Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden

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Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (Arabic: محمد بن عوض بن لادن‎; 1908 – 3 September 1967) was a multi-millionaire Saudi businessman working primarily in the construction industry. He founded what is today the Saudi Binladin Group and became the wealthiest non-royal Saudi, establishing the wealth and prestige of the Bin Laden family. He was the son of Awad bin Laden and the father of Osama bin Laden.

Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden
محمد بن عوض بن لادن
Bornc. 1908
Died3 September 1967 (aged 59)
Cause of deathPlane crash
CitizenshipSaudi Arabia
Known forFounder of Saudi Binladin Group
Spouse(s)22 wives
Osama bin Laden
Salem bin Laden
Bakr bin Laden
Tarek bin Laden
Yeslam bin Ladin


Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was born on the Hadhramaut coast of south Yemen in 1908 to Awad bin Aboud bin Laden, a Kindite Hadhrami tribesman from al-Rubat, a village in Wadi Doan; Mohammed's paternal grandfather was Aboud bin Laden, the son of Ali bin Laden, one of four brothers (the others being Ahmed, Mansour, and Zaid) from whom the four bin Laden clans trace their ancestry. His son Osama bin Laden was the notorious founder of al-Qaeda, the Sunni militant Islamist organization.

Poor and uneducated, Mohammed emigrated to Tihamah before World War I, initially working as a porter in Jeddah. In 1930, he started his own construction business and after coming to the attention of Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, first monarch of Saudi Arabia, he eventually achieved such success that his family became known as "the wealthiest non-royal family in the kingdom."

Mohammed bin Laden's enormous financial success was ascribed to a shrewd business sense, fealty to Saudi Arabia's rulers, reliability and a willingness to offer the lowest bid on construction contracts.

As the "royal builder," Mohammed bin Laden forged close relationships with the royal family, particularly Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia. In 1964, Prince Faisal deposed his half-brother, King Saud, and began rebuilding the kingdom after the wasteful excesses of the Saud era. King Faisal accepted Mohammed bin Laden's offer of financial assistance to support the national economy and as a reward, King Faisal issued a royal decree awarding all future construction projects to bin Laden's construction company. As a result, bin Laden's company eventually amassed assets in excess of US$5 billion. He made his initial fortune from exclusive rights to all mosque and other religious building construction in Saudi Arabia and several other Arab countries. Until 1967, Mohammed bin Laden held exclusive responsibility for restorations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Despite his royal associations and great wealth, Mohammed bin Laden lived a relatively simple and devout life compared to many wealthy Saudis, demanding that his children observe a strict religious and moral code. In his later years, the bin Laden corporate network diversified its activities beyond construction, largely in foreign investment and oil.

Wives and childrenEdit

He fathered a total of 56 children by 22 wives. Mohammed never had more than four wives at a time—divorcing older wives and marrying new ones as needed to limit the number of current wives to four and stay within the letter of Sunni Islam marriage law. According to Carmen bin Ladin, Mohammed was planning to wed a 23rd wife the night he died, and was heading there when his plane crashed.[1] His best known son is Osama bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda, the Sunni militant Islamist terrorist organization. Osama bin Ladin’s mother, Hamida al-Attas, was born and raised in Syria before marrying Bin Laden and moving to Saudi Arabia. She was Mohammed’s 11th wife.


On September 3, 1967, Mohammed bin Laden was killed when his airplane, a Beechcraft G18S, crashed during landing in Osran, 'Asir Province, in southwest Saudi Arabia.[2]


Following Mohammed bin Laden's death, his eldest sons, principally Salem bin Laden, renamed the organization, "Binladen Brothers for Contracting and Industry" and continued to expand their late father's company until it employed more than 40,000 people. Salem bin Laden was killed in the United States in 1988 when his ultralight aircraft collided with power lines.[3] Many members of the Bin Laden family have moved away from Saudi Arabia and settled in Europe and the US.[3]

In May 1990, the company was renamed the Saudi Binladin Group under the leadership of Bakr bin Laden.[4] The Saudi Binladin Group as it is now known, is involved in construction, engineering, manufacturing, and telecommunications. Construction projects include airports, housing complexes, tunnels, and bridges. The group is also involved in city planning and real estate development. The Saudi Binladin Group is Egypt's largest private foreign company and negotiated with the Lebanese government to rebuild part of central Beirut under a US $50 million contract.

In 2009, the Bin Laden family was listed as the 5th wealthiest Saudi family by Forbes magazine, with a reported net worth of $7 billion.[5]


Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden's sons:

  1. Salem bin Laden (1946–1988) married Caroline Carey
  2. Ali bin Laden
  3. Thabet bin Laden (d. 2009)
  4. Mahrous bin Laden
  5. Hassan bin Laden
  6. Bakr bin Laden
  7. Khalid bin Laden
  8. Yeslam bin Ladin (born 1950) married Carmen Dufour (born 1954)
    1. Wafah Dufour (born 1978)
    2. Najia Dufour (born 1979)
    3. Noor Dufour (born 1987)
  9. Ghalib bin Laden
  10. Yahya bin Laden
  11. Abdul Aziz bin Laden
  12. Issa bin Laden
  13. Tarek bin Laden
  14. Ahmed bin Laden
  15. Ibrahim bin Laden
  16. Shafiq bin Laden
  17. Osama bin Laden (1957–2011) married Najwa Ghanem (born 1960)
  18. Khalil bin Ladin
  19. Saleh bin Ladin
  20. Haider bin Laden
  21. Saad bin Laden
  22. Abdullah bin Laden
  23. Yasser bin Laden
  24. Mohammad bin Laden (born 1967)


  1. ^ Bin Laden, Carmen (2005), Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia, Hachette Book Group, pp. 65–66, ISBN 0-446-61694-X
  2. ^ The Bin Ladens – Steve Coll (Penguin, 2008), pp. 118–120.
  3. ^ a b Burke, Jason. "Rags to riches story of the bin Laden family is woven with tragedy". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-10-06.
  4. ^ "Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden". Retrieved 2015-10-06.
  5. ^ "The Five Richest Saudis". WSJ Blogs - The Wealth Report. 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2015-10-06.