Osama Bin Laden – Before He Was Dead
Before They Were Dead
Before the 9/11 attacks made Osama Bin Laden the most wanted terrorist in the world.
Before his declaration of war and threats against the United States were ignored by three presidents.
While you might think terrorists come from severe poverty, political instability or US bombs, Osama Bin Laden’s origin story is nothing like that.
He was born to one of the wealthiest and most politically connected families in the world, with deep ties to the Saudi Royal family.
Ties that Osama would break when he spoke out against the House of Saud, even after several attempts to shut him up.
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was born in Riyad, Saudi Arabia on March 10, 1957. His father, Mohammed bin Laden was a billionaire construction magnate, who benefited from close ties to the Saudi Royal Family, including Ibn Saud, the founder of the Saudi state. Receiving billions in government contracts, the bin Ladens were soon known as the wealthiest non-royal family in the Kingdom.
To this day, his company is one of the biggest construction companies in the world. They recently signed a contract to construct the tallest building on the planet. And even after 9/11, the company is somehow still called the Binladin Group.
Osama’s mother Hamida was Mohammed bin Laden’s tenth wife. Although they would divorce shortly after Osama was born, he still inherited around $25-30 million dollars from the old man.
Osama attended the elite Al-Thager Model School, before studying at King Abdulazziz University.
After leaving college in 1979, he went to Pakistan where he used money and machinery from the family construction company to help the Mujahideen resistance in the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
Bin Laden became a major Mujahideen leader, funnelling money, arms and fighters from around the Arab world to fight in Afghanistan, and training these soldiers in camps he established in neighbouring Pakistan. At this time, the CIA also became a large financier of the war against the Soviets, spending around 20 billion dollars to support the Mujahideen.
US support for these radical fundamentalists was no state secret, either. Osama’s brothers-in- arms met with the president, and were even celebrated in Rambo III. (CLIP) With the Soviets ousted by the Mujahideen, Afghanistan would come under the control of another regressive fundamentalist group, known as the Taliban.
Bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia a war hero, with a literal army of supporters. In 1990, after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, Bin Laden offered to protect the Saudi border with his own men.
But, the King chose to accept the better-trained, better-equipped US military instead.
The idea of non-muslim soldiers in Saudi Arabia disgusted bin Laden. He spoke out against the royal family’s decision publicly, and after several failed attempts to silence him, the Saudis revoked his citizenship and expelled him from the country.
Meanwhile, the FBI discovered evidence of terrorist plots, including plans to blow up NY skyscrapers, after raiding the NJ home of El Sayyid Nosair, an associate of Bin Laden’s. Nossair was later convicted in connection with the 1993 WTC bombing.
Bin Laden relocated to Sudan, but would soon be ousted from there, too. He then moved to the only place on earth that would still have him, Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
The first bombing attack involving bin Laden was in 1992 at the Gold Mihor Hotel, which killed 2 people. He then funded the Luxor massacre in 1997, which killed 62 civilians. And in 1998, a series of infamous US embassy bombings landed him on the FBIs ten most wanted list.
But despite his growing reputation as a terrorist, he still made time for interviews with western journalists. The attacks on the morning of September 11th , 2001 killed about 3,000 people, most of whom were civilians. The US put a $50 million price on bin Laden’s head and launched a war in Afghanistan to destroy al-Qaeda, the longest in US history.
During the first months of the war, bin Laden and a majority of al-Qaeda’s leadership was cornered in Tora Bora. Though the CIA pinpointed his location to within ten meters, he managed to escape capture and walked freely into Pakistan, where he would disappear for nine and a half years.
Despite the Bush administration’s embarrassing failure to capture bin Laden, President Obama would be given a crack at it, when intelligence revealed that he had been living all this time in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Now there are a lot of conspiracy theories surrounding bin Laden’s death. Some are reasonable disagreements with the official story from respected journalists. Some are the insane ramblings of lunatics.
But what pretty much everyone can agree on is that the compound was raided by Navy SEAL team 6, and during the raid bin Laden was shot in the face, most probably while he was cowering behind one of his wives, like a frightened little baby.
And the rest of the story, well there is no rest of the story, because this is before they were dead.
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