Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (10 March 1957 – 2 May 2011), also transliterated as Usama bin Ladin, was a Saudi Arabian-born founder of the Pan-Islamic militant organization al-Qaeda. The group is designated as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union, and various countries. Under bin Laden, al-Qaeda was responsible for the September 11 attacks in the United States and many other mass-casualty attacks worldwide. On 2 May 2011, he was killed by U.S. special operations forces at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Osama bin Laden
أسامة بن لادن
|1st General Emir of al-Qaeda|
11 August 1988 – 2 May 2011
|Preceded by||Position created|
|Succeeded by||Ayman al-Zawahiri|
10 March 1957
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
|Died||2 May 2011 54) (aged|
Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
|Cause of death||Gunshot wound to the head|
|Citizenship||Saudi Arabian (1957–1994)|
|Height||1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)|
(m. 1974; separated 2001)
(m. 1983; div. 1990)
Amal Ahmed al-Sadah
|Children||20–26; including Abdallah, Saad, Omar, and Hamza|
|Relatives||Bin Laden family|
|Years of service||1984–2011|
|Rank||General Emir of al-Qaeda|
A member of the wealthy Bin Laden family, Osama bin Laden was born in Saudi Arabia. His father was Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, a Saudi millionaire from Hadhramaut, Yemen, and the founder of the construction company, Saudi Binladin Group. His mother, Alia Ghanem, was from a secular middle-class family in Latakia, Syria. He studied at university in the country until 1979, when he joined Mujahideen forces in Pakistan fighting against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. He helped to fund the Mujahideen by funneling arms, money, and fighters from the Arab world into Afghanistan, and gained popularity among many Arabs. In 1988, he formed al-Qaeda. He was banished from Saudi Arabia in 1992, lost his Saudi citizenship in 1994, and shifted his base to Sudan until US pressure forced him to leave in 1996. After establishing a new base in Afghanistan, he declared a war against the United States, launching a series of bombings and related attacks. His involvement in the 1998 US embassy bombings landed him on the American Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) lists of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives and Most Wanted Terrorists.
Bin Laden masterminded the September 11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people and led President George W. Bush to invade Afghanistan and launch the "War on Terror". He became the subject of a decade-long international manhunt, during which the FBI offered a $25 million bounty on him.