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The life of Osama bin Laden

Osama was very close to assassinating the Pope and Bill Clinton during their visits to the Philippines in '94 and '95.

india Updated: Jun 15, 2006 18:00 IST

Early life

Born on March 10, 1957 to billionaire Saudi businessman Muhammed bin Laden and his tenth wife Hamida al-Attas, Usamah bin Muhammad bin 'Awad bin Ladin was the seventh son among fifty brothers and sisters.

He married a Syrian girl, who was a relative, at the age of 17.

Osama, a Bachelor degree holder in public administration, had his primary, secondary and university education in Jeddah.

Militant activity

Osama helped the Muslim guerrillas fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan following the Soviet invasion in 1979.

By 1984, he established Maktab al-Khadamat (MAK, Office of Order in English), which funneled money, arms and Muslim fighters from around the world into the Afghan war.

By 1988, he split from MAK and established Al-Qaeda.

Its goals were the advancement of Islamic revolutions throughout the Muslim world and repelling foreign intervention in the Middle East.

Popular attacks

Laden's first strike against United States was the December 29, 1992 bombing of the Gold Mihor Hotel in Aden, Yemen, which killed a Yemeni hotel employee and an Austrian national and seriously injured the Austrian's wife.

He had also planned to assassinate the Pope during his late 1994 visit to the Philippines, and former US president Bill Clinton, during his visit there in early 1995.

He is also the prime suspect in the September 11 attacks. Osama, however, has denied his involvement in the incident.

In an interview Karachi-based daily Ummat, published on September 28, 2001, he stated, "As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act."