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Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (with numerous variations; , Usāmah bin Muḥammad bin ʾAwaḍ bin Lādin) (born 10 March 1957) is a member of the prominent Saudimarker bin Laden family and the alleged founding leader of the organization al-Qaeda. Bin Laden is on the American Federal Bureau of Investigationmarker's list of FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives for his possible involvement with the circa 1998 bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaammarker, Tanzania, and Nairobimarker, Kenyamarker.

Variations of bin Laden's name

There is not a universally accepted standard in the West for transliterating Arabic words and names into English, so bin Laden's name is spelled in many different ways. The version translation most often used by English-language mass media is Osama bin Laden. Most American government agencies, including the FBI and CIA, use either "Usama bin Laden" or "Usama bin Ladin", both of which are often abbreviated to UBL. Less common renderings include "Ussamah Bin Ladin" and "Oussama Ben Laden" (French-language mass media). The last two words of the name can also be found as "Binladen" or (as used by his family in the West) "Binladin". The spelling with 'o' and 'e' comes from a Persian-influenced pronunciation used in Afghanistan where he was for a long time.

Strictly speaking, Arabic linguistic conventions dictate that he be referred to as "Osama" or "Osama bin Laden", not "bin Laden," as "Bin Laden" is not used as a surname in the Western manner, but simply as part of his name, which in its long form means "Osama, son of Mohammed, son of 'Awad, son of Laden". Still, "bin Laden" has become nearly universal in Western references to him.

Bin Laden's admirers commonly use several aliases and nicknames, including the Prince, the Sheikh, Al-Amir, Abu Abdallah, Sheikh Al-Mujahid, the Lion Sheik, the Director, Imam Mehdi and Samaritan.

Childhood, education and personal life

Osama bin Laden was born in Riyadhmarker, Saudi Arabiamarker. In a 1998 interview, he gave his birth date as 10 March 1957. His father Muhammed Awad bin Laden was a wealthy businessman with close ties to the Saudi royal family. Osama bin Laden was born the only son of Muhammed bin Laden's tenth wife, Hamida al-Attas.Osama's parents divorced soon after he was born; Osama's mother then married Muhammad al-Attas. The couple had four children, and Osama lived in the new household with three half-brothers and one half-sister.

Bin Laden was raised as a devout Wahhabi Muslim. From 1968 to 1976 he attended the "élite" secular Al-Thager Model School. Bin Laden studied economics and business administration at King Abdulaziz Universitymarker. Some reports suggest bin Laden earned a degree in civil engineering in 1979, or a degree in public administration in 1981. Other sources describe him as having left university during his third year,never completing a college degree, though "hard working." At university, bin Laden's main interest was religion, where he was involved in both "interpreting the Quran and jihad" and charitable work. He also writes poetry.

In 1974, at the age of 17, bin Laden married his first wife Najwa Ghanem at Latakiamarker. According to CNN national security correspondent David Ensore, as of 2002 bin Laden had married four women and fathered roughly 25 or 26 children.Other sources report that he has fathered anywhere from 12 to 24 children.

Beliefs and ideology

Bin Laden believes that the restoration of Sharia law will set things right in the Muslim world, and that all other ideologies—"pan-Arabism, socialism, communism, democracy"—must be opposed. These beliefs, along with violent expansive jihad, have sometimes been called Qutbism. He believes Afghanistan under the rule of Mullah Omar's Taliban was "the only Islamic country" in the Muslim world. Bin Laden has consistently dwelt on the need for violent jihad to right what he believes are injustices against Muslims perpetrated by the United States and sometimes by other non-Muslim states, the need to eliminate the state of Israelmarker, and the necessity of forcing the US to withdraw from the Middle East. He has also called on Americans to "reject the immoral acts of fornication (and) homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling, and usury," in an October 2002 letter.

Probably the most infamous part of Bin Laden's ideology is that civilians, including women and children, are legitimate targets of jihad. Bin Laden is antisemitic, and has delivered warnings against alleged Jewish conspiracies: "These Jews are masters of usury and leaders in treachery. They will leave you nothing, either in this world or the next." Shia Muslims have been listed along with "Heretics,... America and Israel," as the four principal "enemies of Islam" at ideology classes of bin Laden's Al-Qaeda organization.

In keeping with Wahhabi beliefs, bin Laden opposes music on religious grounds, and his attitude towards technology is mixed. He is interested in "earth-moving machinery and genetic engineering of plants" on the one hand, but rejects "chilled water" on the other.

His viewpoints and methods of achieving them have led to him been designated as a "terrorist" by scholars, journalists from the New York Times, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and Qatari news station Al Jazeera, analysts such as Peter Bergen, Michael Scheuer, Marc Sageman, and Bruce Hoffman and he was indicted on terrorism charges by law enforcement agencies in Madridmarker, New York Citymarker, and Tripolimarker.

Militant activity

Mujahideen in Afghanistan

After leaving college in 1979 bin Laden joined Abdullah Azzam to fight the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan and lived for a time in Peshawarmarker.

By 1984, with Azzam, bin Laden established Maktab al-Khadamat, which funneled money, arms and Muslim fighters from around the Arabic world into the Afghan war. Through al-Khadamat, bin Laden's inherited family fortune paid for air tickets and accommodation, dealt with paperwork with Pakistani authorities and provided other such services for the jihad fighters. He moved to Peshawarmarker in 1994. Osama established a camp in Afghanistan, and with other volunteers fought the Sovietsmarker.

It was during his time in Peshawar that he began to wear camouflage-print jackets and carrying a captured Soviet assault rifle, which urban legends claimed he had obtained by killing a Russian soldier with his bare hands.

Formation and structuring of Al-Qaeda

By 1988, bin Laden had split from Maktab al-Khidamat, while Azzam acted as support for Afghan fighters, Laden wanted a more military role. One of the main leading points to the split and the creation of al-Qaeda was the insistence of Azzam that Arab fighters be integrated among the Afghan fighting groups instead of forming their separate fighting force. Bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia in 1990 as a hero of jihad, who along with his Arab legion, "had brought down the mighty superpower" of the Soviet Union. However, during this time Iraqmarker invaded Kuwaitmarker and Laden met with Sultan, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, and told him not to depend on non-Muslim troops and offered to help defend Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden's offer was rebuffed and after the American offer to help was accepted he publicly denounced Saudi Arabia's dependence on the US military. Bin Laden's criticism of the Saudi monarchy led that government to attempt to silence him.

Balkan wars

One of the former State Department officials has described Bosnia and Herzegovina of that time as a safe haven for terrorists, after it was revealed that militant elements of the former Sarajevo government were protecting extremists, some with ties to Osama bin Laden. In 1997, Rzeczpospolita, one of the largest Polish daily newspapers, reported that intelligence services of the Nordic-Polish SFOR Brigade suspected that a center for training terrorists from Islamic countries was located in the Bocina Donja village near Maglajmarker in Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker. In 1992, hundreds of volunteers joined an "all-mujahedeen unit" called El Moujahed in an abandoned hillside factory, a compound with a hospital and prayer hall. According to Middle East intelligence reports. Bin Laden financed small convoys of recruits from the Arab world through his businesses in Sudanmarker. Among them was Karim Said Atmani who was identified by authorities as the document forger for a group of Algerians accused of plotting the bombings in the USA. He is a former roommate of Ahmed Ressam, the man arrested at the Canadian-U.S. border in mid-December 1999 with a car full of nitroglycerin and bomb-making materials. He was convicted of colluding with Osama bin Laden by a French court. A Bosnian government search of passport and residency records, conducted at the urging of the United States, revealed other former mujahideen who are linked to the same Algerian group or to other groups of suspected terrorists who have lived in this area north of Sarajevo, the capital, in the past few years. Khalil al-Deek, was arrested in Jordan in late December 1999 on suspicion of involvement in a plot to blow up tourist sites; a second man with Bosnian citizenship, Hamid Aich, lived in Canada at the same time as Atmani and worked for a charity associated with Osama Bin Laden. In its 26 June 1997 Report on the bombing of the Al Khobar building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the New York Times noted that those arrested confessed to serving with Bosnian Muslims forces. Further, the captured men also admitted to ties with Osama Bin Laden. In 1999 it was revealed that Osama bin Laden and his Tunisian assistant Mehrez Aodouni were granted citizenship and Bosnian passport in 1993 by the Government in Sarajevo. This information was denied by Bosnian government following the 9/11 attacks but it was later found out that Aodouni was arrested in Turkeymarker and that at that time he possessed the Bosnian passport. Following this revelation new explanation was given that bin Laden "did not personally collect his Bosnian passport" and that officials at the Bosnian embassy in Vienna, which issued the passport, could not have known who bin Laden was at the time. The Bosnian daily Oslobođenje published in 2001 that three men, believed linked to be linked to Osama Bin Laden, were arrested in Sarajevo in July 2001. The three, one of whom was identified as Imad El Misri, were Egyptianmarker nationals. The paper said that two of the suspects were holding Bosnian passports.

In 1998 it was reported that bin Laden was operating his Al Qaeda network out of Albaniamarker. The Charleston Gazette quoted Fatos Klosi, the head of the Albanian intelligence service, as saying a network run by Saudi exile Osama Bin Laden sent units to fight in the Serbian province of Kosovomarker. Confirmation of these activities came from Claude Kader, a French national who said he was a member of Bin Laden's Albanian network.

By 1998 four members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) were arrested in Albania extradited to Egypt at the urging of CIA. (It is believed that the 1998 bombing of US embassies in Africa occurred as retaliation for these arrest.)

Sudan

Bin Laden moved to Sudanmarker in 1992 and established a new base for Mujahideen operations in Khartoummarker. Due to bin Laden's continuous verbal assault on King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, on 5 March 1994 Fahd sent an emissary to Sudan demanding bin Laden's passport. His family was persuaded to cut off his monthly stipend, the equivalent of $7 million a year. By now bin Laden was strongly associated with Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), which made up the core of al-Qaeda. In 1995 the EIJ attempted to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The attempt failed and the EIJ was expelled from Sudan.

The 9/11 Commission Report concludes,
"In February 1996, Sudanese officials began approaching officials from the United States and other governments, asking what actions of theirs might ease foreign pressure.
In secret meetings with Saudi officials, Sudan offered to expel bin Laden to Saudi Arabia and asked the Saudis to pardon him.
US officials became aware of these secret discussions, certainly by March.
Saudi officials apparently wanted bin Laden expelled from Sudan.
They had already revoked his citizenship, however, and would not tolerate his presence in their country.
Also bin Laden may have no longer felt safe in Sudan, where he had already escaped at least one assassination attempt that he believed to have been the work of the Egyptian or Saudi regimes, or both."
The 9/11 Commission Report further states,
"In late 1995, when Bin Laden was still in Sudan, the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) learned that Sudanese officials were discussing with the Saudi government the possibility of expelling Bin Laden.
CIA paramilitary officer Billy Waugh tracked down bin Ladin in the Sudan and prepared an operation to apprehend him, but was denied authorization.
US Ambassador Timothy Carney encouraged the Sudanese to pursue this course.
The Saudis, however, did not want Bin Laden, giving as their reason their revocation of his citizenship.
Sudan’s minister of defense, Fatih Erwa, has claimed that Sudan offered to hand Bin Laden over to the United States.
The Commission has found no credible evidence that this was so.
Ambassador Carney had instructions only to push the Sudanese to expel Bin Laden.
Ambassador Carney had no legal basis to ask for more from the Sudanese since, at the time, there was no indictment outstanding."


In May 1996, under increasing pressure from Saudi Arabia, Egyptmarker and the United States on Sudan, bin Laden returned to Jalalabad, Afghanistanmarker aboard a chartered jet and forged a close relationship with Mullah Mohammed Omar. In Afghanistan, bin Laden and Al-Qaeda raised money from "donors from the days of the Soviet jihad", and from Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). When Bin Laden left Sudan, he and his organization were significantly weakened, despite his ambitions and organizational skills.

Early attacks and aid for attacks

It is believed that the first bombing attack involving bin Laden was the 29 December 1992 bombing of the Gold Mihor Hotel in Adenmarker in which two people were killed.

It was after this bombing that al-Qaeda was reported to have developed its justification for the killing of innocent people. According to a fatwa issued by Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, the killing of someone standing near the enemy is justified because any innocent bystander will find their proper reward in death, going to Paradise if they were good Muslims and to hell if they were bad or non-believers. The fatwa was issued to al-Qaeda members but not the general public.

In the 1990s bin Laden's al-Qaeda assisted jihadis financially and sometimes militarily in Algeriamarker, Egypt and Afghanistan. In 1992 or 1993 bin Laden sent an emissary, Qari el-Said, with $40,000 to Algeria to aid the Islamists and urge war rather than negotiation with the government. Their advice was heeded but the war that followed killed 150,000–200,000 Algerians and ended with Islamist surrender to the government. Another effort by bin Laden was the funding of the Luxor massacre of November 17, 1997marker, which killed sixty two civilians, but so revolted the Egyptian public that it turned against Islamist terror. In mid-1997, the Northern Alliance threatened to overrun Jalalabadmarker, causing Bin Laden to abandon his Nazim Jihad compound and move his operations to Tarnak Farmsmarker in the south.

A later effort that did succeed was an attack on the city of Mazar-e-Sharifmarker in Afghanistan. Bin Laden helped cement his alliance with his hosts the Taliban by sending several hundred of his Afghan Arab fighters along to help the Taliban kill between five and six thousand Hazaras overrunning the city.

In 1998, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri co-signed a fatwa in the name of the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders which declared the killing ofthe North Americans and their allies an "individual duty for every Muslim" to "liberate the al-Aqsa Mosquemarker (in Jerusalemmarker) and the holy mosque (in Meccamarker) from their grip". At the public announcement of the fatwa bin Laden announced that North Americans are "very easy targets." He told the attending journalists, "You will see the results of this in a very short time."

At the end of 2000, Richard Clarke revealed that Islamic militants headed by bin Laden had planned a triple attack on January 3, 2000 which would have included bombings in Jordanmarker of the Radisson SAS Hotel in Ammanmarker and tourists at Mount Nebomarker and a site on the Jordan Rivermarker, the sinking of the destroyer USS The Sullivans in Yemenmarker, as well as an attack on a target within the United States. The plan was foiled by the arrest of the Jordanian terrorist cell, the sinking of the explosive-filled skiff intended to target the destroyer, and the arrest of Ahmed Ressam.

September 11, 2001 attacks

After initial denial, in 2004 Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. The attacks involved the hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93marker, United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 11, and American Airlines Flight 77; the subsequent destruction of those planes and the World Trade Centermarker in New York Citymarker, New Yorkmarker; severe damage to The Pentagonmarker in Arlington, Virginiamarker; and the deaths of 2,974 people excluding the nineteen hijackers.

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In response to the attacks, the United States launched a War on Terrorism to depose the Taliban regime in Afghanistanmarker and capture al-Qaeda operatives, and several countries strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation to preclude future attacks. The CIA's Special Activities Division was given the lead in tracking down and killing or capturing bin Laden.

The Federal Bureau of Investigationmarker has stated that evidence linking Al-Qaeda and bin Laden to the attacks of September 11 is clear and irrefutable. The Government of the United Kingdom reached the same conclusion regarding Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden's culpability for the September 11, 2001, attacks.Bin Laden initially denied involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks. On 16 September 2001, bin Laden read a statement later broadcast by Qatarmarker's Al Jazeera satellite channel denying responsibility for the attack.

In a videotape recovered by US forces in November 2001 in Jalalabadmarker, bin Laden was seen discussing the attack with Khaled al-Harbi in a way that indicates foreknowledge. The tape was broadcast on various news networks on 13 December 2001. The merits of this translation have been disputed. Arabist Dr. Abdel El M. Husseini stated: "This translation is very problematic. At the most important places where it is held to prove the guilt of bin Laden, it is not identical with the Arabic."

In the 2004 Osama bin Laden video, bin Laden abandoned his denials without retracting past statements. In it he stated he had personally directed the nineteen hijackers. In the 18-minute tape, played on Al-Jazeera, four days before the American presidential election, bin Laden accused U.S. President George W. Bush of negligence on the hijacking of the planes on September 11.

According to the tapes, bin Laden claimed he was inspired to destroy the World Trade Center after watching the destruction of towers in Lebanon by Israel during the 1982 Lebanon War.

In two other tapes aired by Al Jazeera in 2006, Osama bin Laden announces,
I am the one in charge of the nineteen brothers … I was responsible for entrusting the nineteen brothers … with the raids [5 minute audiotape broadcast 23 May 2006],
and is seen with Ramzi Binalshibh, as well as two of the 9/11 hijackers, Hamza al-Ghamdi and Wail al-Shehri, as they make preparations for the attacks (videotape broadcast 7 September 2006).

Justification of terrorist acts

According to critics of Islam such as Robert Spencer, who claims Osama Bin Laden used the caravan raids in which prophet Muhammad is reported to have took part in to justify his acts of terror.

Many critics of Islam claim that these raids were terrorist attacks and highway roberries which promoted terrorism, they were very controversial especially because in some of the raids(battle of waddan) Muhammad allowed the killing of children, if it were accidental.

Another cause of controversy is when a non muslim non combatant was killed. Muhammad intially condemned the killing of the non combatant. But then a new verse was revealed to him in which it was said:Persecution is worse than killing. .

Reffering to how muslims were persecuted in Meccamarker, suggesting that the persecution of the muslims is worse than the killing of the non combatant who was killed by his companions in the Nakhla raid. Hereby justifying the actions of his followers who were relieved by what he said.

Critics of Islam such as Robert Spencer claim that it was because of these raids that Osama bin Laden justified the killings of Americans because muslims were being persecuted (in many countries e.g Israelmarker) and Americamarker was one of the persecuters, and "persecution is worse than killing".So Bin Laden hereby justified the killing of non combatants in his speeches.

However, the way Al-Qaeda has justified the killing of non combatants has been condemned by influential group of Pakistani scholars and religious leaders, see#View of Muslim Clerics.

Some scholars such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi have the view that killing non combatants and suicide attacks is allowed (as long as they are not commiting suicide out of despair), only if the target is percieved as enemies of Islam.

Criminal charges

On 16 March 1998, Libyamarker issued the first official international Interpolmarker arrest warrant against Bin Laden and three other people for killing two Germanmarker citizens in Libya on 10 March 1994, one of which is thought to have been a German counter-intelligence officer. Bin Laden is still wanted by the Libyan government. Osama bin Laden was first indicted by the United States on 8 June 1998, when a grand jury indicted Osama bin Laden on charges of killing five Americans and two Indiansmarker in the 14 November 1995 truck bombing of a US-operated Saudi National Guard training center in Riyadh. Bin Laden was charged with "conspiracy to attack defense utilities of the United States" and prosecutors further charged that bin Laden is the head of the terrorist organization called al Qaeda, and that he was a major financial backer of Islamic fighters worldwide. Bin Laden denied involvement but praised the attack. On November 4, 1998, Osama bin Laden was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, on charges of Murder of US Nationals Outside the United States, Conspiracy to Murder US Nationals Outside the United States, and Attacks on a Federal Facility Resulting in Death for his alleged role in the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The evidence against bin Laden included courtroom testimony by former Al Qaeda members and satellite phone records.

Bin Laden became the 456th person listed on the Federal Bureau of Investigationmarker's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, when he was added to the list on 7 June 1999, following his indictment along with others for capital crimes in the 1998 embassy attacks. Attempts at assassination and requests for the extradition of bin Laden from the Taliban of Afghanistan were met with failure prior to the bombing of Afghanistan in October 2001. In 1999, US President Bill Clinton convinced the United Nations to impose sanctions against Afghanistan in an attempt to force the Taliban to extradite him. Years later, on 10 October 2001, bin Laden appeared as well on the initial list of the top 22 FBI Most Wanted Terrorists, which was released to the public by the President of the United States George W. Bush, in direct response to the attacks of 9/11, but which was again based on the indictment for the 1998 embassy attack. Bin Laden was among a group of thirteen fugitive terrorists wanted on that latter list for questioning about the 1998 embassy bombings. Bin Laden remains the only fugitive ever to be listed on both FBI fugitive lists.

Despite the multiple indictments listed above and multiple requests, the Taliban refused to extradite Osama Bin Laden. It wasn't until after the bombing of Afghanistan began in October 2001 that the Taliban finally did offer to turn over Osama bin Laden to a third-party country for trial, in return for the US ending the bombing and providing evidence that Osama bin Laden was involved in the 9/11 attacks. This offer was rejected by George W Bush stating that this was no longer negotiable with Bush responding that "There's no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he's guilty."

Attempted capture by the United States

US leaflet used in Afghanistan.


Clinton Administration

Capturing Osama bin Laden has been an objective of the United States government since the presidency of Bill Clinton. Shortly after the September 11 attacks it was revealed that President Clinton had signed a directive authorizing the CIA (and specifically their elite Special Activities Division) to apprehend bin Laden and bring him to the United States to stand trial after the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Africa; if taking bin Laden alive was deemed impossible, then deadly force was authorized. On August 20, 1998, 66 cruise missiles launched by United States Navy ships in the Arabian Seamarker struck bin Laden's training camps near Khostmarker in Afghanistan, narrowly missing him by a few hours. In 1999 the CIA, together with Pakistani military intelligence, had prepared a team of approximately 60 Pakistani commandos to infiltrate Afghanistan to capture or kill bin Laden, but the plan was aborted by the 1999 Pakistani coup d'état; in 2000, foreign operatives working on behalf of the CIA had fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a convoy of vehicles in which bin Laden was traveling through the mountains of Afghanistan, hitting one of the vehicles but not the one bin Laden was in.

In 2000, prior to the September 11 attacks, Paul Bremer characterized the Clinton administration as "correctly focused on bin Laden", while Robert Oakley criticized their "obsession with Osama".

Bush Administration

According to The Washington Post, the US government concluded that Osama bin Laden was present during the Battle of Tora Bora, Afghanistan in late 2001, and according to civilian and military officials with first-hand knowledge, failure by the US to commit US ground troops to hunt him led to his escape and was the gravest failure by the US in the war against al Qaeda. Intelligence officials have assembled what they believe to be decisive evidence, from contemporary and subsequent interrogations and intercepted communications, that bin Laden began the battle of Tora Bora inside the cave complex along Afghanistan's mountainous eastern border.

The Washington Post also reported that the CIA unit composed of their special operations paramilitary forces dedicated to capturing Osama was shut down in late 2005.

US and Afghanistan forces raided the mountain caves in Tora Boramarker between 14–16 August 2007. The military was drawn to the area after receiving intelligence of a pre-Ramadan meeting held by al Qaeda members. After killing dozens of al Qaeda and Taliban members, they did not find either Osama bin Laden or Ayman al Zawahiri.

Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, US government officials named bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda organization as the prime suspects and offered a reward of $25 million for information leading to his capture or death. On 13 July 2007, this figure was doubled to $50 million.

The Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association are offering an additional $2 million reward.

Current whereabouts

Claims as to the location of Osama bin Laden have been made since December 2001, although none have been definitively proven and some have placed Osama in different locations during overlapping time periods.

An 11 December 2005, letter from Atiyah Abd al-Rahman to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi indicates that bin Laden and the al-Qaeda leadership were based in the Waziristan region of Pakistanmarker at the time. In the letter, translated by the United States military's Combating Terrorism Center at West Pointmarker, "Atiyah" instructs Zarqawi to "send messengers from your end to Waziristan so that they meet with the brothers of the leadership … I am now on a visit to them and I am writing you this letter as I am with them…" Al-Rahman also indicates that bin Laden and al-Qaeda are "weak" and "have many of their own problems." The letter has been deemed authentic by military and counterterrorism officials, according to the Washington Post.

In 2009 a research team led by Thomas W. Gillespie and John A. Agnew of UCLAmarker used satellite-aided geographical analysis to pinpoint three compounds in Parachinarmarker as likely hideouts of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

In March 2009, the New York Daily News reported that the hunt for bin Laden had centered in the Chitral districtmarker of Pakistan, including the Kalam Valley. According to the report, author Rohan Gunaratna states that captured Al Qaeda leaders have confirmed that Chitral is where bin Laden is hiding.

Reports of his death

December 2001 Quoting an unnamed Taliban official, the Pakistan Observer reported that Bin Laden died of untreated lung complications and was buried in an unmarked grave in Tora Bora on December 15. This report was picked up by Fox News in the United States on December 26. Also on December 26, the Egyptian newspaper AlWafd - Daily carried a short obituary by a prominent official of the Afghan Taliban, who was allegedly present at the funeral, stating Bin Laden had been buried on or about December 13:
"(Osama bin Laden) suffered serious complications and died a natural, quiet death.
He was buried in Tora Bora, a funeral attended by 30 Al Qaeda fighters, close members of his family and friends from the Taliban.
By the Wahhabi tradition, no mark was left on the grave"


A videotape was released on December 27 showing a gaunt, unwell Bin Laden, prompting an unnamed White House aide to comment that it could have been made shortly before his death. On CNN, Dr Sanjay Gupta commented that Bin Laden's left arm never moved during the video, suggesting a recent stroke and possibly a symptom of kidney failure. According to Pakistani President Musharraf, Bin Laden required two dialysis machines, which also suggests kidney failure. "I think now, frankly, he is dead for the reason he is a... kidney patient," Musharraf said. If Bin Laden suffered kidney failure, he would require a sterile environment, electricity, and continuous attention by a team of specialists, Gupta said. In April 2002, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stated, "We have heard neither hide nor hair of him since, oh, about December in terms of anything hard....We are pretty sure he is either alive or dead." FBI Counterterrorism chief Dale Watson and President Karzai of Afghanistan also expressed the opinion that Bin Laden probably died at this time.

April 2005: The Sydney Morning Herald stated "Dr Clive Williams, director of terrorism studies at the Australian National Universitymarker, says documents provided by an Indian colleague suggested bin Laden died of massive organ failure in April last year … 'It's hard to prove or disprove these things because there hasn't really been anything that allows you to make a judgment one way or the other,' Dr. Williams said."

Late 2005 CIA disbands "Alec Station", unit dedicated to Bin Laden.

September 2006: On 23 September 2006, the French newspaper L'Est Républicain quoted a report from the French secret service (Direction générale de la sécurité extérieuremarker, DGSE) stating that Osama bin Laden had died in Pakistan on 23 August 2006, after contracting a case of typhoid fever that paralyzed his lower limbs. According to the newspaper, Saudi security services first heard of bin Laden's alleged death on 4 September 2006.The alleged death was reported by the Saudi Arabianmarker secret service to its government, which reported it to the French secret service. The French defense minister Michèle Alliot-Marie expressed her regret that the report had been published while French President Jacques Chirac declared that bin Laden's death had not been confirmed. Americanmarker authorities also cannot confirm reports of bin Laden's death, with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saying only, "No comment, and no knowledge." Later, CNN's Nic Robertson said that he had received confirmation from an anonymous Saudi source that the Saudi intelligence community has known for a while that bin Laden has a water-borne illness, but that he had heard no reports that it was specifically typhoid or that he had died.

November 2007: In an interview with political interviewer David Frost taken on 2 November 2007, the Pakistanimarker politician and Pakistan Peoples Party chairwoman Benazir Bhutto claimed that bin Laden had been murdered by Omar Sheikh. During her answer to a question pertaining to the identities of those who had previously attempted her own assassination, Bhutto named Sheikh as a possible suspect while referring to him as "the man who murdered Osama bin Laden." Despite the weight of such a statement, neither Bhutto nor Frost attempted to clarify it during the remainder of the interview. Omar Chatriwala, a journalist for Al Jazeera English, claims that he chose not to pursue the story at the time because he believes Bhutto misspoke, meaning to say Sheikh murdered Daniel Pearl and not Osama Bin Laden. The BBC drew criticism when it rebroadcast the Frost/Bhutto interview on its website, but edited out Bhutto's statement regarding Osama Bin Laden. Later the BBC apologized and replaced the edited version with the complete interview. In October 2007, Bhutto stated in an interview that she would cooperate with the American military in targeting Osama bin Laden.

March 2009: In an essay published in The American Spectator in March 2009, international relations professor Angelo Codevilla of Boston Universitymarker argued that Osama bin Laden had been dead for many years.

October 2009: An article in the conservative Daily Mail points out that the theory that Bin Laden died in 2001 "is gaining credence among political commentators, respected academics and even terror experts" and notes that the mounting evidence that supports the claim makes the theory "worthy of examination".

Criticism

Salafist Muslims have criticized bin Laden for adherence to Qutbism (the ideology of Sayyid Qutb), takfir and Khaarijite deviance. Critics are said to include Muhammad Ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee, Abd-al-Aziz ibn Abd-Allah ibn Baaz, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan and Muqbil bin Haadi al-Waadi'ee.

See also



Footnotes

References

  • Peter L. Bergen, The Osama bin Laden I Know: New York: Free Press, 2006
  • Michael Scheuer, Through Our Enemies' Eyes, Washington, D.C. : Brassey's, c2002
  • Wright, Lawrence, The Looming Tower : Al-Qaeda And The Road To 9/11, New York : Knopf, 2006.


External links




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