah Feldman. He invoked democracy both as an example of the deceit and fraudulence of Western political system —American law being "the law of the rich and wealthy"  —and as the reason civilians are responsible for their government's actions and so can be lawfully punished by death.
Bin Laden was heavily anti-Semitic , stating that most of the negative events that occurred in the world were the direct result of Jewish actions.
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In a December interview with Pakistani journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai , bin Laden stated that Operation Desert Fox was proof that Israeli Jews controlled the governments of the United States and United Kingdom, directing them to kill as many Muslims as they could.
State Department and U. Department of Defense were controlled by Jews, for the sole purpose of serving the Israeli state's goals. They will leave you nothing, either in this world or the next. America, and Israel" as the four principal "enemies of Islam" at ideology classes of bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization.
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Bin Laden was opposed to music on religious grounds,  and his attitude towards technology was mixed. He was interested in "earth-moving machinery and genetic engineering of plants" on the one hand, but rejected "chilled water" on the other.
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Bin Laden also believed climate change to be a serious threat and penned a letter urging Americans to work with President Barack Obama to make "a rational decision to save humanity from the harmful gases that threaten its destiny".
After leaving college in , bin Laden went to Pakistan, joined Abdullah Azzam and used money and machinery from his own construction company to help the Mujahideen resistance in the Soviet—Afghan War.
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 , 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 trained volunteers from across the Muslim world to fight against the Soviet-backed regime, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Between and , bin Laden set up a base in eastern Afghanistan for several dozen of his own Arab soldiers. Large numbers of Shias in the city and surrounding region of Gilgit were killed in a massacre that occurred in response to rumours of a massacre of Sunnis by Shias,  in May Shia civilians were also subjected to rape.
The massacre is alleged by B. Raman , a founder of India's Research and Analysis Wing ,  to have been in response to a revolt by the Shias of Gilgit during the rule of military dictator Zia-ul Haq.
By , 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.
According to Wright, the group's real name was not used in public pronouncements because "its existence was still a closely held secret". The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait under Saddam Hussein on August 2, , put the Saudi kingdom and the royal family at risk. With Iraqi forces on the Saudi border, Saddam's appeal to pan-Arabism was potentially inciting internal dissent.
Bin Laden's offer was rebuffed, and the Saudi monarchy invited the deployment of U. Bin Laden's criticism of the Saudi monarchy led them to try to silence him. The U. They discovered 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. In , bin Laden was expelled from Saudi Arabia by its regime after repeatedly criticizing the Saudi alliance with the United States.
In Sudan, bin Laden established a new base for Mujahideen operations in Khartoum. He was the Sudan agent for the British firm Hunting Surveys ,  and built roads using the same bulldozers he had employed to construct mountain tracks in Afghanistan. Many of his labourers were the same fighters who had been his comrades in the war against the Soviet Union.
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He was generous to the poor and popular with the people. The attempt failed, and Sudan expelled the EIJ. State Department accused Sudan of being a " sponsor of international terrorism " and bin Laden of operating "terrorist training camps in the Sudanese desert". According to Sudan officials, however, this stance became obsolete as the Islamist political leader Hassan al-Turabi lost influence in their country.
The Sudanese wanted to engage with the U. It was not until that the State Department authorized U. CIA paramilitary officer Billy Waugh tracked down Bin Ladin in Sudan and prepared an operation to apprehend him, but was denied authorization.
Ambassador Timothy Carney encouraged the Sudanese to pursue this course. The Saudis, however, did not want Bin Laden, giving as their reason their revocation of his citizenship. The Commission has found no credible evidence that this was so.
Ambassador Carney had instructions only to push the Sudanese to expel Bin Laden. Ambassador Carney had no legal basis to ask for more from the Sudanese since, at the time, there was no indictment outstanding against bin Laden in any country. In February , Sudanese officials began approaching officials from the United States and other governments, asking what actions of theirs might ease foreign pressure.
Saudi officials apparently wanted Bin Laden expelled from Sudan.
They had already revoked his citizenship, however, and would not tolerate his presence in their country. Also Bin Laden may have no longer felt safe in Sudan, where he had already escaped at least one assassination attempt that he believed to have been the work of the Egyptian or Saudi regimes, and paid for by the CIA.
Due to the increasing pressure on Sudan from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United States, bin Laden was permitted to leave for a country of his choice.
He chose to return to Jalalabad, Afghanistan aboard a chartered flight on May 18, ; there he forged a close relationship with Mullah Mohammed Omar.
In August , bin Laden declared war against the United States. Bush to King Fahd in , that all U. Bush cited the necessity of dealing with the remnants of Saddam's regime which Bush had chosen not to destroy. Bin Laden's view was that "the 'evils' of the Middle East arose from America's attempt to take over the region and from its support for Israel. Saudi Arabia had been turned into 'an American colony".
In Afghanistan, bin Laden and al-Qaeda raised money from "donors from the days of the Soviet jihad", and from the Pakistani ISI to establish more training camps for Mujahideen fighters.
Michael Scheuer, head of the CIA's bin Laden unit, concluded that Ariana was being used as a "terrorist taxi service".