Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden
أسامة بن لادن
Osama bin Laden portrait.jpg
bin Laden c. 1997–98
1st General Emir of Al-Qaeda
In office
August 11, 1988 – May 2, 2011
Preceded byPosition created
Succeeded byAyman al-Zawahiri
Co-founder of Al-Qaeda (With Abdullah Azzam and Ayman al-Zawahiri), 1988
Co-founder of Maktab al-Khidamat, 1984
Personal details
Usama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Ladin

(1957-03-10)March 10, 1957
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
DiedMay 2, 2011(2011-05-02) (aged 54)
Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Cause of deathShot by US forces
CitizenshipSaudi Arabian (1957–1994)
Stateless (1994–2011)[1]
Height1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)[6]
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)
Children20 to 26
ReligionIslam (Wahhabism/Salafism)[2][3][4][5]
Military service
Allegiance Maktab al-Khidamat (1984–1988)
Al-Qaeda (1988–2011)
Years of service1984–2011
RankGeneral Emir of Al-Qaeda
Battles/warsSoviet War

Global War on Terrorism

Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden[7] ən/ (Arabic: أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن‎, Usāmah bin Muḥammad bin ʿAwaḍ bin Lādin; March 10, 1957 – May 2, 2011),[8] also rendered Usama bin Ladin, was a founder of the pan-Islamic militant organization al-Qaeda. He was a Saudi Arabian until 1994 (stateless thereafter), a member of the wealthy bin Laden family, and an ethnic Yemeni Kindite.[9]

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.[10] His mother, Alia Ghanem, was from a secular middle-class family based in Latakia, Syria.[11] 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.[12] In 1988, he formed al-Qaeda.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15][16][17]

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.[18] On May 2, 2011, bin Laden was shot and killed[19] 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.[20]

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.[21] He became one of the most symbolic figures in the Arab world following the Soviet withdrawal.[22] Under his leadership, 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.[23][24][25]


There is no universally accepted standard for transliterating Arabic words and Arabic names into English;[26] 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.[27]

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.[28]

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".[29] The word usāmah (أسامة) means "lion",[30] earning him the nicknames "Lion" and "Lion Sheik".[31]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Osama bin Laden
Alemannisch: Osama bin Laden
አማርኛ: ቢን ላዲን
العربية: أسامة بن لادن
aragonés: Osama bin Laden
asturianu: Osama bin Laden
azərbaycanca: Üsamə bin Laden
Bân-lâm-gú: Osama bin Laden
Basa Banyumasan: Osama bin Laden
беларуская: Усама бін Ладэн
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Усама бін Ладэн
Bikol Central: Osama bin Laden
български: Осама бин Ладен
bosanski: Osama bin Laden
brezhoneg: Ousama ben Laden
dolnoserbski: Osama bin Laden
español: Osama bin Laden
Esperanto: Usama bin Laden
estremeñu: Osama bin Laden
Fiji Hindi: Osama bin Laden
føroyskt: Osama bin Laden
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Osama bin Laden
hrvatski: Osama bin Laden
Bahasa Indonesia: Usamah bin Ladin
interlingua: Osama bin Laden
Interlingue: Osama bin Laden
íslenska: Osama bin Laden
italiano: Osama bin Laden
Kiswahili: Osama bin Laden
latviešu: Osama bin Ladens
Lëtzebuergesch: Osama Bin Laden
lumbaart: Osama bin Laden
македонски: Осама бин Ладен
Malagasy: Osama Bin Laden
مازِرونی: اسامه بن لادن
Bahasa Melayu: Osama bin Laden
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Osama bin Laden
Mirandés: Osama bin Laden
မြန်မာဘာသာ: အိုစမာ ဘင်လာဒင်
Nederlands: Osama bin Laden
नेपाल भाषा: ओसामा बिन लादेन
norsk nynorsk: Osama bin Laden
олык марий: Усама бен Ладен
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Usoma bin Lodin
Papiamentu: Osama bin Laden
Piemontèis: Osama bin Laden
Plattdüütsch: Osama bin Laden
português: Osama bin Laden
română: Osama bin Laden
саха тыла: Осама бен Ладен
Seeltersk: Osama Bin Laden
shqip: Bin Laden
sicilianu: Osama bin Laden
Simple English: Osama bin Laden
slovenčina: Usáma bin Ládin
slovenščina: Osama bin Laden
ślůnski: Usama ibn Ladin
Soomaaliga: Usaama bin Laadin
српски / srpski: Осама бин Ладен
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Osama bin Laden
Taqbaylit: Usama Ben Laden
Türkçe: Usame bin Ladin
українська: Осама бен Ладен
Tiếng Việt: Osama bin Laden
文言: 拉登
吴语: 本·拉登
Yorùbá: Osama bin Laden
粵語: 賓拉登
žemaitėška: Osama bin Ladens