Osama bin Laden was born
On this day in 1957 Osama bin Laden was born.
He was born Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Son of Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, who was a billionaire construction baron with close ties to the Saudi royal family. His mother, Hamida al-Attas, was Mohammed bin Laden’s tenth wife. His family made $5 billion in the construction industry, of which Osama later inherited around $25–30 million.
Mohammed bin Laden divorced Hamida soon after Osama bin Laden was born. Mohammed recommended Hamida to Mohammed al-Attas, an associate. They married 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.
Bin Laden was raised as a devout Wahhabi Muslim (a conservative and intolerant form of Islam that is practiced mainly in Saudi Arabia). From 1968 to 1976, he attended the élite secular Al-Thager Model School. He studied economics and business administration at King Abdulaziz University. At university, bin Laden’s main interest was religion, where he was involved in both “interpreting the Quran and jihad” and charitable work. Other interests included writing poetry, reading and association football, in which he enjoyed playing at centre forward and followed Arsenal F.C.
He was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda “The Base”, the Jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets.He was a member of the wealthy Saudi bin Laden family, and an ethnic Yemeni Kindit (a 3rd-5th century AD Arabic tribe).
Bin Laden was on the FBI’s lists of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives and Most Wanted Terrorists for his involvement in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings. From 2001 to 2011, bin Laden was a major target of the War on Terror.
The Rewards For Justice Program, United States Department of State, was offering a reward of up to $25 million for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of Osama Bin Laden. An additional $2 million was being offered through a program developed and funded by the Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association.
After being placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, bin Laden remained in hiding during three U.S. presidential administrations.
On 2 May, 2011, just after 1 a.m. local time, Bin Laden was shot and killed inside a private residential compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, was ordered by Barack Obama and carried out in a CIA operation by a team of United States Navy SEALs of the Joint Special Operations Command, with support from CIA operatives on the ground. The raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan was launched from Afghanistan. After the raid, U.S. forces took bin Laden’s body to Afghanistan for identification, then buried it at sea within 24 hours of his death.
Al-Qaeda acknowledged his death, vowing to retaliate.