Osama bin Laden is a member of the Saudi bin Laden family, and who is probably best known for being the founder of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization, the man who was responsible for the September 11 terrorism attacks, and being Public Enemy Number One for the past ten years. EDUinReview will now take a look at this his education background.
Bin Laden was born March 10, 1957 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His family was a very wealthy Arabic family. His parents divorced shortly after his birth and bin Laden was raised by his mother and step-father. He grew up with his four half-siblings: three brothers and one sister. He was raised as a devout Muslim and was very interested in religion throughout his life.
Bin Laden attended a secular school, Al-Thager Model School, from 1968-1976. He then attended King Abdulaziz University where he studied economics and business administration. There are several reports concerning what he earned his degree in; some say he earned a degree in civil engineering in 1979 while other claim he earned his degree in public administration in 1981.
After college, bin Laden fought in the Soviet War in Afghanistan in 1979. He used his family’s fortune to fund Maktab al-Khidamat, which helped fund jihadi fighters in Afghanistan. In 1988, bin Laden decided he wanted a to create an organized Islamic faction that would continue the jihadist cause around the world after the Soviet War ended in Afghanistan; this faction was called al-Qaeda. In November 1990, al-Qaeda plans to blow up buildings in NYC were discovered in the New Jersey home of an associate of al-Qaeda; this was one of the first times that an al-Qaeda terrorist plot was discovered on U.S. soil.
Many believe that bin Laden’s first bombing with al-Qaeda was in December 1992 when the Gold Mihor Hotel in Aden was bombed, killing two people. Bin Laden then went on to fund many jihadis in Algeria, Egypt, and Afghanistan throughout the 1990s. In 1998, bin Laden organized a series of bombings on U.S. Embassy buildings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi; hundreds of people were killed in these bombings. This was a significant turning point in U.S. history because it was first time that bin Laden and al-Qaeda were truly brought to the American public’s attention.
On September 11, 2001, two planes flew into the Word Trade Center’s Twin Towers in New York City, NY. Two other commercial passenger airplanes were also hijacked on this day; one crashed into The Pentagon and the other crashed into a field when the passengers overpowered the hijackers. The U.S. quickly launched its War on Terror in response to the attacks with the goal of depose the Afghani Taliban regime and capturing al-Qaeda operatives. It was not until 2004 that bin Laden finally admitted to being responsible for the attacks.
Efforts to capture bin Laden have been in place since President Clinton’s administration. After September 11, these efforts were increased dramatically when he was named the prime suspect of the attacks. At this time, a $25 million bounty was placed on his head for information leading to his capture or death. It was doubled to $50 million in 2007. On May 1, 2011, President Obama announced that bin Laden had finally been surrounded by U.S. forces and and during Navy Seal-lead military operation he was killed.