Omar bin Laden

Omar bin Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (Arabic: عمر بن أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن‎, ʿUmar bin ʾUsāmah bin Muḥammad bin ʿAwaḍ bin Lādin; born March 1, 1982), better known as Omar bin Laden, is one of the sons of Osama bin Laden and his first wife and first cousin Najwa Ghanem[2] (see Bin Laden family). He is the fourth-eldest son[3] among 20 children of Osama bin Laden.[4] Older reports have described Omar and his brother Abdallah bin Laden as nephews or cousins of Osama bin Laden.[5]

Omar bin Laden
BornMarch 1, 1982 (age 37)[1]
OccupationContractor, businessman
Spouse(s)Jane Felix-Browne
Parent(s)Osama bin Laden
Najwa Ghanem
RelativesAbdallah bin Laden (brother)
Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (grandfather)
Hamida al-Attas (grandmother)

Childhood

Bin Laden was born the grandson of Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, the founder of one of the wealthiest non-royal families in Saudi Arabia,[6] and the son of Osama bin Laden, whose partisan activities shaped his childhood. Bin Laden accompanied his father on his exile to Sudan from 1991 to 1996, and then to Afghanistan after that.[7] He said that he trained in al-Qaeda camps beginning at the age of 14, but after training with al-Qaeda for six years and sharing a house with al-Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri, he left al-Qaeda in 2000 because he did not want to be associated with killing civilians and his father Osama did not object.[8][9][10]

In 2010, Omar bin Laden told ABC News that Osama had severely beaten him when he was a child for smiling too widely.[11]

Post-9/11

Bin Laden ran his own company in Jeddah prior to 2006 as a contractor and scrap metal dealer.[3] Jeddah, a major city and important transit port for Saudi Arabia, is the site of the headquarters of the Saudi Binladen Group and has been reported to be "truly" ruled by Bakr bin Laden.[12]

Marriage to Zaina Mohamed Al-Sabah

Omar married Jane Felix-Browne, who also goes by the name Zaina Mohamed Al-Sabah, a parish councillor from Moulton, near Northwich in Cheshire in the United Kingdom, on September 15, 2006.[13] The marriage was conducted in September 2006 in Islamic ceremonies in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, after which the couple spent a few months together in Jeddah before Zaina returned to Britain for several weeks.[14][15]

It has been reported that Felix-Browne met bin Laden while she was undergoing treatment for multiple sclerosis.[16][17] They met on a horseback ride at the Giza pyramids in Egypt.[7] She is his second wife and 24 years older than he is, with five grandchildren.[13] She was aware when she married Omar that he had been married and divorced, with a two-year-old son.[3]

After their wedding, Al-Sabah described the stress of bin Laden's family background: "Omar is wary of everyone. He is constantly watching people who he feels might be following him. Not without reason he is fearful of cameras. He is the son of Osama. But when we are together he forgets his life." The couple announced their divorce in September 2007, which was said to be in response to threats to their "lives and liberty" from two unspecified sources known to them in Saudi Arabia. At the time, Al-Sabah said she did not regard herself as divorced and that as the divorce was done under duress did not have legal standing under Sharia law.[18] After two weeks, Zaina and Omar decided not to part.

In January 2008,[19] bin Laden applied for a British spousal immigration visa which would have permitted him to reside indefinitely at his wife's home in Moulton, Cheshire, a process which required him to provide original documentation of his divorce from his first wife. The couple stated their desire to have a child using a surrogate mother.[20] One report stated the visa application was denied because Omar failed to provide his father's permanent address.[21] However, a later report by The Times of Omar's appeal stated that the visa had been denied by an entry clearance officer at the UK embassy in Cairo because Omar's entry would cause "considerable public concern." The officer was quoted, "I note that statements made during recent media interviews indicate evidence of continuing loyalty to your father, and your presence in the UK could, therefore, cause considerable public concern." This written statement was shown to The Associated Press by the couple's legal firm, but Britain's Home Office declined to comment to the press on an individual case. In April 2008,[22] bin Laden and Al-Sabah said they planned to appeal the ruling, calling it "unjust and arbitrary", stating that Al-Sabah requires medical attention in Britain and that her appeal to live with him in Saudi Arabia could take years to process. As of April 2008, bin Laden has a house in Cairo.

In April 2010, bin Laden was denied a visa to promote his book Osama bin Laden: A Family Portrait in France and elsewhere in Europe. Specifically, the countries of the Schengen zone, a block of 25 nations across Europe including Germany, France and Spain, rejected his request for a visa.[23][24]

In July 2010, Felix-Browne told the media that bin Laden suffers from bipolar disorder and that he was in a Qatari mental institution after hearing voices.[25][26] Felix-Browne told the media that when bin Laden returned to the UK, Felix-Browne told him she wanted a divorce. As of 2015, Omar and Zaina have been married for 9 years and are living in an undisclosed country. All previous talk of divorce was publicized under duress and threats to their lives and their families lives.

North African horse race

Dakar traces mauritanie
Dakar Rally track through the Mauritanian Sahara, 2005

In January 2008, an Associated Press interview in Cairo featured bin Laden with cornrows and a black leather biker jacket promoting a 3,000-mile (4,800 km) horse race for peace across North Africa.[27] PETA president Ingrid E. Newkirk called for the cancellation of the race in an "urgent letter" from the organization, predicting that the gruelling race would lead to fatalities among the horses.[28][29]

Omar described the race as an equine counterpart to the cancelled 2008 Paris-Dakar car rally, saying, "I heard the rally was stopped because of al-Qaida. I don't think they are going to stop me."[7][30] The race was canceled after the killings of four French tourists near Aleg, Mauritania on Christmas Eve 2007.[31] Following the murders race organizers received threats directly from heavily armed and organized groups linked to al-Qaeda, which led them to cancel the race on January 4, 2008, and soon after to plan the 2009 event for South America.[32][33] Police in Guinea-Bissau said that two of five men arrested for the crime on January 11, 2008, admitted their involvement with al-Qaeda.[34]

Relationship to his father and al-Qaeda

Omar said that his father felt that he was just trying to defend the Islamic world,[7] and that his father was not a terrorist "because history tells you he's not".[9] In an interview with ABC News, he said, "My father is a very kind man. And he very sorry when he did something like 11th September." Osama ordered the attacks "Because he believes if he put two buildings down, maybe some people, little will die, but millions other will (be) save(d). He believed that. ... I believe he did wrong".[10] In a January 21, 2008, CNN interview, he said "I try and say to my father: 'Try to find another way to help or find your goal. This bomb, these weapons, it's not good to use them on anybody". Regarding the September 11 attacks, he said, "I don't think 9/11 was right personally, but it happened. I don't think ... [the war] in Vietnam was right. I don't think what's going on in Palestine is right. I don't think what's going on in Iraq is right. If we make what is right and not right, we will make a very big list."[8]

Bin Laden stated that he had not been in contact with his father since leaving Afghanistan in 2000.[35] He said, "The last time I saw my father was in 2000, 2001. I was in Saudi Arabia and felt a terrible sorrow for all the victims [of the September 11 attacks]", "My father has a kind heart", and "I do not believe my father is dead, otherwise I would have known it; the world would have known it."[36] When asked whether he would tell the Americans if he found out where his father was living, he said with a smile, "Actually, I would hide him. Because he is my father."[10]

According to Time, Omar has stated a desire to become an "ambassador of peace" between Muslims and the West.[37] Omar said that his father offered a truce to Europe in a 2004 videotape and a conditional truce with the United States in a 2006 videotape. "My father is asking for a truce but I don't think there is any government (that) respects him. At the same time they do not respect him, why everywhere in the world, they want to fight him? There is a contradiction."[38] The truces offered in these videos of Osama bin Laden were promptly rejected at the time.[39][40][41]

After arriving in Rome from Switzerland amid heavy security on February 2, 2008, bin Laden said in a television interview that night "I would very much like to meet the Pope in Saint Peter's, but I have been told that it is not easy."[36]

Asylum petitions

On November 3, 2008, Spain's Interior Ministry, upon recommendation by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees denied, for "insufficient evidence of danger or threat to [his] life", Omar's political asylum petition, after he was refused a UK visa. Omar had 24 hours to appeal, after he made his claim at Madrid's Barajas International Airport upon a stopover on a flight from Cairo, Egypt to Casablanca, Morocco.[42][43][44]

Bin Laden and his wife arrived in Doha, Qatar (where, as a Saudi citizen with a Saudi passport, he would have right of entry), on November 9, 2008, after deportation by Egypt per its denial of their entry.

Omar filed another British visa petition in 2008.[45][46][47]

Book

Bin Laden and his mother Najwa bin Laden published a book authored in late October 2009, titled Growing Up bin Laden. According to media coverage, the book details that "the kids grew up in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Afghanistan without laughter or toys, were routinely beaten, and lost their pets to painful death from poison gas experiments by their father's fighters." It states that Osama bin Laden tried to persuade his son to volunteer for suicide missions and exposed him to dangerous conditions visiting training camps in Afghanistan and sending him to the front lines of the Afghan civil war. The book describes the family living in Jeddah without air conditioning or refrigeration, treating asthma with honeycombs and onions, and eventually moving to stone huts in Tora Bora without electricity or running water in 1996.

Subsequent correspondence with the Associated Press indicated that 25 bin Laden family members had moved to Iran, following U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.[48][49][50][51][52]

Death of his father

Bin Laden published a complaint on May 10, 2011, that the burial at sea of his father Osama deprived the family of a proper burial. He made several other claims regarding the mission that killed his father, such as stating that no one living at the compound was armed; he also requested that the UN and other international groups investigate the killing of Osama as a criminal matter.[53] His requests were ignored by the U.S. and no actions based on them have been taken so far.

References

  1. ^ قصة نجل أسامة بن لادن «المُدلل»: التقى زوجته عند الأهرامات ودخل مستشفى الأمراض العقلية
  2. ^ Farah, Douglas; Priest, Dana (2003-10-14). "Bin Laden Son Plays Key Role in Al Qaeda". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-20. [title refers to Saad bin Laden ]
  3. ^ a b c David Brown (2007-07-11). "Briton marries bin Laden's son". The Times. London.
  4. ^ "Bin Laden's braided peacenik son on a mission". CNN. 2008-01-18.
  5. ^ "Profile:Omar bin Laden". Archived from the original on 2008-03-06.
  6. ^ Michael Petrou (2007-03-19). "Happy 50th, Osama: More than five years since 9/11, bin Laden, at mid-life, terrorizes us still". Archived from the original on 2012-05-27.
  7. ^ a b c d Paul Schemm (2008-01-17). "Bin Laden Son Wants to Be Pe Activist". Bismarck Tribune.
  8. ^ a b Aneesh Raman (2008-01-21). "Bin Laden's son to father: Change your ways". CNN.
  9. ^ a b Tom Leonard (2008-01-23). "Osama bin Laden's son asks 'find another way'". London: Telegraph.co.uk.
  10. ^ a b c Nick Watt (2008-01-21). "Bin Laden's Son Wants to Make Up for Father's 'Mistake'". ABC News.
  11. ^ Omar Bin Laden: Mental Illness Caused by Genes or Stress? - ABC News
  12. ^ Georg Mascolo and Erich Follath (2005-06-06). "Osama's Road to Riches and Terror".
  13. ^ a b "Councillor weds Bin Laden's son". BBC News Online. 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2007-07-11.
  14. ^ "U.K. divorcee reportedly marries bin Laden son". 2007-07-11.
  15. ^ BBC One - Mr and Mrs Bin Laden
  16. ^ "British woman says she wed Osama's son". USA Today. 2007-07-11.
  17. ^ "Brit bin Laden "Bahu" Raises Eyebrows".
  18. ^ "Briton to divorce bin Laden's son". BBC News Online. 2007-09-18. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  19. ^ "Bin Laden's son wants a visa - so he and his grandmother bride can live in Cheshire and have a surrogate baby". Daily Mail. London. 2008-01-13.
  20. ^ "Bin Laden's son applies for British visa". The Daily Telegraph. 2008-01-14.
  21. ^ "British Divorcee Marries Son Of Osama Bin Laden". CBS. 2007-07-11.
  22. ^ "Bin Laden's son plans legal challenge to battle for UK visa". Daily Mail. London. 2008-04-30.
  23. ^ Erlanger, Steven (2010-04-15). "France: Bin Laden Son Is Denied Visa". The New York Times.
  24. ^ Bin Laden's Son Denied Visa for European Book Tour - FOX 13 News
  25. ^ Sloan, Jenna. "Omar bin Laden's wife on why they split up – The Sun –Features". The Sun. London.
  26. ^ "Bin Laden's son and British wife split after he heard 'Osama's voice in his head'". Daily Mail. London. 2010-07-09.
  27. ^ "Bin Laden Son Wants to Be Peace Activist".
  28. ^ "PETA urges Laden's son to cancel horse race". 2008-02-04. Archived from the original on 2008-06-28.
  29. ^ "People: Kylie Minogue, James Blunt, Emma Thompson". The Times. London. 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2010-05-20. (Collection of news shorts)
  30. ^ Schemm, Paul (2008-01-19). "Omar Osama bin Laden organising horse race for peace". Herald Sun.
  31. ^ "Tourists shot dead in Mauritania". BBC. 2007-12-24.
  32. ^ "Terror threat leads to cancellation of Dakar Rally".
  33. ^ "Dakar Rally to Relocate to South America?". Archived from the original on 2008-01-19.
  34. ^ "Bissau extradites al Qaeda suspects to Mauritania".
  35. ^ "Bin Laden son: I am for peace". New York Post. 2008-01-18. Archived from the original on January 20, 2008.
  36. ^ a b "Bin Laden wants to meet pope". 2008-02-05. Archived from the original on 2008-11-22. Retrieved 2008-11-12.
  37. ^ "Friday, Jan. 18, 2008 - Quotes of the Day". Time. 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
  38. ^ "Osama's son wants to be peace ambassador between West and Muslims".
  39. ^ "UK 'Bin Laden' offers Europe truce". BBC. 2004-04-15.
  40. ^ "Europe: No deal with bin Laden". CNN. 2004-04-15. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
  41. ^ "U.S. rejects bin Laden tape's 'truce' offer". CNN. 2006-01-20. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
  42. ^ news.bbc.co.uk, Bin Laden son asylum bid rejected
  43. ^ nytimes.com, Spain: Asylum Denied to One of bin Laden’s Sons
  44. ^ edition.cnn.com, Bin Laden son loses asylum plea
  45. ^ africa.reuters.com, Bin Laden son, rejected by Egypt, arrives in Qatar
  46. ^ english.chosun.com, Egypt Refuses Entry to Bin Laden's Son
  47. ^ www.channelnewsasia.com, Osama bin Laden's son in Qatar after being deported from Egypt
  48. ^ Andrew Lee Butters (2009-10-07). "Growing Up bin Laden: Osama's Son Speaks". Time Magazine.
  49. ^ Susannah Cahalan (2009-10-11). "Tales from the Bin Laden clan:Wife and son bare secrets of terror kingpin". New York Post.
  50. ^ Donna Abu-Nasr (2010-01-06). "Osama bin Laden's family, parenting exposed in son's book".
  51. ^ "Son of Osama bin Laden describes brutal childhood". Associated Press. 2010-01-10.
  52. ^ Growing Up Bin Laden:Osama's Wife and Son Take Us Inside Their Secret World, Jean Sasson, Omar bin Laden, and Najwa bin Laden (St. Martin's Press) 2009. ISBN 978-0-312-56016-4, ISBN 0-312-56016-8
  53. ^ "Statement From the Family of Osama bin Laden". The New York Times]. May 10, 2011.

External links

Abdallah bin Laden

Abdallah bin Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (Arabic: عبدالله بن أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن‎; born c. 1976) is the son of Osama bin Laden and Osama's first wife Najwa Ghanhem. He is not to be confused with Osama bin Laden's half-brother Abdullah bin Laden (born in 1966) or the older Sheikh Abdullah bin Laden, who died in 2002 at age 75.

Bin Laden (disambiguation)

bin Laden (Arabic: بن لادن‎) is an Arabic language surname synonymous with Osama bin Laden (1957–2011); it may also pertain to the Saudi Binladin Group, a holding company for the assets of the bin Laden family, and other notable members of Osama's family.

Bin Laden family

The bin Laden family (Arabic: بن لادن‎, bin Lādin), also spelled bin Ladin, are a wealthy family intimately connected with the innermost circles of the Saudi royal family. The family became the subject of media attention and scrutiny through the activities of one of its members, Osama bin Laden, the former head of al-Qaeda.

Death of Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden, the founder and first leader of the Islamist terrorist group, Al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1:00 am PKT (20:00 UTC, May 1) by United States Navy SEALs of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as DEVGRU or SEAL Team Six). The operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, was carried out in a CIA-led operation with Joint Special Operations Command, commonly known as JSOC, coordinating the Special Mission Units involved in the raid. In addition to SEAL Team Six, participating units under JSOC included the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne)—also known as "Night Stalkers"—and operators from the CIA's Special Activities Division, which recruits heavily from former JSOC Special Mission Units. The operation ended a nearly 10-year search for bin Laden, following his role in the September 11 attacks on the United States.

The raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan was launched from Afghanistan. U.S. military officials said that after the raid U.S. forces took the body of bin Laden to Afghanistan for identification, then buried it at sea within 24 hours of his death in accordance with Islamic tradition.Al-Qaeda confirmed the death on May 6 with posts made on militant websites, vowing to avenge the killing. Other Pakistani militant groups, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, vowed retaliation against the U.S. and against Pakistan for not preventing the operation. The raid was supported by over 90% of the American public, was welcomed by the United Nations, NATO, the European Union and a large number of governments, but was condemned by others, including two-thirds of the Pakistani public. Legal and ethical aspects of the killing, such as his not being taken alive despite being unarmed, were questioned by others, including Amnesty International. Also controversial was the decision not to release any photographic or DNA evidence of bin Laden's death to the public.In the aftermath of the killing, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani formed a commission under Senior Justice Javed Iqbal to investigate the circumstances surrounding the attack. The resulting Abbottabad Commission Report, which revealed Pakistani state military and intelligence authorities' "collective failure" that enabled bin Laden to hide in Pakistan for nine years, was leaked to Al Jazeera on July 8, 2013.

Growing Up bin Laden

Growing Up bin Laden: Osama's Wife and Son Take Us Inside Their Secret World is a 2009 book based on interviews with a wife and son of Osama bin Laden.

Hamida al-Attas

Hamida al-Attas (Arabic: حميدة ابراهيم‎, Ḥamīdah Ibrahīm; born A'alia Ghanem, 1934) is the mother of Osama bin Laden. She came from a Syrian family of citrus farmers, with two brothers and another sister, living in two small coastal villages, Omraneya and Babryon, outside the port of Latakia. She grew up in a family of Alawites, an offshoot of Shia Islam. At age 14, she married Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden in Latakia in 1956 and moved to Saudi Arabia with her husband. She was the eleventh wife of Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden. Her husband had many wives and he divorced most of them, as having only four wives at once was in accordance with Muslim law. It has been reported that she was a concubine rather than wife of Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden. She was more cosmopolitan than Mohammed's first three Wahhabi Saudi wives.Osama bin Laden was her only child with Mohammad bin Laden, and they divorced soon after his birth in 1957; Osama was somewhere between the 17th and the 22nd of the 24 sons which Mohammad would sire. She often spent summers at her brother Naji's home in Latakia and Osama went with her until he was 17. In 1974, when Osama was 18, he married her brother's daughter, 14-year-old Najwa Ghanem, who had been promised to him.Hamida later married Mohammed al-Attas, a Hadhrami administrator in the fledgling Bin Laden empire, when Osama was four or five; they had three sons and a daughter including Ahmad Mohammed. Osama took an active part in raising his half siblings.It has been reported that, in the spring or summer of 2001, Osama bin Laden placed a phone call to his mother and in a "very brief conversation" told her "that he [will] not be able to call again for a long time," adding that "great events are about to take place." Following the September 11 attacks, Hamida has said "I disapprove of the ambitions the press ascribe to him, but I am satisfied with Osama, and I pray to God that He will guide him along the right path." She later stated “My life was very difficult because he was so far away from me. [Osama] was a very good kid and he loved me so much.” She continued “He was a very good child until he met some people who pretty much brainwashed him in his early 20s. You can call it a cult. They got money for their cause. I would always tell him to stay away from them, and he would never admit to me what he was doing, because he loved me so much.” The person Osama met in college was Abdullah Azzam.

Hamza bin Laden

Hamza bin Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (Arabic: حمزة بن أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن‎; 1989-year of death unknown), better known as Hamza bin Laden, was a Saudi Arabian-born member of al-Qaeda. He was a son of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and, following his death in 2011, was described as an emerging leader within the group.

Henrique Cymerman

Henrique Cymerman Benarroch (born 1959) is an Israeli journalist of Portuguese and Spanish origin who works as a correspondent in the Middle East for SIC, La Vanguardia and Mediaset España, among others. He is a member of the Israeli Labor Party. He works in five languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Hebrew.

Jean Sasson

Jean P. Sasson (born 1950, Troy, Alabama, United States) is an American writer whose work mainly centers around women in the Middle East.

List of people banned from entering the United Kingdom

The Home Office, a United Kingdom government department, has, from August 2005 to 31 March 2009, excluded 101 individuals from the UK for having "engaged in unacceptable behaviour". Of those, 22 were excluded by then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith between 28 October 2008 and 31 March 2009. On 5 May 2009 Smith publicly "named and shamed" sixteen of those individuals. In addition to the sixteen, other people are or have been banned from the United Kingdom.

The individuals are not necessarily banned from the British overseas territories, which have their own immigration regulations.

Smith's successor as Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, ended the policy of naming people who are banned from entering Britain.

Militant activity of Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden, a militant Islamist and reported founder al-Qaeda, in conjunction with several other Islamic militant leaders, issued two fatawa — in 1996 and then again in 1998—that military personnel from the United States and allied countries until they withdraw support for Israel and withdraw military forces from Islamic countries. He was indicted in United States federal court for his alleged involvement in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya, and was on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list until his death.

Although bin Laden was never indicted for the September 11, 2001 attacks, he had claimed responsibility for them in videos released to the public.

Najwa Ghanhem

Najwa bin Laden née Ghanem (born c. 1958) is a Syrian woman who was the first wife and first cousin of Osama bin Laden, being the daughter of his mother's brother. She is also known as Um Abdallah (mother of Abdallah). She was born to Ibrahim and Nabeeha in Lattakia, Syria. Osama married Najwa in 1974 at the age of seventeen in Lattakia. She had travelled with Osama to Sudan and Afghanistan. According to Abu Jandal, she left Afghanistan before September 11 and did not return. In 2005, Hutaifa Azzam, son of Abdullah Azzam, stated that she was living in Damascus with her son Abdel Rahman. She is the mother of Saad bin Laden, as well as at least 10 more children. She co-authored Growing Up bin Laden with her son Omar. Her daughter Iman who was released by Iran in 2010 went to live with her in Syria. According to a close family member in 2011, Najwa's mother died of shock and grief after hearing of her son-in-law's death.

Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (Arabic: أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن‎, Usāmah bin Muḥammad bin ʿAwaḍ bin Lādin; March 10, 1957 – May 2, 2011), also rendered Usama bin Ladin, was a Saudi Arabian Muslim jihadist who founded the pan-Islamic militant organization al-Qaeda, through which he planned and coordinated terror attacks around the world. He was a Saudi Arabian citizen until 1994 (stateless thereafter), a member of the wealthy bin Laden family, and an ethnic Yemeni Kindite.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.Bin Laden is most well known for his role in masterminding the September 11 attacks, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 and prompted the United States to initiate the War on Terror. He subsequently became the subject of a decade-long international manhunt. 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 by United States Navy SEALs 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. Under his leadership, the al-Qaeda organization was responsible for, in addition to the September 11 attacks in the United States, many other mass-casualty attacks worldwide.

Saudi Binladin Group

Saudi Binladin Group (SBG; Arabic: مجموعة بن لادن السعودية‎ Maǧmūʿat Bin Lādin al-Saʿūdiyyah) is a multinational construction conglomerate and is headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In 2011, the Saudi Binladin Group signed a US$1.23 billion contractual agreement to construct the tallest building in the world, Jeddah Tower in Jeddah. They also are party to a US$3.4 billion agreement to construct the Doha Metro located at Doha. The conglomerate comprises an estimated 537 companies.

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