Facts about Osama bin Laden

Born: 1957
Birthplace: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Best known as: The mastermind of the 11 September 2001 attacks


Osama bin Laden Biography

Also known as: Usama bin Laden, Ussamah bin Laden

The United States government made Osama bin Laden their most wanted criminal after he claimed credit for attacks on 11 September 2001. He eluded captrue until he was shot and killed by an American military team in Pakistan nearly 10 years later, on 2 May 2011. Osama Bin Laden joined the Afghanistani resistance in 1979 and became a commander in the guerilla wars against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. After that war ended, Osama bin Laden founded a loose organization of pro-Islamic terrorists known as al-Qaeda (“the base”). He then joined with the Egyptian militants led by Ayman al-Zawahiri to form an international group whose goals included driving the United States out of the Middle East and overthrowing the government of Saudi Arabia. Attacks which Osama bin Laden is believed to have plotted or inspired include the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, the 1995 truck bombing of a Saudi National Guard training center, and the 1998 explosions at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. (Bin Laden was added to the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitive” list after the embassy attacks.) Along with captured suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, bin Laden planned the September 2001 attacks with hijacked passenger jets that crippled the Pentagon and destroyed New York’s World Trade Center. Despite intense American efforts in the Middle East, bin Laden was not found or captured until 2011, when American intelligence learned he was living in Abbottabad, Pakistan. On 2 May 2011 a team of Navy SEALS (known as Team 6), acting on orders from President Barack Obama, attacked bin Laden’s compound and killed him. Osama bin Laden’s body was taken by the U.S. forces and buried at sea later that day.

Extra credit

Osama bin Laden was between 6’4″ and 6’6″ tall and weighed “approximately 160 pounds,” according his most-wanted poster from the FBI… Some sources, including the FBI, spell his first name “Usama”… Osama Bin Laden’s supporter Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. bomb strike in Iraq on 7 June 2006… There is no truth to the e-mail rumor that Osama bin Laden was identified as a terrorist by Oliver North during the Iran-Contra hearings of 1987… Osama bin Laden was one of 52 children fathered by Muhammad bin Laden, a Saudi Arabian construction magnate… Osama bin Laden’s neice, Wafah Dufour, is an aspiring pop musician who posed for a photo shoot in the January 2006 issue of GQ magazine.


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