Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden /
|Osama bin Laden|
أسامة بن لادن
bin Laden c. 1997–98
|1st General Emir of Al-Qaeda|
August 11, 1988 – May 2, 2011
|Preceded by||Position created|
|Succeeded by||Ayman al-Zawahiri|
|Co-founder of Al-Qaeda (With Abdullah Azzam and Ayman al-Zawahiri), 1988|
|Co-founder of Maktab al-Khidamat, 1984|
|Born||Usama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Ladin|
March 10, 1957
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
|Died||May 2, 2011 (aged 54)|
Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
|Cause of death||Shot by US forces|
|Citizenship||Saudi Arabian (1957–1994)|
|Height||1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)|
|Spouse(s)||Najwa Ghanhem (1974–before Sep 11, 2001)|
Khadijah Sharif (1983–1990s)
Khairiah Sabar (1985–2011)
Siham Sabar (1987–2011)
Amal Ahmed al-Sadah (2000–2011)
|Children||20 to 26|
|Allegiance|| Maktab al-Khidamat (1984–1988) |
|Years of service||1984–May 2, 2011|
|Rank||General Emir of Al-Qaeda|
Bin Laden's father was Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, a Saudi millionaire from Hadhramaut, Yemen and the founder of the construction company, Saudi Binladin Group. His mother, Alia Ghanem, was from a secular middle-class family based in Latakia, Syria. He was born in Saudi Arabia and studied at university in the country until 1979, when he joined Mujahideen forces in Pakistan fighting against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. He helped to fund the Mujahideen by funneling arms, money and fighters from the Arab world into Afghanistan, and gained popularity among many Arabs. In 1988, he formed al-Qaeda. He was banished from Saudi Arabia in 1992, and shifted his base to Sudan, until U.S. pressure forced him to leave Sudan in 1996. After establishing a new base in Afghanistan, he declared a war against the United States, initiating a series of bombings and related attacks. Bin Laden was on the American Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) lists of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives and Most Wanted Terrorists for his involvement in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings.
From 2001 to 2011, bin Laden was a major target of the United States, as the FBI offered a $25 million bounty in their search for him. On May 2, 2011, bin Laden was shot and killed inside a private residential compound in Abbottabad, where he lived with a local family from Waziristan, during a covert operation conducted by members of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group and Central Intelligence Agency SAD/SOG operators on the orders of U.S. President Barack Obama.
One of the most highly controversial, influential figures in the 20th and 21st centuries, Bin Laden was described as a spiritual leader for al-Qaeda organization. He became one of the most symbolic figures in the Arab world following the Soviet withdrawal. Under his leadership, Bin Laden and the al-Qaeda organization was responsible for the mass murder of 2,977 victims of the September 11 attacks in the United States and many other mass-casualty attacks worldwide.
There is no universally accepted standard for transliterating Arabic words and Arabic names into English; however, bin Laden's name is most frequently rendered "Osama bin Laden". The FBI and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), as well as other U.S. governmental agencies, have used either "Usama bin Laden" or "Usama bin Ladin". Less common renderings include "Ussamah bin Ladin" and, in the French-language media, "Oussama ben Laden". Other spellings include "Binladen" or, as used by his family in the West, "Binladin". The decapitalization of bin is based on the convention of leaving short prepositions, articles, and patronymics uncapitalized in surnames; the nasab bin means "son of". The spellings with o and e come from a Persian-influenced pronunciation also used in Afghanistan, where bin Laden spent many years.
Osama bin Laden's full name, Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, means "Osama, son of Mohammed, son of Awad, son of Laden". "Mohammed" refers to bin Laden's father Mohammed bin Laden; "Awad" refers to his grandfather, Awad bin Aboud bin Laden, a Kindite Hadhrami tribesman; "Laden" refers not to bin Laden's great-grandfather, who was named Aboud, but to Aboud's father, Laden Ali al-Qahtani.
The Arabic linguistic convention would be to refer to him as "Osama" or "Osama bin Laden", not "bin Laden" alone, as "bin Laden" is a patronymic, not a surname in the Western manner. According to bin Laden's son Omar bin Laden, the family's hereditary surname is "al-Qahtani" (Arabic: القحطاني, āl-Qaḥṭānī), but bin Laden's father, Mohammed bin Laden, never officially registered the name.
Osama bin Laden had also assumed the kunyah "Abū 'Abdāllāh" ("father of Abdallah"). His admirers have referred to him by several nicknames, including the "Prince" or "Emir" (الأمير, al-Amīr), the "Sheik" (الشيخ, aš-Šaykh), the "Jihadist Sheik" or "Sheik al-Mujahid" (شيخ المجاهد, Šaykh al-Mujāhid), "Hajj" (حج, Ḥajj), and the "Director". The word usāmah (أسامة) means "lion", earning him the nicknames "Lion" and "Lion Sheik".
Early life and education
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a son of Yemeni Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, a millionaire construction magnate with close ties to the Saudi royal family, and Mohammed bin Laden's tenth wife, Syrian Hamida al-Attas (then called Alia Ghanem). In a 1998 interview, bin Laden gave his birth date as March 10, 1957.
Mohammed bin Laden divorced Hamida soon after Osama bin Laden was born. Mohammed recommended Hamida to Mohammed al-Attas, an associate. Al-Attas married Hamida in the late 1950s or early 1960s, and they are still together. The couple had four children, and bin Laden lived in the new household with three half-brothers and one half-sister. The bin Laden family made $5 billion in the construction industry, of which Osama later inherited around $25–30 million.
Bin Laden was raised as a devout Sunni Muslim. From 1968 to 1976, he attended the élite secular Al-Thager Model School. He studied economics and business administration at King Abdulaziz University. Some reports suggest he earned a degree in civil engineering in 1979, or a degree in public administration in 1981. One source described him as "hard working"; another said he left university during his third year without completing a college degree. At university, bin Laden's main interest was religion, where he was involved in both "interpreting the Quran and jihad" and charitable work. Other interests included writing poetry; reading, with the works of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and Charles de Gaulle said to be among his favorites; black stallions; and association football, in which he enjoyed playing at centre forward and followed the English club Arsenal.
At age 17 in 1974, bin Laden married Najwa Ghanem at Latakia, Syria; they were separated before September 11, 2001. Bin Laden's other known wives were Khadijah Sharif (married 1983, divorced 1990s); Khairiah Sabar (married 1985); Siham Sabar (married 1987); and Amal al-Sadah (married 2000). Some sources also list a sixth wife, name unknown, whose marriage to bin Laden was annulled soon after the ceremony. Bin Laden fathered between 20 and 26 children with his wives. Many of bin Laden's children fled to Iran following the September 11 attacks and as of 2010[update], Iranian authorities reportedly continue to control their movements.
Nasser al-Bahri, who was bin Laden's personal bodyguard from 1997–2001, details bin Laden's personal life in his memoir. He describes him as a frugal man and strict father, who enjoyed taking his large family on shooting trips and picnics in the desert.
Bin Laden's father Mohammed died in 1967 in an airplane crash in Saudi Arabia when his American pilot Jim Harrington misjudged a landing. Bin Laden's eldest half-brother, Salem bin Laden, the subsequent head of the bin Laden family, was killed in 1988 near San Antonio, Texas, in the United States, when he accidentally flew a plane into power lines.
The FBI described bin Laden as an adult as tall and thin, between 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) and 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) in height and weighing about 73 kilograms (160 lb), although the author Lawrence Wright, in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book on Al-Qaeda, The Looming Tower, writes that a number of bin Laden's close friends confirmed that reports of his height were greatly exaggerated, and that bin Laden was actually "just over 6 feet (1.8 m) tall". Eventually, after his death, he was measured to be around 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in). Bin Laden had an olive complexion and was left-handed, usually walking with a cane. He wore a plain white keffiyeh. Bin Laden had stopped wearing the traditional Saudi male keffiyeh and instead wore the traditional Yemeni male keffiyeh. Bin Laden was described as soft-spoken and mild-mannered in demeanor.
Beliefs and ideology
A major component of bin Laden's ideology was the concept that civilians from enemy countries, including women and children, were legitimate targets for jihadists to kill. According to former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer, who led the CIA's hunt for Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader was motivated by a belief that U.S. foreign policy has oppressed, killed, or otherwise harmed Muslims in the Middle East, condensed in the phrase, "They hate us for what we do, not who we are." Nonetheless, bin Laden criticized the U.S. for its secular form of governance, calling upon Americans to convert to Islam and "reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling, and usury", in a letter published in late 2002. His vocal criticism of Western government and society, and his claims that they were dominated by Jews, earned him respect from various sectors of the far right in Europe and North America.
Bin Laden believed that the Islamic world was in crisis and that the complete restoration of Sharia law would be the only way to "set things right" in the Muslim world. He opposed such alternatives such as secular government, as well as "pan-Arabism, socialism, communism, democracy." He subscribed to the Athari (literalist) school of Islamic theology.
These beliefs, in conjunction with violent jihad, have sometimes been called Qutbism after being promoted by Sayyid Qutb. Bin Laden believed that Afghanistan, under the rule of Mullah Omar's Taliban, was "the only Islamic country" in the Muslim world. Bin Laden consistently dwelt on the need for violent jihad to right what he believed were injustices against Muslims perpetrated by the United States and sometimes by other non-Muslim states. He also called for the elimination of Israel, and called upon the United States to withdraw all of its civilians and military personnel from the Middle East, as well as from every Islamic country of the world.
His viewpoints and methods of achieving them had led to him being designated as a terrorist by scholars, journalists from The New York Times, the BBC, and Qatari news station Al Jazeera, analysts such as Peter Bergen, Michael Scheuer, Marc Sageman, and Bruce Hoffman. He was indicted on terrorism charges by law enforcement agencies in Madrid, New York City, and Tripoli.
Bin Laden was heavily anti-Semitic, stating that most of the negative events that occurred in the world were the direct result of Jewish actions. In a December 1998 interview with Pakistani journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai, bin Laden stated that Operation Desert Fox was proof that Israeli Jews controlled the governments of the United States and United Kingdom, directing them to kill as many Muslims as they could. In a letter released in late 2002, he stated that Jews controlled the civilian media outlets, politics, and economic institutions of the United States. In a May 1998 interview with ABC's John Miller, bin Laden stated that the Israeli state's ultimate goal was to annex the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East into its territory and enslave its peoples, as part of what he called a "Greater Israel". He stated that Jews and Muslims could never get along and that war was "inevitable" between them, and further accused the U.S. of stirring up anti-Islamic sentiment. He claimed that the U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Defense were controlled by Jews, for the sole purpose of serving the Israeli state's goals. He often 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.
Bin Laden was opposed to music on religious grounds, and his attitude towards technology was mixed. He was interested in "earth-moving machinery and genetic engineering of plants" on the one hand, but rejected "chilled water" on the other.
Bin Laden's overall strategy for achieving his goals against much larger enemies such as the Soviet Union and United States was to lure them into a long war of attrition in Muslim countries, attracting large numbers of jihadists who would never surrender. He believed this would lead to economic collapse of the enemy countries, by "bleeding" them dry. Indeed, al-Qaeda manuals clearly express this strategy. In a 2004 tape broadcast by al-Jazeera, bin Laden spoke of "bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy".
Bin Laden also believed climate change to be a serious threat and penned a letter urging Americans to work with president Barack Obama to make "a rational decision to save humanity from the harmful gases that threaten its destiny".
- bin Laden described the US as having "no mentionable role" in "the collapse of the Soviet Union ... but rather the credit goes to God and the mujahidin in Afghanistan ...". In fact the United States delivered $3 billion worth of arms and money to mujahideen between 1981 and 1989.
Bin Laden made a number of contradictory comments on democracy:
- He invoked democracy both as an example of the deceit and fraudulence of western political system—American law being "the law of the rich and wealthy"—and as the reason civilians are responsible for their government's actions and so can be lawfully punished by death.
- He denounced democracy as a "religion of ignorance" that violates Islam by issuing man-made laws, but in a later statement compares the Western democracy of Spain favorably to the Muslim world—because "the ruler there is accountable." "Evidently, [bin Laden] has never heard theological justifications for democracy, based on the notion that the will of the people must necessarily reflect the will of an all-knowing God," Rodenbeck comments. It is worth noting that Spain was once under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate.
- In 1997 he condemned the United States government for its hypocrisy in not labeling the bombing of Hiroshima as terrorism. In November 2001, he maintained that revenge killing of Americans was justified because he claimed that Islamic law allows believers to attack invaders even when the enemy uses human shields. However, according to Rodenbeck, "this classical position was originally intended as a legal justification for the accidental killings of civilians under very limited circumstances — not as a basis for the intentional targeting of noncombatants."
- A few months later in a 2002 letter, he made no mention of this justification but claimed "that since the United States is a democracy, all citizens bear responsibility for its government's actions, and civilians are therefore fair targets."
- Printculture critic S. Shirazi points out bin Laden also contradicted this democracy-creates-responsibility position in another, more typical, Islamist description of Western democracy, specifically American democracy, as "the law of the rich and wealthy, who hold sway in the political parties."
There were also questionable claims in his arguments about the exploitation and oppression of Muslims and Arabs by the US:
- He asserted infidels were "attacking Muslims like people fight over a plate of food," planning to "enslave" Muslims or to "annihilate" Islam. Yet if America bore enmity towards Muslims why hadn't it attacked the militarily undefended city of Mecca—holy to Muslims?
- The claim that America "`robs` Arabs of their oil" was belied (according to critics) by the 100s of millions of dollars in petroleum revenue earned by the Gulf states .
- Bin Laden "repeatedly" accused the Christian West of having waged war on Islam "for 80 years". But during this time European imperialism was in retreat. Events he describes as the most "penetrating and brutal" acts of imperialism—Dutch conquest of the East Indies, the French invasion of Algeria in the 1830s, or Britain's crushing of the 1857 Indian Mutiny—happened outside the period.
- He claimed "Muslims are starving to death" because "the United States is stealing their oil" by paying too little for it, but bases the claim of theft on the assumption that oil prices would continue to climb following the massive price increases of 1973 and 1974;
- He claimed that the high infant mortality rates in Iraq from American-supported economic sanctions were "the greatest slaughter of children that mankind has known". Similarly extremely high infant and young children mortality rates in Afghanistan caused by the Taliban expelling international aid groups were not only not criticized, but bin Laden praising the Taliban for making Afghanistan "the only Islamic country" in existence.
Militant and political career
Mujahideen in Afghanistan
After leaving college in 1979, bin Laden went to Pakistan, joined Abdullah Azzam and used money and machinery from his own construction company to help the Mujahideen resistance in the Soviet–Afghan War. He later told a journalist: "I felt outraged that an injustice had been committed against the people of Afghanistan." Under CIA's Operation Cyclone from 1979 to 1989, the United States and Saudi Arabia provided $40 billion worth of financial aid and weapons to almost 100,000 Mujahideen and "Afghan Arabs" from forty Muslim countries through Pakistan's ISI. British journalist Jason Burke wrote that "bin Laden's Office of Services, set up to recruit overseas for the war, received some US cash." Bin Laden met and built relations with Hamid Gul, who was a three-star general in the Pakistani army and head of the ISI agency. Although the United States provided the money and weapons, the training of militant groups was entirely done by the Pakistani Armed Forces and the ISI.
By 1984, bin Laden and Azzam established Maktab al-Khidamat, which funneled money, arms and fighters from around the Arab world into Afghanistan. Through al-Khadamat, bin Laden's inherited family fortune paid for air tickets and accommodation, paid for paperwork with Pakistani authorities and provided other such services for the jihadi fighters. Bin Laden established camps inside Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan and trained volunteers from across the Muslim world to fight against the Soviet-backed regime, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan; he would also participate in some combat activity, such as the Battle of Jaji. It was during this time that he became idolised by many Arabs.
1988 Gilgit massacre
Large numbers of Shias in the city and surrounding region of Gilgit were killed in a massacre that occurred in response to rumours of a massacre of Sunnis by Shias, in May 1988. Shia civilians were also subjected to rape.
The massacre is alleged by B. Raman, a founder of India's Research and Analysis Wing, to have been in response to a revolt by the Shias of Gilgit during the rule of military dictator Zia-ul Haq, He alleged that the Pakistan Army induced Osama bin Laden to lead an armed group of Sunni tribals, from Afghanistan and the North-West Frontier Province, into Gilgit and its surrounding areas to suppress the revolt.
Formation and structuring of Al-Qaeda
By 1988, bin Laden had split from Maktab al-Khidamat. While Azzam acted as support for Afghan fighters, bin Laden wanted a more military role. One of the main points leading to the split and the creation of al-Qaeda was Azzam's insistence that Arab fighters be integrated among the Afghan fighting groups instead of forming a separate fighting force. Notes of a meeting of bin Laden and others on August 20, 1988 indicate that al-Qaeda was a formal group by that time: "Basically an organized Islamic faction, its goal is to lift the word of God, to make his religion victorious." A list of requirements for membership itemized the following: listening ability, good manners, obedience, and making a pledge (bayat) to follow one's superiors.
According to Wright, the group's real name was not used in public pronouncements because "its existence was still a closely held secret". His research suggests that al-Qaeda was formed at an August 11, 1988, meeting between "several senior leaders" of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Abdullah Azzam, and bin Laden, where it was agreed to join bin Laden's money with the expertise of the Islamic Jihad organization and take up the jihadist cause elsewhere after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan. Following the Soviet Union's withdrawal from Afghanistan in February 1989, Osama bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia in 1990 as a hero of jihad. Along with his Arab legion, he was thought to have "brought down the mighty superpower" of the Soviet Union. He was angered by the internecine tribal fighting among the Afghans.
The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait under Saddam Hussein on August 2, 1990, put the Saudi kingdom and the royal family at risk. With Iraqi forces on the Saudi border, Saddam's appeal to pan-Arabism was potentially inciting internal dissent. Bin Laden met with King Fahd, and Saudi Defense Minister Sultan, telling them not to depend on non-Muslim assistance from the United States and others, and offering to help defend Saudi Arabia with his Arab legion. Bin Laden's offer was rebuffed, and the Saudi monarchy invited the deployment of U.S. forces in Saudi territory. Bin Laden publicly denounced Saudi dependence on the U.S. military, arguing the two holiest shrines of Islam, Mecca and Medina, the cities in which the Prophet Mohamed received and recited Allah's message, should only be defended by Muslims. Bin Laden's criticism of the Saudi monarchy led them to try to silence him. The U.S. 82nd Airborne Division landed in the north-eastern Saudi city of Dhahran and was deployed in the desert barely 400 miles from Medina.
Meanwhile, on November 8, 1990, the FBI raided the New Jersey home of El Sayyid Nosair, an associate of al-Qaeda operative Ali Mohamed. They discovered copious evidence of terrorist plots, including plans to blow up New York City skyscrapers. This marked the earliest discovery of al-Qaeda terrorist plans outside of Muslim countries. Nosair was eventually convicted in connection to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and later admitted guilt for the murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane in New York City on November 5, 1990.
In March–April 1992, Bin Laden tried to play a pacifying role in the escalating civil war in Afghanistan, by urging warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to join the other mujahideen leaders negotiating a coalition government instead of trying to conquer Kabul for himself.
Bin Laden continued to speak publicly against the Saudi government, for which the Saudis banished him. In 1992 he went to live in exile in Sudan, in a deal brokered by Ali Mohamed.
Bin Laden's personal security detail consisted of "bodyguards...personally selected by him." Their "arsenal included SAM-7 and Stinger missiles, AK-47s, RPGs, and PK machine guns (similar to an M60)."
Sudan and return to Afghanistan
In Sudan, bin Laden established a new base for Mujahideen operations in Khartoum. He bought a house on Al-Mashtal Street in the affluent Al-Riyadh quarter and a retreat at Soba on the Blue Nile. During his time in Sudan, he heavily invested in the infrastructure, in agriculture and businesses. He was the Sudan agent for the British firm Hunting Surveys, and built roads using the same bulldozers he had employed to construct mountain tracks in Afghanistan. Many of his labourers were the same fighters who had been his comrades in the war against the Soviet Union. He was generous to the poor and popular with the people. He continued to criticize King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. In response, in 1994 Fahd stripped bin Laden of his Saudi citizenship and persuaded his family to cut off his $7 million a year stipend.
By that time, bin Laden was being linked with Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), which made up the core of al-Qaeda. In 1995 the EIJ attempted to assassinate the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The attempt failed, and Sudan expelled the EIJ.
The U.S. State Department accused Sudan of being a "sponsor of international terrorism" and bin Laden of operating "terrorist training camps in the Sudanese desert". According to Sudan officials, however, this stance became obsolete as the Islamist political leader Hassan al-Turabi lost influence in their country. The Sudanese wanted to engage with the U.S. but American officials refused to meet with them even after they had expelled bin Laden. It was not until 2000 that the State Department authorized U.S. intelligence officials to visit Sudan.
The 9/11 Commission Report 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 Sudan and prepared an operation to apprehend him, but was denied authorization. U.S. 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 against bin Laden in any country.
The 9/11 Commission Report further states:
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. U.S. 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, and paid for by the CIA.
Due to the increasing pressure on Sudan from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United States, bin Laden was permitted to leave for a country of his choice. He chose to return to Jalalabad, Afghanistan aboard a chartered flight on May 18, 1996; there he forged a close relationship with Mullah Mohammed Omar. According to the 9/11 Commission, the expulsion from Sudan significantly weakened bin Laden and his organization. Some African intelligence sources have argued that the expulsion left bin Laden without an option other than becoming a full-time radical, and that most of the 300 Afghan Arabs who left with him subsequently became terrorists. Various sources report that bin Laden lost between $20 million and $300 million in Sudan; the government seized his construction equipment, and bin Laden was forced to liquidate his businesses, land, and even his horses.
In August 1996, bin Laden declared war against the United States. Despite the assurance of President George H. W. Bush to King Fahd in 1990, that all U.S. forces based in Saudi Arabia would be withdrawn once the Iraqi threat had been dealt with, by 1996 the Americans were still there. Bush cited the necessity of dealing with the remnants of Saddam's regime (which Bush had chosen not to destroy). Bin Laden's view was that "the 'evils' of the Middle East arose from America's attempt to take over the region and from its support for Israel. Saudi Arabia had been turned into 'an American colony".
He issued a fatwā against the United States, which was first published in Al Quds Al Arabi, a London-based newspaper. It was entitled "Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places." Saudi Arabia is sometimes called "The Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Mecca and Medina, the two holiest places in Islam. The reference to "occupation" in the fatwā referred to US forces based in Saudi Arabia for the purpose of controlling air space in Iraq, known as Operation Southern Watch.
In Afghanistan, bin Laden and al-Qaeda raised money from "donors from the days of the Soviet jihad", and from the Pakistani ISI to establish more training camps for Mujahideen fighters. Bin Laden effectively took over Ariana Afghan Airlines, which ferried Islamic militants, arms, cash and opium through the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan, as well as provided false identifications to members of bin Laden's terrorist network. The arms smuggler Viktor Bout helped to run the airline, maintaining planes and loading cargo. Michael Scheuer, head of the CIA's bin Laden unit, concluded that Ariana was being used as a "terrorist taxi service".
Early attacks and aid for attacks
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 a proper reward in death, going to Jannah (Paradise) if they were good Muslims and to Jahannam (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 Algeria, 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. The war that followed caused the deaths of 150,000–200,000 Algerians and ended with the Islamist surrender to the government.
It has been claimed that bin Laden funded the Luxor massacre of November 17, 1997, which killed 62 civilians, and outraged the Egyptian public. In mid-1997, the Northern Alliance threatened to overrun Jalalabad, causing bin Laden to abandon his Najim Jihad compound and move his operations to Tarnak Farms in the south.
Another successful attack was carried out in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan. Bin Laden helped cement his alliance with the Taliban by sending several hundred Afghan Arab fighters along to help the Taliban kill between five and six thousand Hazaras overrunning the city.
In February 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 of North Americans and their allies an "individual duty for every Muslim" to "liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) and the holy mosque (in Mecca) 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."
Bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri organized an al-Qaeda congress on June 24, 1998. The 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings were a series of attacks that occurred on August 7, 1998, in which hundreds of people were killed in simultaneous truck bomb explosions at the United States embassies in the major East African cities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. The attacks were linked to local members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, brought Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri to the attention of the United States public for the first time, and resulted in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation placing bin Laden on its Ten Most Wanted list.
In December 1998, the Director of Central Intelligence Counterterrorist Center reported to President Bill Clinton that al-Qaeda was preparing for attacks in the United States of America, including the training of personnel to hijack aircraft. 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 Jordan of the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman and tourists at Mount Nebo and a site on the Jordan River, the sinking of the destroyer USS The Sullivans in Yemen, 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.
This article may lend undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies. (September 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
A former U.S. State Department official in October 2001 described Bosnia and Herzegovina as a safe haven for terrorists, and asserted 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, had 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 Maglaj in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 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 Sudan. 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 United States. 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 were linked to the same Algerian group or to other groups of suspected terrorists, and had lived in the area 100 km (60 mi) 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 June 26, 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 the press reported that bin Laden and his Tunisian assistant Mehrez Aodouni were granted citizenship and Bosnian passports in 1993 by the government in Sarajevo. This information was denied by the Bosnian government following the September 11 attacks, but it was later found that Aodouni was arrested in Turkey and that at that time he possessed the Bosnian passport. Following this revelation, a 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 to be linked to bin Laden, were arrested in Sarajevo in July 2001. The three, one of whom was identified as Imad El Misri, were Egyptian nationals. The paper said that two of the suspects were holding Bosnian passports.
SHISH's head Fatos Klosi said that Osama was running a terror network in Albania to take part in Kosovo War under the guise of a humanitarian organisation and it was reported to have been started in 1994. Claude Kader who was a member testified its existence during his trial. By 1998 four members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) were arrested in Albania and extradited to Egypt. The mujahideen fighters were organised by Islamic leaders in Western Europe allied to him and Zawihiri.
During his trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević quoted from a purported FBI report that bin Laden's al-Qaeda had a presence in the Balkans and aided the Kosovo Liberation Army. He claimed bin Laden had used Albania as a "launchpad for violence" in the region and Europe. He claimed that they had informed Richard Holbrooke that KLA was being aided by Al-Qaeda but the US decided to cooperate with the KLA and thus indirectly with Osama despite the 1998 United States embassy bombings earlier. Milošević had argued that the United States aided the terrorists, which culminated in its backing of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War.
September 11 attacks
God knows it did not cross our minds to attack the Towers, but after the situation became unbearable—and we witnessed the injustice and tyranny of the American-Israeli alliance against our people in Palestine and Lebanon—I thought about it. And the events that affected me directly were that of 1982 and the events that followed—when America allowed the Israelis to invade Lebanon, helped by the U.S. Sixth Fleet. As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me punish the unjust the same way: to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and to stop killing our children and women.— Osama bin Laden, 2004
After his initial denial, in the wake of the attacks, bin Laden announced, "what the United States is tasting today is nothing compared to what we have tasted for decades. Our umma has known this humiliation and contempt for over eighty years. Its sons are killed, its blood is spilled, its holy sites are attacked, and it is not governed according to Allah's command. Despite this, no one cares". In response to the attacks, the United States launched the War on Terror to depose the Taliban regime in Afghanistan 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 Investigation has stated that classified evidence linking al-Qaeda and bin Laden to the September 11 attacks is clear and irrefutable. The UK Government reached a similar conclusion regarding al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden's culpability for the September 11 attacks, although the government report noted that the evidence presented is not necessarily sufficient to prosecute the case.
Bin Laden initially denied involvement in the attacks. On September 16, 2001, bin Laden read a statement later broadcast by Qatar's Al Jazeera satellite channel denying responsibility for the attack. In a videotape recovered by U.S. forces in November 2001 in Jalalabad, 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 December 13, 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 video, bin Laden abandoned his denials without retracting past statements. In it he said 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 in 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.
Through two other tapes aired by Al Jazeera in 2006, Osama bin Laden announced, "I am the one in charge of the nineteen brothers. [...] I was responsible for entrusting the nineteen brothers [...] with the raids" (May 23, 2006). In the tapes he was seen with Ramzi bin al-Shibh, as well as two of the 9/11 hijackers, Hamza al-Ghamdi and Wail al-Shehri, as they made preparations for the attacks (videotape broadcast September 7, 2006). Identified motivations of the September 11 attacks include the support of Israel by the United States, presence of the U.S. military in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. enforcement of sanctions against Iraq.
On March 16, 1998, Libya issued the first official Interpol arrest warrant against bin Laden and three other people. They were charged for killing Silvan Becker, agent of Germany's domestic intelligence service, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, in the Terrorism Department, and his wife Vera in Libya on March 10, 1994. Bin Laden was still wanted by the Libyan government at the time of his death. Osama bin Laden was first indicted by a grand jury of the United States on June 8, 1998 on a charges of "conspiracy to attack defense utilities of the United States" and prosecutors further charged that bin Laden was the head of the terrorist organization called al-Qaeda, and that he was a major financial backer of Islamic fighters worldwide. 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 U.S. Nationals Outside the United States, Conspiracy to Murder U.S. 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, from a phone purchased for him by al-Qaeda procurement agent Ziyad Khaleel in the United States. However the Taliban ruled not to extradite Bin Laden on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence published in the indictments and that non-Muslim courts lacked standing to try Muslims.
Bin Laden became the 456th person listed on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, when he was added on June 7, 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 before the bombing of Afghanistan in October 2001. In 1999, U.S. 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 October 10, 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 September 11 attacks, 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. They did however offer to try him before an Islamic court if evidence of Osama bin Laden's involvement in the September 11 attacks was provided. It was not until eight days 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 United States ending the bombing. This offer was rejected by President Bush stating that this was no longer negotiable, with Bush responding "there's no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he's guilty."
On June 15, 2011, federal prosecutors of the United States of America officially dropped all criminal charges against Osama bin Laden following his death in May.
Pursuit by the United States
Capturing Osama bin Laden had 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 Sea struck bin Laden's training camps near Khost in Afghanistan, 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 in which bin Laden was riding.
Immediately after the September 11 attacks, U.S. 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 July 13, 2007, the Senate voted to double the reward to $50 million though the amount was never changed. The Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association offered an additional $2 million reward.
According to The Washington Post, the U.S. 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 United States to commit enough U.S. ground troops to hunt him led to his escape and was the gravest failure by the United States in the war against al-Qaeda. Intelligence officials assembled what they believed 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 special operations paramilitary forces dedicated to capturing bin Laden was shut down in late 2005.
U.S. and Afghanistan forces raided the mountain caves in Tora Bora between August 14–16, 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.
On October 7, 2008, in the second presidential debate, on foreign policy, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama pledged, "We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority." Upon being elected, then President-elect Obama expressed his plans to "renew U.S. commitment to finding al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, according to his national security advisers" in an effort to ratchet up the hunt for the terrorist. President Obama rejected the Bush administration's policy on bin Laden that "conflated all terror threats from al-Qaeda to Hamas to Hezbollah," replacing it with "a covert, laserlike focus on al-Qaeda and its spawn."
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in December 2009 that officials had had no reliable information on bin Laden's whereabouts for years. One week later, General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said in December 2009 that al-Qaeda would not be defeated unless its leader, Osama bin Laden, were captured or killed. Testifying to the U.S. Congress, he said that bin Laden had become an "iconic figure, whose survival emboldens al-Qaeda as a franchising organization across the world", and that Obama's deployment of 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan meant that success would be possible. "I don't think that we can finally defeat al-Qaeda until he's captured or killed," McChrystal said of bin Laden. According to him, killing or capturing bin Laden would not spell the end of al-Qaeda, but the movement could not be eradicated while he remained at large.
In April 2011, President Obama ordered a covert operation to kill or capture bin Laden. On May 2, 2011, the White House announced that U.S. Navy SEALs had successfully carried out the operation, killing him in his Abbottabad compound in Pakistan.
Activities and whereabouts after the September 11 attacks
While referring to Osama bin Laden in a CNN film clip on September 17, 2001, then President George W. Bush stated, "I want justice. There is an old poster out west, as I recall, that said, 'Wanted dead or alive' ". Subsequently, bin Laden retreated further from public contact to avoid capture. Numerous speculative press reports were issued about his whereabouts or even death; some placed bin Laden in different locations during overlapping time periods. None were ever definitively proven. After military offensives in Afghanistan failed to uncover his whereabouts, Pakistan was regularly identified as his suspected hiding place. Some of the conflicting reports regarding bin Laden's continued whereabouts and mistaken claims about his death follow:
- On December 11, 2005, a letter from Atiyah Abd al-Rahman to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi indicated that bin Laden and the al-Qaeda leadership were based in the Waziristan region of Pakistan at the time. In the letter, translated by the United States military's Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, "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.
- Al-Qaeda continued to release time-sensitive and professionally verified videos demonstrating bin Laden's continued survival as recently as August 2007. Bin Laden claimed sole responsibility for the September 11 attacks and specifically denied any prior knowledge of them by the Taliban or the Afghan people.
- In 2009, a research team led by Thomas W. Gillespie and John A. Agnew of UCLA used satellite-aided geographical analysis to pinpoint three compounds in Parachinar as bin Laden's likely hideouts.
- In March 2009, the New York Daily News reported that the hunt for bin Laden had centered in the Chitral District of Pakistan, including the Kalam Valley. Author Rohan Gunaratna stated that captured al-Qaeda leaders had confirmed that bin Laden was hiding in Chitral.
- In the first week of December 2009, a Taliban detainee in Pakistan said he had information that bin Laden was in Afghanistan in 2009. The detainee reported that in January or February (2009) he met a trusted contact who had seen bin Laden in Afghanistan about 15 to 20 days earlier. However, on December 6, 2009, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated that the United States had had no reliable information on the whereabouts of bin Laden in years. Pakistan's Prime Minister Gillani rejected claims that Osama bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan.
- On December 9, 2009, BBC News reported that U.S. Army General Stanley A. McChrystal, who served as Commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan from June 15, 2009, until June 23, 2010, emphasized the continued importance of the capture or killing of bin Laden, thus indicating that the U.S. high command believed that bin Laden was still alive.
- On February 2, 2010, Afghan president Hamid Karzai arrived in Saudi Arabia for an official visit. The agenda included discussion of a possible Saudi role in Karzai's plan to reintegrate Taliban militants. During the visit an anonymous official of the Saudi Foreign Ministry declared that the kingdom had no intention of getting involved in peacemaking in Afghanistan unless the Taliban severed ties with extremists and expelled Osama bin Laden.
- On June 7, 2010, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Siyassa reported that bin Laden was hiding out in the mountainous town of Savzevar, in northeastern Iran. On June 9, The Australian News's online edition repeated the claim.
- On October 18, 2010, an unnamed NATO official suggested that bin Laden was "alive and well and living comfortably" in Pakistan, protected by elements of the country's intelligence services. A senior Pakistani official denied the allegations and said that the accusations were designed to put pressure on the Pakistani government ahead of talks aimed at strengthening ties between Pakistan and the United States.
- On April 16, 2011, a leaked Al Jazeera report claimed that bin Laden had been captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
On March 29, 2012, Pakistani newspaper Dawn acquired a report produced by Pakistani security officials, based on interrogation of his three surviving wives, that detailed his movements while living underground in Pakistan.
In a 2010 letter, bin Laden chastised followers who had reinterpreted al-tatarrus—an Islamic doctrine meant to excuse the unintended killing of non-combatants in unusual circumstances—to justify routine massacres of Muslim civilians, which had turned Muslims against the extremist movement. Of the groups affiliated with al-Qaida, Bin Laden condemned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan for an attack on members of a hostile tribe, declaring that "the operation is not justified, as there were casualties of noncombatants." Bin Laden wrote that the tatarrus doctrine "needs to be revisited based on the modern-day context and clear boundaries established." He asked a subordinate to draw up a jihadist code of conduct that would constrain military operations in order to avoid civilian casualties. In Yemen, Bin Laden urged his allies to seek a "truce" that would bring the country "stability" or would at least "show the people that we are careful in keeping ... the Muslims safe on the basis of peace." In Somalia, he called attention to the extreme poverty caused by constant warfare, and he advised al-Shabab to pursue economic development. He instructed his followers around the world to focus on education and persuasion rather than "entering into confrontations" with Islamic political parties.
Whereabouts just before his death
In April 2011, various intelligence outlets were able to pinpoint bin Laden's suspected location near Abbottabad, Pakistan. It was previously believed that bin Laden was hiding near the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas, but he was found 160 km (100 mi) away in a three-story mansion in Abbottabad at . Bin Laden's mansion was located 1.3 km (0.8 mi) southwest of the Pakistan Military Academy. Google Earth maps show that the compound was not present in 2001, but it was present on images taken in 2005.
Death and aftermath
The operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, was ordered by United States President Barack Obama and carried out in a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operation by a team of United States Navy SEALs from the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as DEVGRU or informally by its former name, SEAL Team Six) of the Joint Special Operations Command, with support from CIA operatives on the ground. The raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad was launched from Afghanistan. After the raid, reports at the time stated that U.S. forces had taken bin Laden's body to Afghanistan for positive identification, then buried it at sea, in accordance with Islamic law, within 24 hours of his death. Subsequent reporting has called this account into question—citing, for example, the absence of evidence that there was an imam on board the USS Carl Vinson, where the burial was said to have taken place.
Pakistani authorities later demolished the compound in February 2012 to prevent it from becoming a neo-Islamist shrine. In February 2013, Pakistan announced plans to build a R265 million ($2.7m) amusement park in the area, including the property of the former hideout.
Allegations of Pakistani protection of bin Laden
Bin Laden was killed within the fortified complex of buildings that was probably built for him, and had reportedly been his home for at least five years. The compound was located less than a mile from Pakistan Military Academy and less than 100 kilometers' drive from Pakistan's capital. While the United States and Pakistan governments both claimed, and later maintained, that no Pakistani officials, including senior military leaders, knew Bin Laden's whereabouts or had prior knowledge of the U.S. strike, Carlotta Gall, writing in The New York Times Magazine in 2014, reported that ISI Director General Ahmad Shuja Pasha knew of Bin Laden's presence in Abbottabad. In a 2015 London Review of Books article, investigative reporter Seymour M. Hersh asserted—citing U.S. sources—that bin Laden had been a prisoner of the ISI at the Abbottabad compound since 2006; that Pasha knew of the U.S. mission in advance, and authorized the helicopters delivering the SEALs to enter Pakistani airspace; and that the CIA learned of bin Laden's whereabouts from a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer, who was paid an estimated $25 million for the information. Both stories were denied by U.S. and Pakistani officials.
Mosharraf Zia, a leading Pakistani columnist, stated, "It seems deeply improbable that bin Laden could have been where he was killed without the knowledge of some parts of the Pakistani state." Pakistan's United States envoy, ambassador Husain Haqqani, promised a "full inquiry" into how Pakistani intelligence services could have failed to find bin Laden in a fortified compound so close to Islamabad. "Obviously bin Laden did have a support system," he said. "The issue is, was that support system within the government and the state of Pakistan, or within the society of Pakistan?"
Others argued that Bin Laden lived in the compound with a local family, and never used the internet or a mobile phone, which would have made him much easier to locate. Pakistan's president Asif Ali Zardari denied that his country's security forces sheltered bin Laden, and called any supposed support for bin Laden by the Pakistani government "baseless speculation". Government officials said that the country's limited resources had been committed to its war against the Pakistan Taliban, and other insurgents who posed an active threat to it, rather than to finding or sheltering Bin Laden.
- Depending on the time zone, the date of his death may be different locally
- Dan Ackman. "The Cost Of Being Osama Bin Laden" Archived July 29, 2017, at the Wayback Machine.. September 14, 2001. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
- Fair, C. Christine; Watson, Sarah J. (February 18, 2015). Pakistan's Enduring Challenges. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 246. ISBN 9780812246902. Archived from the original on January 31, 2016.
Osama bin Laden was a hard-core Salafi who openly espoused violence against the United States in order to achieve Salafi goals.
- Brown, Amy Benson; Poremski, Karen M. (December 18, 2014). Roads to Reconciliation: Conflict and Dialogue in the Twenty-first Century. Routledge. p. 81. ISBN 9781317460763. Archived from the original on January 31, 2016.
- Osama Bin Laden (2007) Suzanne J. Murdico
- Armstrong, Karen (July 11, 2005). "The label of Catholic terror was never used about the IRA". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on December 26, 2016.
- "Usama BIN LADEN". FBI.gov. Archived from the original on May 26, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
- The common transliteration is based on Afghan Persian; according to standard Arabic pronunciation, his name would be rendered in English Usamah bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Ladin.
- "FBI – USAMA BIN LADEN". September 25, 2012. Archived from the original on September 25, 2012.
- Scheuer, Michael (February 7, 2008). "Yemen still close to al Qaeda's heart". Asia Times Online. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
- Strozier, Charles B.; Offer, Daniel; Abdyli, Oliger (May 24, 2011). The Leader: Psychological Essays. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-1-4419-8387-9.
- Scheuer, Michael (February 17, 2011). Osama Bin Laden. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-973866-3.
- Robert Fisk (2005). The Great War For Civilisation, p. 4.
- United States v. Usama bin Laden et al., S (7) 98 Cr. 1023, Testimony of Jamal Ahmed Mohamed al-Fadl (SDNY February 6, 2001).
- Robert Fisk (2005). The Great War For Civilisation, p. 22.
- "FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives". FBI.gov. Archived from the original on January 3, 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- Dan Eggen (August 28, 2006). "Bin Laden, Most Wanted For Embassy Bombings?". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on January 15, 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- "'Most wanted terrorists' list released". CNN. October 10, 2001. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
- "Fbi – Usama Bin Laden". Fbi.gov. August 7, 1998. Archived from the original on May 15, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
- "The Navy SEAL Who Shot Bin Laden Is: Rob O'Neill From Butte Montana". Soldier of Fortune Magazine. November 6, 2014. Archived from the original on December 3, 2014. Retrieved July 8, 2015.
- "USS Carl Vinson: Osama Bin Laden's Burial at Sea". USA: ABC News. May 1, 2011. Archived from the original on May 4, 2011. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
- "World leaders React to News of Bin Laden's Death". CNN. May 3, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "autogenerated4" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
- "Death of Osama bin Ladin". Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs. May 1, 2011. Archived from the original on May 4, 2011. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
- Baker, Peter; Cooper, Helene; Mazzetti, Mark (May 1, 2011). "Bin Laden Dead, US Officials Say". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 5, 2011.
- Maqbool, Aleem (May 1, 2011). "Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda leader, dead – Barack Obama". BBC News. Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
- Whitaker, Brian. "Arabic words and the Roman alphabet". Al-Bab.com. Archived from the original on April 25, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
- "Lādin Ali al-Qatani". Archived from the original on November 16, 2016.
- bin Laden, Najwa; bin Laden, Omar; Sasson, Jean (2009). Growing up Bin Laden: Osama's Wife and Son Take Us Inside Their Secret World. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 301. ISBN 978-0-312-56016-4. Archived from the original on April 7, 2015.
- "Most Wanted Terrorist – Usama Bin Laden". FBI. Archived from the original on March 10, 2006. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- "Meaning of Usama". English–Arabic Almaany Dictionary. 2011. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
- Warrick, Joby (September 8, 2007). "In a New Video, Bin Laden Predicts U.S. Failure in Iraq". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 24, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- "Frontline: Hunting Bin Laden: Who is Bin Laden?: Chronology". PBS. Archived from the original on February 10, 2006. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- David Johnson. "Osama bin Laden infoplease". Infoplease. Archived from the original on January 20, 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- Steve Coll (December 12, 2005). "Letter From Jedda: Young Osama- How he learned radicalism, and may have seen America". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- "Osama bin Laden". GlobalSecurity.org. January 11, 2006. Archived from the original on March 29, 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- "The Mysterious Death of Osama Bin Laden". August 3, 2011. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
- "Osama bin Laden Archived May 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.", The Economist, May 5, 2011, p. 93.
- Beyer, Lisa (September 24, 2001). "The Most Wanted Man in the World". Time. Archived from the original on September 16, 2001. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- Bergen 2006, pp. 52
- Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden, Verso, 2005, p. xii.
- Encyclopedia of World Biography Supplement Archived May 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Vol. 22. Gale Group, 2002. (link requires username/password)
- "A Biography of Osama Bin Laden". PBS Frontline. Archived from the original on March 29, 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- Aziz Hug (January 19, 2006). "The Real Osama". The American Prospect. Archived from the original on April 30, 2008. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- Gunaratna, Rohan (2003). Inside Al Qaeda (3rd ed.). Berkley Books. p. 22. ISBN 0-231-12692-1.
- Wright 2006, pp. 79
- Michael Hirst (September 24, 2008). "Analysing Osama's jihadi poetry". BBC News. Archived from the original on September 30, 2009. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- "Osama bin Laden's bodyguard: I had orders to kill him if the Americans tried to take him alive". Daily Mirror. May 4, 2011. Archived from the original on June 10, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- Michael Slackman (November 13, 2001). "Osama Kin Wait and Worry". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 26, 2009. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- Brian Todd; Tim Lister (May 5, 2011). "Bin Laden's wives – and daughter who would 'kill enemies of Islam'". CNN Edition: International. Archived from the original on May 6, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
- "Osama's Women". CNN. March 12, 2002. Archived from the original on May 5, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- Amy Zalman. "Profile: Osama bin Laden". About.com. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- "Osama bin Laden's family 'stranded' in Iran, son says" Archived March 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., The Telegraph. July 19, 2010.
- Al-Bahri, Nasser, Guarding bin Laden: My Life in al-Qaeda. pp. 150–160. Thin Man Press. London. ISBN 9780956247360
- "Blood Brothers: Could Osama Have Been Tamed?". ABC News. Archived from the original on January 1, 2016.
- "Interview with US Author Steve Coll: 'Osama bin Laden is Planning Something for the US Election'". Der Spiegel. Archived from the original on February 13, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
- "Best of the Web: Osama's Brother Died in San Antonio, Red Velvet Onion Rings-WOAI: San Antonio News". January 13, 2012. Archived from the original on January 13, 2012.
- Wright 2006, pp. 83
- Dan Mangan. "Wanted: dead – not alive!". New York Post. Archived from the original on April 29, 2017.
- "Most Wanted Terrorist – Usama Bin Laden". FBI. Archived from the original on March 10, 2006. Retrieved June 8, 2006.
- "I met Osama Bin Laden". BBC News. March 26, 2004. Archived from the original on March 16, 2006. Retrieved May 15, 2006.
- Messages, (2005) p. 70. Al Jazeera, December 1998, following Kenya and Tanzania embassy attacks.
- Messages, (2005), p. 119, October 21, 2001, interview with Taysir Alluni of Al Jazeera.
- Scheuer, Michael (2004). Imperial Hubris. Dulles, Virginia: Brassey's, Inc. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-9655139-4-4.
The focused and lethal threat posed to U.S. national security arises not from Muslims being offended by what America is, but rather from their plausible perception that the things they most love and value—God, Islam, their brethren, and Muslim lands—are being attacked by America.
- October 6, 2002. Appeared in Al-Qala'a website and then The Observer and The Guardian on November 24, 2002.
- Gardell, Matthias (2003). Gods of the Blood: The Pagan Revival and White Separatism. Durham and London: Duke University Press. p. 325. ISBN 978-0822330714.
- Messages, 2005, p. 218. "Resist the New Rome", audiotape delivered to al-Jazeera and broadcast by it on January 4, 2004.
- Halverson, Jeffry R. (2010). Theology and Creed in Sunni Islam: The Muslim Brotherhood, Ash'arism, and Political Sunnism. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 80. Archived from the original on January 1, 2016.
It was there that he met the Athari-Wahhabite militant Osama bin Laden...
- Dale C. Eikmeier (Spring 2007). "Qutbism: An Ideology of Islamic-Fascism". Parameters. pp. 85–98. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- Messages, (2005), p. 143. from an interview published in Al-Quds Al-Arabi in London, November 12, 2001 (originally published in Pakistani daily, Ausaf, Nov. 7)
- Messages to the World, (2005), pp. xix–xx, editor Bruce Lawrence.
- John Randal, Osama: The Making of a Terrorist, I B Tauris & Co Ltd (October 4, 2005).
- A Capitol Idea Donald E. Abelson p. 208.
- Abby Goodnough (July 8, 2007). "Mysteries, Legal and Sartorial, at Padilla Trial". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- Michael R. Gordon (September 17, 2001). "After the attacks: the strategy; A New War And Its Scale". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 1, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- "Is global terror threat falling?". BBC News. May 21, 2008. Archived from the original on February 16, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- ""Osama bin Laden's operation" has "perpetrated the worst act of terrorism ever witnessed on U.S. soil". Al Jazeera. August 17, 2008. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
- Bergen 2006
- Scheuer 2002
- Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century Marc Sageman University of Pennsylvania Press January 3, 2008.
- Bruce Hoffman (Spring 2004). "Redefining Counterterrorism: The Terrorist Leader as CEO". RAND Review.
- A Devil's Triangle: Terrorism, Weapons Of Mass Destruction, And Rogue States Peter Brookes Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.
- "Wanted: Bin Laden, Usama". Interpol. Archived from the original on March 3, 2008. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- "Conversation With Terror". Time. January 1999. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
- "frontline: the terrorist and the superpower: who is bin laden?: interview with osama bin laden (in may 1998)". pbs.org. Archived from the original on May 8, 1999.
- Messages, (2005), p. 190. from 53-minute audiotape that "was circulated on various websites" dated February 14, 2003. "Among a Band of Knights"
- Wright 2006, pp. 303 "From interview with Ali Soufan – a Lebanese Sunni FBI agent"
- Wright 2006, pp. 167
- Wright 2006, pp. 172
- "Bin Laden: Goal is to bankrupt U.S. Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.". CNN. November 2, 2004.
- "Full transcript of bin Ladin's speech". Al Jazeera. November 1, 2004. Archived from the original on November 16, 2008. Retrieved November 16, 2008.
- "Bin Laden called for Americans to rise up over climate change". Reuters. March 3, 2016. Archived from the original on April 3, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
- http://www.washingtontimes.com, The Washington Times. "Osama bin Laden called for Americans to help Obama fight climate change". The Washingtion Times. Archived from the original on April 3, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
- p.50, Messages to the World, 2005, quoting March 1997 interview with Peter Arnett
- "Their Master's Voice, [a review of Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden]". New York Review of Books. March 9, 2006. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
- Messages to the World, Statements of Osama bin Laden, Verso, 2005, p. 168
- Shirazi, S (March 31, 2006). "Listening to Bin Laden". printculture.com. Archived from the original on November 22, 2006. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
- nytimes.com "Becoming bin Laden," Review by NOAH FELDMAN, February 12, 2006
- Shirazi, S (March 31, 2006). "Listening to Bin Laden". Printculture. Archived from the original on November 22, 2006. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
- Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden, p.168, quoted in "Listening to Bin Laden Archived November 22, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- "The War against Islam," Stealing Muslim Oil
- The "War against Islam" Killing Muslim Children. Bin Laden, the US, Iraq and Afghanistan
- "Who is Osama Bin Laden?". BBC News. September 18, 2001. Archived from the original on December 24, 2008. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- Interview with Robert Fisk, March 22, 1997, 'The Great War For Civilisation', 2005, p.7.
- "Story of US, CIA and Taliban". The Brunei Times. 2009. Archived from the original on December 5, 2013.
- "Frankenstein the CIA created". The Guardian. January 17, 1999.
- "The Cost of an Afghan 'Victory'". The Nation. 1999. Archived from the original on March 2, 2014.
- Wright 2006, pp. 145 "Lawrence Wright estimates his share of the Saudi Binladin Group circa fall 1989 as amounted to 27 million Saudi riyals – a little more than [US]$7 million."
- Hunzai, Izhar. "Conflict Dynamics in Gilgit-Baltistan" (PDF). United States Institute of Peace. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 9, 2017. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
In 1988, a rumor alleging a Sunni massacre at the hands of Shias resulted in an attack by thousands of armed tribesmen from the south, the killing of nearly four hundred Shias
- Murphy, Eamon (2013). The Making of Terrorism in Pakistan: Historical and Social Roots of Extremism. Routledge. p. 134. ISBN 9780415565264. Archived from the original on October 3, 2017.
Shias in the district of Gilgit were assaulted, killed and raped by an invading Sunni lashkar-armed militia-comprising thousands of jihadis from the North West Frontier Province.
- "B Raman, one of RAW founders, passes away". The Indian Express. June 17, 2013. Archived from the original on August 2, 2017. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- Raman, B (October 7, 2003). "The Shia Anger". Outlook. Archived from the original on January 1, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2016.
Because they have not forgotten what happened in 1988. Faced with a revolt by the Shias of the Northern Areas (Gilgit and Baltistan) of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), under occupation by the Pakistan Army, for a separate Shia State called the Karakoram State, the Pakistan Army transported Osama bin Laden's tribal hordes into Gilgit and let them loose on the Shias. They went around massacring hundreds of Shias – innocent men, women and children.
- Raman, B (February 26, 2003). "The Karachi Attack: The Kashmir Link". Rediiff News. Archived from the original on May 10, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2016.
A revolt by the Shias of Gilgit was ruthlessly suppressed by the Zia-ul Haq regime in 1988, killing hundreds of Shias. An armed group of tribals from Afghanistan and the North-West Frontier Province, led by Osama bin Laden, was inducted by the Pakistan Army into Gilgit and adjoining areas to suppress the revolt.
- Bergen 2006, pp. 74–88
- Wright 2006, pp. 133–134.
- Wright 2006, p. 260.
- Asthana, N. C (January 1, 2009). Urban Terrorism : Myths And Realities. Pointer Publishers. p. 108. ISBN 978-81-7132-598-6.
- Wright 2006, pp. 146
- Jehl, Douglas (December 27, 2001). "A Nation Challenged: Holy war lured Saudis as rulers looked Away". The New York Times. pp. A1, B4. Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- "USA v. Omar Ahmad Ali Abdel-Rahman et al: 93-CR-181-KTD". MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base. Archived from the original on January 9, 2008. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- Gutman (2008), p. 37.
- Steve Emerson. "Abdullah Assam: The Man Before Osama Bin Laden". Archived from the original on February 18, 2007. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- Soufan, Ali. The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda. W.W. Norton and Company. New York and London: 2011.Page 325
- Reeve, Simon (June 27, 2002). The new jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama Bin Laden and the future of terrorism. UPNE. p. 172. ISBN 978-1-55553-509-4. Archived from the original on May 29, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
- Shay, Shaul; Liberman, Rachel (October 13, 2006). The Red Sea terror triangle: Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Islamic terror. Transaction Publishers. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-4128-0620-6. Archived from the original on May 29, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
- David Rose (January 2002) The Osama Files Archived October 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Vanity Fair
- Gallab, Abdullahi A. (2008). The first Islamist republic: development and disintegration of Islamism in Sudan. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 127. ISBN 978-0-7546-7162-6. Archived from the original on July 27, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
- 'The Great War for Civilisation', Robert Fisk, 2005, p5.
- Wright 2006, pp. 195
- Hunting the Jackal: A Special Forces and CIA Soldier's Fifty Years on the Frontlines of the War Against Terrorism, 2004.
- "Responses to Al Qaeda's Initial Assaults" (PDF). 9/11 Commission. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 15, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- Megan K. Stack (December 6, 2001). "Fighters Hunt Former Ally". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 19, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- "Profile: Mullah Mohamed Omar". BBC News. September 18, 2001. Archived from the original on July 28, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- "The Foundation of the New Terrorism" (PDF). 9/11 Commission. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 27, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- Wright 2006, pp. 222
- Stern 2003, pp. 253
- Bergen 2008, p. 14.
- "Bin Laden's Fatwa". Pbs.org. August 20, 1998. Archived from the original on October 31, 2001. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
- Wright 2006, pp. 250
- Stephen Braun; Judy Pasternak "Long Before Sept. 11, Bin Laden Aircraft Flew Under the Radar" Archived August 26, 2012, at WebCite, Los Angeles Times. November 18, 2001.
- Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible (2007), pp. 138–140
- "Who is bin Laden?: Chronology". PBS. Archived from the original on April 14, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- testimony of Jamal al-Fadl, U.S. v. Usama bin Laden, et al.
- Jailan Halawi, "bin Laden behind Luxor Massacre?", Al-Ahram Weekly, May 20–26, 1999.
- Plett, Barbara (May 13, 1999). "Bin Laden 'behind Luxor massacre'". BBC News. Archived from the original on November 21, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- "Profile: Ayman al-Zawahiri". BBC News. September 27, 2004. Archived from the original on August 19, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- Testimony of Abdurahman Khadr as a witness in the trial against Charkaoui, July 13, 2004.
- Rashid, Taliban, p. 139.
- Shaykh Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Ladin; al-Zawahiri, Ayman; Abu-Yasir Rifa'i Ahmad Taha; Shaykh Mir Hamzah; Rahman, Fazlur (February 23, 1998). "World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders: Initial "Fatwa" Statement". al-Quds al-Arabi (in Arabic). Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- Shaykh Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Ladin; al-Zawahiri, Ayman; Abu-Yasir Rifa'i Ahmad Taha; Shaykh Mir Hamzah; Rahman, Fazlur (February 23, 1998). "Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders. World Islamic Front Statement". al-Quds al-Arabi. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2010. English-language version of the fatwa translated by the Federation of American Scientists of the original Arabic document published in the newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi (London, UK) on 1998-02-23, p. 3.
- Van Atta, Dale (1998). "Carbombs & cameras: the need for responsible media coverage of terrorism". Harvard International Review. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard International Relations Council. 20 (4): 66. ISBN 978-0-89526-485-5. ISSN 0739-1854. Archived from the original on December 2, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- Michel Elbaz (July 18, 2005). "Russian Secret Services' Links With Al-Qaeda". Axis Globe. Archived from the original on July 21, 2010.
- "Bin Ladin Preparing to Hijack U.S. Aircraft and Other Attacks". Director of Central Intelligence. December 4, 1998. Archived from the original on May 22, 2010. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
- Vernon Loeb (December 24, 2000). "Terrorists Plotted Jan. 2000 Attacks". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 21, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- Craig Pyes, Josh Meyer & William C. Rempel (October 15, 2001). "Bosnia – base for terrorism". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on November 20, 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- R. Jeffrey Smith (March 11, 2000). "A Bosnian Village's Terrorist Ties". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 25, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Summary of the Security Intelligence Report concerning Hassan Almrei, February 22, 2008.
- Baravalle, Giorgio (2004). Rethink: Cause and Consequences of September 11. de-MO. p. 584. ISBN 0-9705768-6-2.
- Sherrie Gossett (August 17, 2005). "Jihadists find convenient base in Bosnia". Assyrian International News Agency. Archived from the original on December 17, 2005. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- "Bin Laden was granted Bosnian passport", Agence France-Presse, September 24, 1999.
- Chris Hedges (September 23, 1996). "Outsiders Bring Islamic Fervor To the Balkans". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 5, 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- Bin Laden, Albania Link Reported
- Jane Mayer, The Dark Side, Doubleday. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-385-52639-5 (0-385-52639-3).
- Yossef Bodansky (4 May 2011). Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America. Crown Publishing Group. pp. 398–403. ISBN 978-0-307-79772-8.
- Andrew Roche, Reuters, "Milosevic: U.S. was Ally of Al Qaeda in Kosovo", February 15, 2002
- "God knows it did not cross our minds to attack the towers". The Guardian. London. October 30, 2004. Archived from the original on August 28, 2013. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- "Bin Laden says he wasn't behind attacks". CNN. September 16, 2001. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- * "Pentagon". CNN. Archived from the original on October 7, 2006. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- "American Airlines Flight 11". CNN. Archived from the original on September 10, 2006. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- "American Airlines Flight 77". CNN. Archived from the original on January 11, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- "United Airlines Flight 93". CNN. Archived from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- "United Airlines Flight 175". CNN. Archived from the original on October 1, 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- Dennis B. Roddy (October 28, 2001). "Flight 93: Forty lives, one destiny". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on October 8, 2003. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- "9/11 Death Statistics". Archived from the original on May 7, 2014.
- H., Hunt, Michael. The world transformed : 1945 to the present. p. 495. ISBN 9780199371020. OCLC 907585907.
- Greg Miller. "CIA's secret program: paramilitary teams to strike Al Qaeda", Los Angeles Times. July 14, 2009. A1.
- "President Freezes Terrorists' Assets". The White House. September 24, 2001. Archived from the original on October 30, 2011. Retrieved June 26, 2011.
- Watson, Dale L., Executive Assistant Director, Counter terrorism/Counterintelligence Division, FBI (February 6, 2002). "FBI Testimony about 9/11 terrorists' motives". Federal Bureau of Investigation – (RepresentativePress). Retrieved February 11, 2011.
- "Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States, September 11, 2001". 10 Downing Street, Office of the Prime Minister of the UK. May 15, 2003. Archived from the original on May 11, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- Cameron, Carl; Lehner, Marla; Wagenseil, Paul (September 16, 2001). "Pakistan to Demand Taliban Give Up Bin Laden as Iran Seals Afghan Border". Fox News Channel. Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 23, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- "Bin Laden on tape: Attacks 'benefited Islam greatly'". CNN. December 14, 2001. Archived from the original on December 14, 2013. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
- "Bin-Laden-Video: Falschübersetzung als Beweismittel?". WDR, Das Erste, MONITOR Nr. 485 am. December 20, 2001. Archived from the original on February 17, 2003. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- "Bin Laden claims responsibility for 9/11". CBC News. October 29, 2004. Archived from the original on October 25, 2006. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- "Al-Jazeera: Bin Laden tape obtained in Pakistan". MSNBC. October 30, 2004. Archived from the original on October 31, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2010.—"In the tape, bin Laden—wearing traditional white robes, a turban and a tan cloak—reads from papers at a lectern against a plain brown background. Speaking quietly in an even voice, he tells the American people that he ordered the September 11 attacks because 'we are a free people' who wanted to 'regain the freedom' of their nation."
- "Excerpts: Bin Laden video". BBC News. October 29, 2004. Archived from the original on October 6, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- "Osama bin Laden tape transcript". MSNBC. May 23, 2006. Archived from the original on February 24, 2011. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
- "Bin Laden 9/11 planning video aired". CBC News. September 7, 2006. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- Flade, Florian (May 2, 2011). "The Untold Story of Gaddafi's Hunt For Osama Bin Laden". Die Welt/Worldcrunch. Archived from the original on November 22, 2011. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- Sammy Salama (September 2004). "Was Libyan WMD Disarmament a Significant Success for Nonproliferation?". NTI. Archived from the original on June 2, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- Interpol Arrest Warrant File No. 1998/20232, Control No. A-268/5-1998. Brisard Jean-Charles, Dasquie Guillaume. "Forbidden Truth". (New York: Thunder Mouth Press, 2002), p. 156.
- Frontline; The New York Times; Rain Media (c. 2001). "Osama bin Laden: A Chronology of His Political Life". Hunting bin Laden: Who Is bin Laden?. Frontline. WGBH Educational Foundation. Archived from the original on July 17, 2006. Retrieved July 25, 2006.
- "Indictment #S(9) 98 Cr. 1023" (PDF). United States District Court, Southern District of New York. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 24, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
- "Embassy bombing defendant linked to bin Laden". CNN. February 14, 2001. Archived from the original on December 26, 2007.
- "Profile: Osama bin Laden". Cooperative Research. Archived from the original on December 29, 2010.
- "Osama bin Laden 'innocent'". BBC News. November 21, 1998. Archived from the original on December 23, 2011.
- William Reeve (November 21, 1998). "Osama bin Laden 'innocent'". BBC News. Archived from the original on January 14, 2010. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
- "Security Council demands that Taliban turn over Osama bin Laden to appropriate authorities". United Nations. October 15, 1999. Archived from the original on August 16, 2013.
- "Bush rejects Taliban offer to hand Bin Laden over". The Guardian. London. October 14, 2001. Archived from the original on August 25, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
- Bray, Chad (June 17, 2011). "U.S. Formally Drops Charges Against bin Laden". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on July 10, 2017.
- "Bill Clinton: I got closer to killing bin Laden". CNN. September 25, 2006. Archived from the original on October 5, 2006. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
- "Report: Clinton Targeted Bin Laden Archived May 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.", CBS News, September 16, 2001.
- "CIA Trained Pakistanis to Nab Terrorist But Military Coup Put an End to 1999 Plot Archived August 28, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.", The Washington Post, October 3, 2001.
- "Five Years Ago Today – Usama bin Laden: Wanted for Murder". Federal Bureau of Investigation. November 5, 2003. Archived from the original on January 9, 2008. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
- "Senate doubles Bin Laden reward". BBC News. July 13, 2007. Archived from the original on August 8, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- Katie Turner; Pam Benson; Peter Bergen; Elise Labott; Nic Robertson (September 24, 2006). "Officials, friends can't confirm Bin Laden death report". CNN. Archived from the original on March 26, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- Gellman, Barton; Ricks, Thomas E. (April 17, 2002). "U.S. Concludes Bin Laden Escaped at Tora Bora Fight". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 1, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- "CIA Reportedly Disbands Bin Laden Unit". The Washington Post. Associated Press. July 4, 2006. Archived from the original on November 12, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- Justin Balding; Adam Ciralsky; Jim Miklaszewski; Robert Windrem (September 26, 2007). "Bin Laden may have just escaped U.S. forces". MSNBC. Archived from the original on January 23, 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- Arena, Kelli (December 28, 2001). "Obama administration to ratchet up hunt for bin Laden". CNN. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
- Serwer, Adam (February 7, 2011). "No, killing of Bin Laden does not represent 'continuity' with Bush – The Plum Line". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 12, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
- Newlin, Eliza. "Obama's War – Thursday, May 5, 2011". NationalJournal.com. Archived from the original on May 7, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
- "Gen McChrystal: Bin Laden is key to al-Qaeda defeat". BBC News. December 9, 2009. Archived from the original on April 28, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- "Osama Bin Laden dead, US President Obama confirms". BBC News. May 2, 2011. Archived from the original on May 3, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
- "2001, President George W. Bush 'Bin Laden, Wanted dead or alive'". CNN. May 2, 2011. Archived from the original on July 22, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- Karen DeYoung (October 2, 2006). "Letter Gives Glimpse of Al-Qaeda's Leadership". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on April 25, 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- "Letter Exposes New Leader in Al-Qa'ida High Command (PDF)" (PDF). Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. September 25, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 8, 2007. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- "Experts warn of attack clues in Bin Laden video". September 6, 2007. Archived from the original on April 8, 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2010. Bin Laden video release authenticity discussed.
- "Bin Laden urges Europe to quit Afghanistan". Reuters. November 29, 2007. Archived from the original on January 12, 2009.
- Gillespie, Thomas W.; et al. (2009). "Finding Osama bin Laden: An Application of Biogeographic Theories and Satellite Imagery" (PDF). MIT International Review. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 5, 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- Meek, James Gordon, "Tighten The Net on Evil", Daily News, 2009-03-15, p. 27.
- "No Bin Laden information in years, says Gates" Archived December 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.. December 6, 2009. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- Bin Laden not in Pakistan, PM says Archived December 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- "Gen McChrystal: Bin Laden is key to al-Qaeda defeat". BBC News. December 9, 2009. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
- "Saudi Arabia Wants Taliban to Expel Bin Laden". Newsmax. Associated Press. February 2, 2010. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
- "Kuwaiti Daily 'Al-Siyassa': Bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri Guarded by Iranian Troops in Iranian Territory". Memrijttm.org. June 7, 2010. Archived from the original on June 13, 2010. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
- "Bin Laden, aides 'hiding in Iran'". The Australian. June 9, 2010.
- Crilly, Rob (October 18, 2010). "Osama bin Laden 'living comfortably in Pakistan'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on October 20, 2010.
- Qari, Sarah (April 16, 2011). "Al-Jazeera: LEAK: Osama Bin Laden Captured". The RMC News page. Archived from the original on May 6, 2011.
- Declan Walsh (March 30, 2012). "On the Run, Bin Laden Had 4 Children and 5 Houses, a Wife Says". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 30, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
- Saletan, William (May 4, 2012). "Reflections of a Terrorist". Slate. Archived from the original on May 6, 2012.
- Zengerle, Patricia; Bull, Alister (May 2, 2011). "Bin Laden was found at luxurious Pakistan compound". Reuters. Archived from the original on May 3, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
- Osama bin Laden death: Pakistan locals flock to see villain's lair Archived September 27, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Declan Walsh The Guardian May 5, 2011
- "Map of Where Osama bin Laden Was Killed – Map". The New York Times. May 2, 2011. Archived from the original on May 5, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
- "Osama Bin Laden's death: How it happened". BBC News. June 7, 2011. Archived from the original on May 3, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
- "Osama bin Laden, the face of terror, killed in Pakistan". CNN. May 2, 2011. Archived from the original on May 6, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
- "Spitzer: What role did Pakistan play in the killing of Osama bin Laden? – In the Arena". CNN. May 2, 2011. Archived from the original on May 5, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
- "President Obama Praises Troops Who Killed Osama bin Laden". ABC news. Archived from the original on May 4, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
- "Finding Osama Bin Laden's Abbottabad mansion with Google Earth". May 2, 2011. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
- Greg Miller (May 5, 2011). "CIA spied on bin Laden from safe house". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 10, 2011. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
- Cooper, Helene (May 1, 2011). "Obama Announces Killing of Osama bin Laden". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 2, 2011. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
- Gal Perl Finkel, Back to the ground? Archived August 17, 2016, at the Wayback Machine., Israel Hayom, November 8, 2015.
- Philip Sherwell (May 7, 2011). "Osama bin Laden killed: Behind the scenes of the deadly raid". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on May 10, 2011. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
- Dilanian, Ken (May 2, 2011). "CIA led U.S. special forces mission against Osama bin Laden". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
- C. Christine Fair (May 4, 2011). "The bin Laden aftermath: The U.S. shouldn't hold Pakistan's military against Pakistan's civilians". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on May 9, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
- "Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda leader, dead – Barack Obama". BBC News. May 1, 2011. Archived from the original on May 2, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
- Seymour M. Hersh (May 21, 2015). "The Killing of Osama bin Laden". London Review of Books. Archived from the original on May 10, 2015. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
- Walsh, Declan (25 February 2012). "Pakistan Razing House Where Bin Laden Lived". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
- "Bin Laden's Compound in Pakistan Demolished". Moscow: Ria Novosti. 25 February 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "Osama Bin Laden's Pakistan compound demolished". BBC News. 26 February 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "4 reasons Pakistan demolished bin Laden's compound". The Week. 27 February 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "4 reasons Pakistan demolished bin Laden's compound". BBC News. 27 February 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- Ladd, Trevor J. (27 February 2012). "Osama Bin Laden's Pakistani Compound Demolished". ABC News. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "Bin Laden hideout to become theme park". News 24. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- Westhead, Rick (April 1, 2011). "Questions about bin Laden embarrassing to Pakistan". Toronto Star. Toronto. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
- Peter Walker and agencies (May 6, 2011). "Osama bin Laden lived in two rooms for five years, wife says". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on September 30, 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
- "U.S.: Bin Laden lived in Pakistan compound for at least 5 years". Haaretz. Israel. Reuters. May 3, 2011. Archived from the original on May 6, 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- Sherwell, Philip. "Osama bin Laden killed: Behind the scenes of the deadly raid". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on May 10, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
- Rodriguez, Alex (May 6, 2011). "Mystery shrouds the quiet man who built Bin Laden's compound". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
- "8 Interesting Facts About Osama bin Laden's Compound". International Business Times. Archived from the original on May 6, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
- Ross, Brian. "Osama Bin Laden Killed: U.S. Intelligence Probes Possible Pakistani Support System". ABC News. Archived from the original on May 5, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
- 'Osama raid took Pakistan Army by surprise' Archived September 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. PTI. July 26, 2011. Rediff.com
- Carlotta Gall (March 19, 2014). "What Pakistan Knew About Bin Laden". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 20, 2014. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
- Marisa Schultz. "Levin questions Pakistan's role". The Detroit News.[dead link]
- "Death of Bin Laden: Live report". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on January 18, 2012.
- Mark Bowden. "Inside Osama Bin Laden's Final Hours—and How the White House Chose Their Assassination Plot". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on February 18, 2016.
- Nahal Toosi; Zarar Khan (May 3, 2011). "Pakistan's president denies harboring bin Laden". Yahoo Finance. Associated Press. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
- "Zardari defends Pakistan over intel". Emirates 24/7. Agence France-Presse. May 3, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
- "Pakistan Balks at U.S. Pressure to Fight Afghan Taliban - TIME". Time. December 17, 2009. Archived from the original on January 1, 2016.
- Bergen, Peter (2006). The Osama Bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of Al Qaeda's Leader. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-9592-7.
- Bergen, Peter (2008). "Al Qaeda, the Organization: A Five-Year Forecast". Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 618: 14–30. JSTOR 40375772.
- Gutman, Roy (2008). How We Missed the Story: Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban, and the Hijacking of Afghanistan. US Institute of Peace Press. ISBN 978-1-60127-024-5.
- Scheuer, Michael (2002). Through Our Enemies' Eyes. Washington, D.C.: Brassey's. ISBN 1-57488-553-7.
- Stern, Jessica (2003). Terror in the Name of God (1 ed.). New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-050533-8.
- Wright, Lawrence (2006). The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda And The Road To 9/11. New York: Knopf. ISBN 1-4000-3084-6.
- Al-Bahri, Nasser (2013). Guarding bin Laden: My Life in Al-Qaeda. Thin Man Press. ISBN 9780956247360.
- Atwan, Abdel Bari (2012). After Bin Laden: Al-Qaeda, the Next Generation. Saqi. ISBN 9780863564192.
- Atwan, Abdel Bari (2006). The Secret History of Al-Qaeda. Saqi. ISBN 9780863567605.
- Berner, Brad K (2007). Quotations from Osama Bin Laden. Peacock Books. ISBN 81-248-0113-4.
- Bin Laden, Osama; Lawrence, Bruce (2005). Messages to the world: the statements of Osama Bin Laden. Verso. ISBN 1-84467-045-7.
- Burke, Jason (2007). Al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam (2nd ed.). London: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-141-03136-1.
- Foreign Broadcast Information Service (2006) – Compilation of Usama Bin Laden Statements 1994 – January 2004
- Mura, Andrea (2015). The Symbolic Scenarios of Islamism: A Study in Islamic Political Thought. London: Routledge.
- Ibrahim, Raymond (2007). The Al Qaeda Reader. Broadway Books. p. 318. ISBN 978-0-7679-2262-3.
- Scheuer, Michael (2011). Osama Bin Laden. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-973866-1.
- Osama bin Laden collected news and commentary at Al Jazeera English
- Osama bin Laden collected news and commentary at Dawn
- "Osama bin Laden collected news and commentary". The Guardian.
- "Osama bin Laden collected news and commentary". The New York Times.
- "Osama bin Laden". JURIST.
- Full text: bin Laden's 'letter to America', The Observer, November 24, 2002
- Hunting Bin Laden, PBS Frontline, (November 2002)
- "5 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Osama bin Laden", Dainik Bhaskar, (May 2016)
- Young Osama, Steve Coll, The New Yorker, December 12, 2005
- How the World Sees Osama bin Laden, slideshow by Life
- The Osama bin Laden File from The National Security Archive, posted May 2, 2011
- Letters from Abbottabad from Combating Terrorism Center
- FBI Records: The Vault - Osama Bin Laden