We all know Osama Bin Laden as the worlds most wanted man. There are more aspects to him then being the founder of the jihadist organization- Al Qaeda, which literally means the “base”.
Born on March 10, 1957, the Worlds most wanted man, as we see him today, was not a radical from the inception. Born into a family of Arab-businessman, Osama was the 17th (or 25th according to some reports) son of Muhammad Bin Laden, a Saudi Business man having close ties with the Royal Saudi Family. Osama was born with a silver spoon and after his birth, his father’s construction business catapulted to newer heights and his family was one of the richest in the whole of the Saudi world.
Osama’s father bore almost 50 children in a society where more than one marriage was allowed. His mother then divorced and re-married Muhammad Al-Attas and the couple bore four more children where Osama had to live with three step brothers and one step sister.
Osama got the best education a Saudi child could get. He is a master of management and economics, which he had studied at King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Some analysts and historians say that it was during his study period at Jeddah, that this student was influenced by radical teachers and scholars of Islam. From then on, the road map for Osama to become the worlds most wanted man had started being carved.
According to some reports, it was the soviet invasion of Afghanistan that actually radicalized and galvanized Osama Bin Laden to wage a war. Bin Laden supported Afghanistan’s resistance to the Soviet invasion, which was backed by the USA at that point in time. This resistance later turned into a Jihad or a holy war. The schools of thought that were set by the US in Pakistan in consonance with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were initially used as shelter spaces for Afghan refugees. These schools later evolved into training grounds for radicals and this is where Osama gained ground over both the US and Russia.
By the 1980s, Laden had established the MAC or the Maktab Al Khidimat, which was a military outfit in Afghanistan. Having recruitment offices in Detroit and Brooklyn till as late as the 1980s, The MAC invited Islamic soldiers from around the world to join this movement. This whole set-up proved to be a part of an international network that exists today.
After the Soviet Union withdrew its troops from Afghanistan during the early 1990s, there was an internal conflict between the various factions that have erupted within the Mujahideen. This led to the arousal of the Taliban, which was only a part of the initial Mujahideen, but later took control over the whole territory of Afghanistan within a couple of years.
After the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan, Osama, the worlds most wanted man as of today is said to have gone back to Saudi Arabia and assisted in his family business of construction. It is suggested that it was during this period that Osama founded and organization to help and fund the veterans of the Afghan war, who had been stationed at various places such as Chechnya and the Philippines. These veterans are said to be the worlds most wanted man’s main international support.
During his period in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Government had allowed American troops to be stationed on its soil during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. This led Osama to speak openly against the ‘un-Islamic’ activities of the Saudi Government. The Saudi anarchy banished Osama due to his anti-governmental views, and he went to Sudan, where he got along with like minded radicals and jotted out various attacks on the US, Israel and the Saudi Government. This was one of the most vital turning steps that led the scholar to follow the road map to becoming the worlds most wanted man.
It was after his attacks at the US embassy in Kenya in 1998 that he was declared an ‘enemy of the United States’. As we all know, after being named as the mastermind behind the September 11 attacks on the twin towers in New York City, Osama Bin Laden has officially been named as the worlds most wanted terrorist.
Update: Osama Bin Laden is dead. Date of death May 2, 2011