The life and times of Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden. Photo / AP
Osama bin Laden. Photo / AP

1957: Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden is born in March, the only son to wealthy businessman Muhammed bin Laden's tenth wife.

1967: His father is killed an airplane crash in Saudi Arabia when his American pilot apparently misjudged a landing.

1974: Bin Laden marries his first wife at the age of 17. By 2002, he is believed to have married four women and fathered about two dozen children.

1979: Bin Laden reportedly earns a degree in civil engineering at King Abdulaziz University.

1980: After leaving college, bin Laden heads to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet invasion.

1984: Bin Laden co-founds Maktab al-Khadamat, a group which funneled money, arms and Muslim fighters from around the Arabic world into the Afghan war.

1988: After splitting from Maktab al-Khadamat, bin Laden founds Al-Qaeda, although the existence of the organisation was a closely kept secret in the first few years.

1990: Turning his attention to the West after Saudi Arabia allowed US troops on its soil, bin Laden is soon banished from that country and was exiled to Sudan.

1992: The first bombing attack associated with bin Laden is reported, with the bombing of the Gold Mihor Hotel in Aden in which two people were killed.

1995: Five Americans and two Indians were killed in the November truck bombing of a US-operated Saudi National Guard training center in Riyadh, leading to his first indictment by the United States in 1998.

1996: Bin Laden returned to Afghanistan and established training camps for Mujahideen fighters.

1997: Bin Laden funded the Luxor massacre of November 17, 1997, which killed 62 civilians, although the plan backfired, with the Egyptian public revolted by the attack and turning against Islamist terror.

1998: Bin Laden 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".

1998: Libya issued the first official Interpol arrest warrant against Bin Laden and three other people for killing two German citizens in Libya four years earlier.

1998: Bin Laden was indicted by a US federal Grand Jury for his involvement in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

1999: Bin Laden is added to the FBI's ten most wanted list for the first time.

2001: Although he initially denied any involvement with the September 11 attacks, bin Laden claimed responsibility for them in 2004 and said he had personally directed the 19 hijackers.

2001: After years of refusing to hand over bin Laden, the Taliban finally offered to turn him over to a third-party country for trial in October after the bombing of Afghanistan began. This offer was rejected by George W Bush.

2005: Bin Laden was believed to be based in the Waziristan region of Pakistan by this time.

2001-2009: Despite repeated reports that bin Laden had been killed, he continued to issue statements, videos and audio clips.

2011: Osama Bin Laden is killed in an US-led attack on a mansion outside the Pakistan capital of Islamabad.

- HERALD ONLINE

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