Osama bin Laden was a notorious figure in the 21st century, known for his role as the founder and leader of al-Qaeda, a militant group responsible for the September 11th attacks in the United States. Here is a brief overview of the life and times of Osama bin Laden.
Osama bin Laden was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1957. He was the son of a wealthy businessman and grew up in a privileged family. He attended King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, but dropped out to join the mujahideen in Afghanistan, who were fighting against the Soviet Union.
Bin Laden was heavily involved in the Afghan-Soviet War in the 1980s, using his wealth to fund the mujahideen and providing training and weapons to them. After the war ended, bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia and became increasingly radicalized, criticizing the Saudi government for its close ties to the United States and calling for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate.
Formation of al-Qaeda
In 1988, bin Laden founded al-Qaeda, which aimed to unite Islamic extremists and promote their ideology around the world. The group carried out several attacks throughout the 1990s, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York City and the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
September 11th Attacks
The most infamous attack carried out by al-Qaeda was the September 11th attacks in 2001, which killed nearly 3,000 people in New York City, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania. Bin Laden initially denied involvement in the attacks but later claimed responsibility for them.
After the September 11th attacks, bin Laden became the most wanted man in the world. He went into hiding and evaded capture for nearly a decade. In 2011, U.S. forces located him hiding in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and carried out a raid that resulted in his death.
Osama bin Laden was a complex and controversial figure, revered by some and reviled by others. His actions and beliefs have had a profound impact on the world, and his death marked the end of an era in the global fight against terrorism. While his legacy continues to be debated, there is no denying the impact he had on the course of history.