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Osama Bin Laden


Al Qaeda’s Chief Osama Bin Muhammed Bin Laden was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on July 30, 1957. His father, Muhammad was close to the Saudi King Faisal Abdul Aziz. Soon after Muhammad was killed in a helicopter crash, the King placed the children under his royalty. Muhammad’s estate was placed in a trust.

Pakistan, Abdullah Azzam & Mak, 1979 – 1984

When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in Dec 1979, Osama left Saudi for Pakistan. He was only 22 years old. Osama got influenced by Dr. Abdullah Azzam, a leading Islamist. During those times, there were very few Arab Mujahideen in Afghanistan preparing for the jihad. In 1984, they both set up the anti-Soviet MAK – Afghan Service Bureau. It recruited thousands of Arab & Muslim youths from various countries.

Afghanistan Jihad, 1984-1989

Osama Bin Laden spent most of his time in Afghanistan. Infrequently he returned to Saudi to consult the Saudi intelligence about the Afghan campaign. The Pakistani government asked the Saudi King to send someone to lead the Arabs in the Jihad. They decided on Osama.

Osama started importing heavy machinery, building roads, caves & massive tunnels into the mountains of Paktia to hide ammunition depots, field hospitals, training centers and accommodation of the Jihadis.

MAK worked closely with Pakistan’s ISI, the media for CIA’s underhand dealings with the Afghanis and provider of sophisticated arms and training instructors for the recruited foreign mujahideen. The sophisticated weaponry included the anti-aircraft ‘stinger’ missiles and satellite imagery of Soviet troops.

At the same time Osama got close to Omar Sheikh Abdul Rahman, the blind Sheikh, who was involved in the 1993 World trade Centre bombing.

In 1987, mujahideens mounted ‘Lion Den Operation’ an attack on Soviet troops. Osama was exposed to Soviet poison gas attacks and suffered trivial injuries.

Osama’s relationship with Azzam deteriorated. He agreed with the Egyptians who were keen to build a terrorist force to mount a campaign in Egypt. Azzam was of the opinion that using jihadi funds to train terrorists would violate jihadi law. The Egyptians along with Osama assasinated Azzam on Nov 24 1989. A 20 kg TNT remote control bomb killed Azzam and his 2 sons in Peshawar, Pakistan. During the assasination Osama made sure he was in Saudi.

Saudi, 1989-1991

Osama came across the Egyptian Dr. Al-Zawahiri. The Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989. Thereafter Osama returned to Saudi. The Saudi Intelligence took his help in forming a group of jihadis in Yemen in order to expel out the Communist regime.

In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait and took over the oil fields. The Saudi Royal family asked the US to help them drive away the Iraqis, turning down Osama’s offer to form an anti-Saddam Arab coalition to defeat the Iraqis. He wanted to utilize the 5000 mujahideens who were in Afghanistan. But the royal family refused his offer.

Operation Desert Shield was launched and US troops entered the holy kingdom. Osama detested the fact that armed non muslims had entered the land of the two holy mosques. Kuwait was liberated. US troops were still not withdrawn.

In 1991, Osama left for Pakistan launching his campaign against the Saudis. Osama may have been responsible for the bombings in Saudi from 1998-2001 against British & American nationals. Osama was threatened by the close relations shared by Saudi Arabia & Pakistan. In Pakistan, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto came to power. This reduced Osama’s influence in Pakistan. Two assassination attempts were made on her but they failed.

Sudan, 1991-1996

In Sudan, the National Islamic Front came to power. It was led by Dr. Turabi. Osama was asked to establish a presence in Sudan. Osama played businessman & terrorist. He expanded his business. He had 1000 civilians working for him. 2000 more were recruited and trained all over the world. Al Qaeda set up offices in London, New York, Turkey and other centres all over the world. In order to target US civil aircrafts, Osama bought his own private aircraft for transporting arms – ‘stinger’ missiles from Peshawar to Khartoum.

Osama never expressed anger with his staff. In an incident where one of his employees stole several thousand dollars, Osama only asked him to return the money.

Osama along with the Sudanese Government tested poisonous gases which were meant to be tried on US troops in Saudi Arabia. Osama bought a kilo of Uranium from South Africa. In 1994, an attempt was made to assasinate Osama at his home by the Saudi Intelligence.

In June ’95, Al Qaeda attempted to kill the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. His Presidential motorcade was attacked in Ethiopia but the attempt failed. Following this, Britian and US in Egypt pressurised Sudan to banish Osama. Sudan was unwilling. The US then increased military backing to Uganda, Ethiopia & Eritrea who were Sudan’s hostile neighbours. This was done with the intention of containing Sudan.

Thus Osama left for Afghanistan in May’96, The option of returning to Pakistan was not considered since Ramzi Youssef (of 1993 WTC bombing) was arrested in the US due to betrayal by Pakistan. Pakistan could no longer be depended upon.

Afghanistan, 1996-2000

After Osama came to Afghanistan, a new force called the Taliban seized control of 2/3rds of Afghanistan. They were aided by Pakistan’s ISI. Kabul was taken over by Taliban and they were accepted by Pakistan (CIA supported), Saudi & UAE. The Northern Alliance was backed by Russia, India, Iran, Tajikstan and Uzbekistan. Osama qiuckly made links with the Taliban by financing it. Osama carries a knife and wears a ring containing a black stone which is supposed to symbolize Mecca, in order to convey to his followers that his principal aim is to free Mecca.

As the Taliban enforced it’s regime, people’s agony increased. Women were forced to wear the veil and were denied education and employment. Infidelity was punishable by stoning to death, robbery by amputation of hands & prison for failing to pray 5 times a day or not fasting during Ramzan. Television, photography, music and singing was banned. Western hairstyles and shaving, as well as gambling was prohibited.

In 1998, Al Qaeda executed major attacks on US embassies in Nairobi and East Africa. In retaliation, US fired cruise missiles on Al Qaeda‘s training complexes in Afghanistan. Clinton ordered the CIA to kill Osama but the agency had no idea of his whereabouts.

In 2002, the Al Qaeda was trying to develop nerve gas and weapons of mass destruction.

In Oct 2000, USS Cole destroyer was bombed by the Al Qaeda killing 17 American Sailors. Osama persuaded the Taliban leadership to destroy the ancient Buddha statues in Bamiyan in March 2000. He then attacked the US in the famous WTC and Pentagon episode on Sept 11 via suicidal hijacked aircraft missiles.

Osama developed renal failure due to probable poisoning by the Saudi regime, and needed repeated Dialysis. He also started using a walking stick. He has become a hero among the Islamic community worldwide. Cassettes, DVDs of his speeches, posters, T-shirts, pens, booklets and magazine articles about him have become popular. Muslims are even naming their sons after Osama.

Osama Bin Laden’s Goals Summarized

1. Osama wanted to force US, British and French troops out of Saudi Arabia (infidels from Holy land of Mecca Medina) 2. Anti Saudi Royal family–who are Pro west (pro-Kuwait) pro-western oil interests.

3. Anti secular (leadership) of Egypt – He wants President Mubarak replaced by Islamic rule 4. FIRSTstartedoffwithAntiSovietoccupationofAfghanistan (Afghan Jihad )

5. Founded International Islamic Front for Jihad against US & Israel of which Al Qaeda is a member.

Osama Bin Laden has a reward of 25 million $ on his head.

The US Offensive in Afghanistan

In Nov 2001, the Northern alliance, along with US reacting to the WTC attack, attacked Afghanistan to capture Osama Bin Laden dead or alive. The US bombers pounded the Tora Bora Caves complex in eastern Afghanistan. Osama along with the Taliban Chief, Mullah Mohammud Omar had taken refuge there.

However Osama’s present whereabouts are unknown and it is still unclear whether he is dead or alive. According to German intelligence, Osama and his vast entourage were hiding in the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Taliban was overthrown and a democratic government was established with Hamid Karzai as President.

• Currently re-construction efforts are on. • UK also led it’s own ‘Op Herrick’. • The war now aims at smothering insurgency. • UN did not authorize US invasion of Afghanistan. • Since 2003-2005, Taliban have regained strength, increased insurgent activities against US led coalition. • 2009 – US President Obama escalated deployment of troops by additional 30,000 soldiers over a period of 6 months. • 2010 – President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai initiated a dialogue with Taliban leaders.