The Lion Of International Terrorism, Osama Bin Laden
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia…...Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden would be born on the date of March 10th 1957. His father, Mohammad bin Awad Bin Laden, would be the founder and principal architect of the most successful construction company (Saudi BinLaden Group) in the country. His mother, Hamida al-Attas (Alia Ghanem), whose only child would be Osama, she was from a secular middle class tribe based in Latakia, Syria. Osama is the 18th child out of 25 brothers and sisters. Some who had lived in the United States and studied here. In 1967, a traumatic event would shake the young Bin Laden’s life, forever. Bin Laden’s father Mohammed died in 1967 in an airplane crash in Saudi Arabia while touring a potential site for the construction company. Bin Laden was raised in a devout Sunni household. During his younger years, Bin Laden would enroll at a modestly secular school to study economics and business at Al-Thager Model School located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. At age 19 he would later enroll at King Abdulaziz University for Business administration and receive his degree in civil engineering in 1979. During this time Bin Laden would drink and get into bar fights from time to time, and wasn’t remotely considered “pious” nor moderately religious.
But in everyday life, Osama would always be considered “modest” and generally soft spoken. His tall height (6'4'’) made him stand out in general public but he remained assuredly reserved in manner. Bin Laden had studied at the King Abdulaziz University, earning a civil engineering degree in 1979. He would also conduct himself irrationally, as he was seen frequenting bars, getting drunk and also becoming embroiled in fights due to his drunken state. Bin Laden needed a form of “structure”, a goal, anything to motivate him away from an incomplete lifestyle.
It was right after he completed his courses that Bin Laden found what he desperately needed, with the Soviet invasion into Afghanistan in 1979. A true definitive enemy along with being a secular entity, the Jihad against the invasion of atheist Russia was the fight Muslims around the world were looking for. It was around this time Bin Laden started investing his time learning about the father of modern day Islamic theocracy, Sayyid Qutb. Sayyid believed that non Islamic Westernized countries needed to be replaced with Islamic jurisprudence, and in order to do this the Muslims needed to congregate into countries and become a dominant force to implement these ideas into the forms of government. As the communist led armies of Russia invaded deeper into the capitol of Kabul, the Afghan forces led by the largest Islamic faction in Afghanistan, Hizb i-Islami and the leader of the group Gulbuddin Hekmatyar began to fight back. Multiple Afghan warlords including Ahmed Shah Massoud, and leader of the Islamic Union for the Liberation of Afghanistan, Abdul Rasul Sayyaf also led the fighting against the invasion.
Here Bin Laden would offer his services to a renowned Islamic scholar from Pakistan, Abdullah Azzam. While in Pakistan, Bin Laden using his father's money, would help build roads, and purchase digging equipment Azzam would mentor the eager Bin Laden about the ways of Jihad, and how the prophet Muhammad defined Jihad as a struggle from within. Azzam was not known to be a displeased person nor one who hated Shia Muslims. he would rather have a united Islamic front than a divided faith. In 1981 Bin Laden would meet the most important figures in his young life, one who would later become of greater importance, Ayman al-Zawahiri. al-Zawahiri was an Egyptian Islamic scholar from the largest Islamic group in Egypt, Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
He arrived in Afghanistan to meet the leading figures of Bin Laden and Azzam after being released from prison in Egypt on suspicion of being involved with former president Anwar Sadat. In 1984, the 3 men would organize a base for recruiting Afghan and Muslim fighters worldwide called the Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK). It would be thru here using funds from Bin Laden and from various intelligence agencies (CIA, Pakistan ISI) they would be able to recruit Muslims worldwide and train them for their fight against the Soviets. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who also has ties with Bin Laden, the CIA, and drug running, has been called “an ISI stooge and creation.” MAK is also known as Al-Kifah and its branch in New York is called the Al-Kifah Refugee Center. This branch will play a pivotal role in the 1993 WTC bombing and also has CIA ties.
During the course of the war, Bin Laden would be known to live amongst other afghans in the most severe conditions and in the cold nights he would sleep with the men in caves. Often times he would be on the front lines of the battle and seen even committing “questionable” acts which could lead to his demise. During one such battle, Bin Laden would fight against the odds against a much larger Russian conscript, but the vigorous attitude of the Afghan group led by Bin Laden outlasted the exasperated Russians, after the battle was over Bin Laden would hover over a dead Russian Lieutenant’s body retrieve his AK-47, which in later videos can be seen propped up at his side. The CIA would never personally help fund Bin Laden, even thou funding from the (MAK) was linked to CIA payroll. But Bin Laden would never personally meet with any CIA contacts, and the CIA has adamantly denied ever meeting Bin Laden as well.
In 1989 facing insurmountable odds of ever taking the country over, the Soviets agreed to a full withdraw of troops from the besieged country. But it wouldn't be the end of turmoil in Afghanistan, it would only be the beginning. With multiple tribal factions left to control the region…a civil war breaks out. Bin Laden would return to Saudi Arabia, a national hero to the Islamic community. Hamid Gul, Nawaz Sharif, and Osama bin Laden conspire to assassinate Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Husain Haqqani, a Pakistani journalist who claims to have been involved in the plot, will later say that ISI Director Hamid Gul contacted Osama bin Laden, who was then known to provide financial support to Afghan mujahideen, to pay for a coup/assassination of Bhutto. Gul also brings Nawaz Sharif, then the governor of Punjab province and a rival of Bhutto, into the plot.
Bin Laden agrees to provide $10 million on the condition that Sharif transforms Pakistan into a strict Islamic state, which Sharif accepts.Shortly after this revelation, Osama bin Laden’s mentor Sheikh Abdullah Azzam is killed by a car bomb in Afghanistan. The killing will never be solved. Azzam has no shortage of enemies. Suspects will include the Mossad, CIA, Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the ISI, and bin Laden. The reason bin Laden will be suspected is because he and Azzam were increasingly at odds over what approach to take since the Soviet Union had been driven from Afghanistan earlier in the year. Azzam who was influential to the Muslim ummah was not favorable for the militant Jihadist whose goals contradicted the former teacher. Regardless, in the wake of Azzam’s death, bin Laden will take control of Azzam’s recruiting and support network, Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK)/Al-Kifah, and merge it into Al Qaeda.
1990, Iraq invades Kuwait. With Saddam Hussein in power, Iraq poses a direct threat to the Saudi kingdom. The House of Saud decides to prevent an invasion by pro-curating a meeting of the Sudairi Seven, which are the seven family lines in power of Saudi Arabia monarchy. Bin Laden sensing needless urgency within the kingdom, meets with the King Khalid Abdulaziz along with ministry of defense, Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. He proposes that the kingdom be defended with his Afghan mujahideen fighters, who just recently defeated the Soviet armies. He was met with skepticism and told hi services were not needed, instead the Kingdom went with their oil consuming allies and also a more favorable military source, the United States.
This enraged Bin Laden, who thought having non Muslims in the most holiest of Muslim lands was a grave affront. But the Kingdom would have reservations about Bin Laden and his renegade mujahedin from attacking them. Bin Laden would be threatened by Saudi Intelligence. With pressure mounting from Saudi Intelligence, he makes a compromise. He would leave the Kingdom, but his finances would not be touched nor his family interfered with. they agree, and Bin Laden relocates to Sudan. Here he would meet another polarizing figure in the Muslim world, Hassan Turabi, founder of Islamic National Front.
In Sudan, Bin Laden established a new base for Mujaheddin operations in Khartoum. He bought a house on Al-Mashtal Street in the affluent Al-Riyadh quarter and a retreat at Soba on the Blue Nile. During his time in Sudan, he heavily invested in the infrastructure, in agriculture and businesses. He was the Sudan agent for the British firm Hunting Surveys and built roads using the same bulldozers he had employed to construct mountain tracks in Afghanistan. Many of his laborers were the same fighters who had been his comrades in the war against the Soviet Union. He was generous to the poor and popular with the people. He continued to criticize King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. In response, in 1994 Fahd stripped bin Laden of his Saudi citizenship and persuaded his family to cut off his $7 million a year stipend.
Bin Laden would also open Jihadist training camps in the Sudanese landscape. The largest is a 20-acre site a few miles south of the capital of Khartoum. Up to 2,000 Muslim militants move to Sudan with bin Laden. After helping them move as well, Ali Mohamed trains them in newly created camps on kidnapping, bomb-making, cell structure, urban warfare, and more. The CIA monitors bin Laden in Khartoum, Sudan, where he has just moved. Billy Waugh, an independent contractor working for the CIA, moves to Khartoum and is given the task of spying on him. Waugh is a legendary fighter already in his sixties who has performed special operations for the US Army and CIA for many years and will continue to do so until he is in his seventies. The Associated Press will later report that Waugh “played a typecast role as an aging American fitness enthusiast and would regularly jog past bin Laden’s home. He said he often came face-to-face with bin Laden, who undoubtedly knew the CIA was tailing him. CIA Director George Tenet will later comment, “The then-obscure name ‘Osama bin Laden’ kept cropping up in the intelligence traffic.
The CIA spotted Bin Laden’s tracts in the early 1990's in connection with funding other terrorist movements. They didn’t know exactly what this Saudi exile living in Sudan was up to, but they knew it was not good.” Osama Bin Laden begins plotting attacks against the US from his new base in Sudan. The first attack kills two tourists in Yemen at the end of 1992. With the battle of Mogadishu in its first stages, Bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri would meet with other Muslim mujahideen leaders in the Sudan and Afghanistan and deploy strategies in defeating the American troops against Sudan Muslims and the Mogadishu leader of the Somali National alliance, Mohammad Farah Aidid. In 1993 the United States special forces would suffer 18 casualties and withdraw immediately. Claiming another victory, albeit small, would lend Bin Laden to “mythical” status. Now with his resounding defeat of Russia and his latest defeat over the seemingly unbeatable United States, it would give the Jihadist community more momentum and hope to defeat even its more formidable enemies.
In a July 1993 intelligence report, the CIA notes that Osama bin Laden has been paying to train members of the Egyptian militant group Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya in Sudan, where he lives. In August 1993, the State Department sees links between bin Laden and the “Blind Sheikh,” Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman who leads Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya and was recently arrested in the U.S. A State Department report comments that bin Laden seems “committed to financing ‘Jihads’ against ‘anti-Islamic’ regimes worldwide.”
The United States sensing Bin Laden’s surging presence in the Sudan, it pressures the Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir to expel Bin Laden from it’s country or face military action. Bashir tells Turabi the news. Bin Laden agrees to relocate back to Afghanistan..in Jalalabad. So in 1996 he would return to the country that profited off his help against the Soviets. With the Taliban now in power, Taliban leader Mullah Omar would greet him. And once settled Bin Laden would build training camps for Mujaheddin fighters. Most prominent camps were Al Farooq, Derunta and Tanak Farms. In August 1996, bin Laden declared war against the United States by issuing a fatwa. His directives were clear, with a military presence insulting the Muslim ummah as a whole, its insistence to keep funding Israel which oppresses the Palestinian people, and with it’s aggression toward Iraq…Bin Laden orders all Muslims to kill American military “wherever you find them”.
In 1998 Bin Laden issues another fatwa against the United States, calling for now even American civilians to be executed wherever you find them. This time with a notable Salafist declaration calling itself the World Islamic Front backing him which includes Ayman al-Zawahiri (Egyptian Islamic Jihad), Abu-Yasir Rifa’i Ahmad Taha, (Egyptian Islamic Group), Shaykh Mir Hamzah (Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan), Fazlur Rahman (Jihad Movement in Bangladesh). Bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri organized an al-Qaeda congress on June 24, 1998. A series of major Jihadist attacks would commence after this meeting, which would entail attacking any U.s. target abroad and even in the United States as well. On August 7,1998 two U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Kenya which had 224 fatalities and over 1,000 injured. It was the first major bombing campaign which now put both Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri in the eyes of the FBI and CIA. In December 1998, the Director Of Central Intelligence Counter-terrorist Center reported to President Bill Clinton that al-Qaeda was preparing for attacks in the United States of America, including the training of personnel to hijack aircraft.
The CIA apparently ignores a warning from a recently retired CIA agent that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) is heading al-Qaeda’s terrorist operations. Robert Baer left the CIA in late 1997 and began private consulting in the Middle East. Baer soon meets Hamad bin Jassim bin Hamad al Thani, who was Qatar’s minister of the economy and chief of police until he was deposed and exiled the year before. Al Thani tells Baer that KSM is now bin Laden’s chief of terrorist operations, and gives Baer other details about KSM, including how some Qatari royals helped KSM escape Qatar the year before after the CIA tracked him there. In early 1998, Baer passes all this information on to a friend still in the CIA, who then passes it on to the CIA’s Counter-terrorist Center. But the friend writes back a week later, saying the CIA showed no interest. In an interview with ABC News reporter John Miller, Osama bin Laden indicates he may attack a US military passenger aircraft using antiaircraft missiles. Bin Laden says:
“We are sure of our victory. Our battle with the Americans is larger than our battle with the Russians.… We predict a black day for America and the end of the United States as United States, and will be separate states, and will retreat from our land and collect the bodies of its sons back to America.”
In the subsequent media coverage, Miller will repeatedly refer to bin Laden as “the world’s most dangerous terrorist,” and “the most dangerous man in the world.” Bin Laden admits to knowing Wali Khan Amin Shah, one of the Bojinka plotters, but denies having met Bojinka plotter Ramzi Yousef or knowing about the plot itself. Bin Laden sends a fax from Afghanistan to Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, a London-based Muslim imam who dubs himself the “mouth, eyes, and ears of Osama Bin Laden.” Bakri publicly releases what he calls bin Laden’s four specific objectives for a holy war against the US. The instruction reads, “Bring down their airliners. Prevent the safe passage of their ships. Occupy their embassies. Force the closure of their companies and banks.” Noting this, the Los Angeles Times will wryly comment that “Bin Laden hasn’t been shy about sharing his game plan.”
U.S intelligence obtains information from several sources that bin Laden is considering attacks in the US, including Washington and New York. This information is given to senior US officials in July 1998. After the successful attacks on two U.S. embassies, Bill Clinton gives a directive to the CIA’s counter-intelligence team to assassinate Osama Bin Laden. This doesn’t come to fruition after it is learned that the CIA is worried about the wording of the document which would delay the process. July 1999, with the chances of a pipeline deal with the Taliban looking increasingly unlikely, President Clinton finally issues an executive order prohibiting commercial transactions with the Taliban. The order also freezes the Taliban’s US assets. Clinton blames the Taliban for harboring bin Laden. An important meeting which would not have media saturation which it should took place in July 14, 1999.
U.S government informant Randy Glass records a conversation at a dinner attended by himself, illegal arms dealers Diaa Mohsen and Mohammed Malik, a former Egyptian judge named Shireen Shawky, and Pakistani ISI agent Rajaa Gulum Abbas, held at a restaurant within view of the World Trade Center. FBI agents pretending to be restaurant customers sit at nearby tables. Abbas says he wants to buy a whole shipload of weapons stolen from the US military to give to Osama bin Laden. Abbass then points at the WTC behind Glass and states “those towers are coming down.” The meeting is secretly recorded and parts will be shown on television in 2003.
A report prepared for US intelligence titled the “Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why” is completed. It states: “Al-Qaeda’s expected retaliation for the US cruise missile attack… could take several forms of terrorist attack in the nation’s capital. Al-Qaeda could detonate a Chechen-type building-buster bomb at a federal building. Suicide bomber(s) belonging to al-Qaeda’s Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives (C-4 and Semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or the White House. Whatever form an attack may take, bin Laden will most likely retaliate in a spectacular way.” The CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center concludes in a classified report that bin Laden wants to inflict maximum casualties, cause massive panic, and score a psychological victory. He may be seeking to attack between five and 15 targets on the Millennium.
“Because the U.S is bin Laden’s ultimate goal… we must assume that several of these targets will be in the U.S.”
In January 2000, a meeting of Al Qaeda’s top membership arrive in Malaysia to discuss future operations against the United States. Known as the Al Qaeda Malaysia Summit Meeting, it composed of Mohammed Atef (Al Qaeda), Riduan Isamuddin (Hambali), Khalid al-Mihdhar, Nawaf al-Hazmi, Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Tawfiq bin Attash (Khallad). The full details of this meeting were never known. As Al Qaeda operatives were inside the United States training at selected airport training schools, Bin Laden had chosen the pilots of the mission known as “Big Wedding” while in the Kandahar training camp in 2000, with Khalid Sheikh Muhammad selecting the targets.
Numerous warning were given by Intelligence agencies worldwide to the Bush administration and to the FBI, they were duly ignored as the administration thought too much emphasis was given to the notion of Islamic terrorism inside the United States. October 12,2000…a USS Naval warship called the USS Cole docks in the port of Aden, Yemen to refuel…even under the suspicions of the captain it still needs to refuel. A small boat loaded with explosives crashes into the ship. It kills 17 and injures 39. The Islamic Army of Aden (IAA) immediately takes credit for the attack. This is a Yemen-based Muslim militant group widely believed to have close ties to al-Qaeda.
Osama Bin Laden apparently pressures Khalid Shaikh Mohammed for an attack date earlier than 9/11. According to information obtained from the 9/11 Commission (apparently based on a prison interrogation of Mohammed), bin Laden first requests an attack date of May 12, 2001, the seven-month anniversary of the USS Cole bombing. Then, when bin Laden learns from the media that Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would be visiting the White House in June or July 2001, he attempts once more to accelerate the operation to coincide with his visit. With the plan scrapped, they choose September 11. Two major terrorist organizations, al-Qaeda and the Egypt-based Islamic Jihad, formally merged into one. This completes a merging process that had been going on for years.
This joint addition now makes al-Qaeda the single most prolific terrorist entity in the world. Meanwhile with foreknowledge of al-Qaed subjects inside the United States, the CIA continues to leave out the FBI. The NSA has long known of most of the al-Qaeda subjects chosen for the 9/11 attacks from collecting meta-data going back as far as 1996. Meanwhile a Defense Intelligence Agency operation was still underway, Able Danger, collecting HUMIT and meta-data on al-Qaeda subjects worldwide. Lt.Col. Anthony Shaffer would be reprimanded by the Pentagon to destroy all data collected about the Hamburg Cell and the Brooklyn Cell (Omar Abdel Rahman). Later Shaffer would remind the 9/11 Commission it had 3 years worth of intelligence that two cells were operating inside the United States, with the Commission ignoring his testimony and not including it in their final report.
Baker Atyani, a reporter for the Middle East Broadcasting Company interviews bin Laden. Keeping a promise made to Taliban leader Mullah Omar, Bin Laden does not say anything substantive, but Ayman al-Zawahiri and other top al-Qaeda leaders promise that “[the] coming weeks will hold important surprises that will target American and Israeli interests in the world.” September 11, 2001….4 aircraft are hijacked, with two crashing into WTC 1 and 2, Pentagon and in a old mine-shaft in Shanksville, PA. Bin Laden would be in Jalalabad, Afghanistan when the attack commenced. Meanwhile the Taliban on the day itself would give a media interview suggesting they had no involvement whatsoever. But the Taliban would lend Bin Laden the safest area in the world, as its vast array of cavernous mountains which are often times inaccessible to human traffic. Ayman al-Zawahiri would also be here alongside Bin Laden. A close aide to Osama bin Laden reports that bin Laden denies any role in the previous day’s attacks on the United States, but has praised those responsible for them.Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban says that Osama bin Laden has told them he played no role in the September 11 attacks on the United States.
Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, tells Reuters,
“We asked from him, [and] he told [us] we don’t have any hand in this action.”
Days later another statement by Bin Laden, this time to Al Jazeera. In the statement, which is read out by an Al Jazeera announcer, bin Laden says:
“The US government has consistently blamed me for being behind every occasion its enemies attack it. I would like to assure the world that I did not plan the recent attacks, which seems to have been planned by people for personal reasons. I have been living in the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan and following its leaders’ rules. The current leader does not allow me to exercise such operations.”
The statement is signed “Sheikh Osama bin Laden.”
However, at no point in any video anywhere does Bin Laden deny responsibility whatsoever. All of the denials are from hand written testimony from unnamed sources. There would be much in the way of mystery surrounding Bin Laden immediately after the 9/11 attacks. Including one video which shows Bin Laden with Ayman al-Zawahiri and Sulaiman Abu Gaith talking to Saudi and Al Qaeda operative Khaled al-Harbi who had previously fought against the Soviets, like Bin Laden had in 1979 in Afghanistan. According to analyst Maher Osseiran, a home video in which Osama bin Laden admits foreknowledge of 9/11 is made around this date, not on a later date suggested by US officials. Osseiran argues that the video was part of a sting operation run by the U.S and that the first part — making the video — was successful, but the second part — capturing or killing bin Laden — failed.
This is supported by a report in the Observer, which will write that “several intelligence sources have suggested… that the tape, although absolutely genuine, is the result of a sophisticated sting operation run by the CIA through a second intelligence service, possibly Saudi or Pakistani.” Osseiran points out that the main person bin Laden talks to in the video, veteran fighter Khaled al-Harbi, actually left Saudi Arabia on September 21, and therefore presumably met bin Laden shortly after. A video expert also finds that two cameras were used to make the tape, on which footage of the confession is recorded over footage of a downed US helicopter, and that only part of the footage was transmitted by phone line or satellite.
Then on October 7,2001 Bin Laden along with Ayman al-Zawahiri and Sulaiman Abu Gaith send a video message to Al Jazeera. Referring to the 9/11 attacks, bin Laden says, “What the United States tastes today is a very small thing compared to what we have tasted for tens of years.” He praises those responsible, saying, “I ask God Almighty to elevate their status and grant them paradise.” Pakistani reporter Hamid Mir is taken blindfolded to a location somewhere in the mountains of Afghanistan to interview bin Laden. The sound of antiaircraft fire can be heard in the distance. Bin Laden looks paler and his beard is grayer. While he doesn’t claim responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, he says that Muslims were behind it and that Muslims have the moral right to commit such attacks because they are done in self-defense.
In mid-2002, Al Jazeera reporter Yosri Fouda would end up conducting an interview al-Qaeda figures Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. In a 2003 book he will co-write, Fouda will claim that he asked an unnamed al-Qaeda operative who was setting up the interview if the bin Laden video was fake. This person will supposedly reply: “No. The tape, the brothers said — I am not sure whether they left it behind or not — but the Sheikh [bin Laden], yes, was talking to someone from Mecca.”
From here on, Bin Laden would periodically make videos, some showing him younger and then older. There would be some conflicting reports that he would have died, even as far back as 2001, even thou he would make videos and audio recordings til 2011. There would be questions, from those who find the image of Bin Laden to be “highly suspect”.
Pakistan and United States authorities and their intelligence services would come into contact, as their narrow investigation into finding Osama Bin Laden reached an apex. In 2011, The CIA had been able to pinpoint Bin Laden’s whereabouts to Abbottabad, Pakistan. The Pakistan ISI had relayed information to the U.S Embassy in Saudi Arabia that Bin Laden is staying inside a 3 story mansion just a bit southwest of the Pakistan Military Academy. The compound was immediately monitored by the CIA and Pakistan ISI.
On May 2nd 2011, Operation Neptune Spear, a multi-facted special covert military operation led by the United States Navy Seals, U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group and SEAL Team Six had been conducted to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. They entered the compound at approximately 1:00am. The base for the operation was inside Afghanistan, the helicopters came into the compound, without the Pakistan guards securing the mansion where Bin Laden had been held in. In the many months afterwards, independent journalist and respected author, Seymour Hersh, would claim that it was Pakistan who had tipped off to the U.S about Bin Laden’s residence and even left the compound an hour before the teams had arrived, leaving Bin Laden unsecured.
There would be a couple of conflicting reports as to what had happened as to how Osama Bin Laden was found, as to how he was killed and by whom. Over the next couple of years, some members of the 3 teams would come out and author books and address in interviews how each man had either shot Bin Laden or had come into the same path and participated in killing him. Nothing was conclusive however. There would be questions as to whether the person they had killed was the actual Bin Laden himself. According to the Navy Seals, they had one man of similar height to Bin Laden lay down next to him. Another was facial recognition. The SEALS had photographed Bin Laden’s face to CIA Langley where they made a supposed match. In person identification was also supposedly conducted, with one of the women at the compound, who was a wife of Bin Laden, where she admitted to the officers there it was Bin Laden. Another was DNA testing, and according to a senior State Department official from the Department of Defense:
“DNA analysis conducted separately by Department of Defense and CIA labs has positively identified Osama bin Laden. DNA samples collected from his body were compared to a comprehensive DNA profile derived from bin Laden’s large extended family. Based on that analysis, the DNA is unquestionably his. The probability of a mistaken identity on the basis of this analysis is approximately one in 11.8 quadrillion.”
There would be no pictures of Bin Laden shown to the public. His body would be given a burial, just not in Afghanistan or Pakistan. or back to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Instead the multi team from the operation were flown back with Bin Laden’s suspected body on board the USS Vinson, where it is said, they followed the Islamic tradition given to someone killed, and instead of a dirt burial…his body was thrown into the North Arabian Sea. However this too would come under intense scrutiny, again Hersh would question the validity of this story, from highly unnamed sources which Hersh has made a living from. According to an article from Hersh made on May 2015:
“Within weeks of the raid, I had been told by two longtime consultants to Special Operations Command, who have access to current intelligence, that the funeral aboard the Carl Vinson didn’t take place. One consultant told me that bin Laden’s remains were photographed and identified after being flown back to Afghanistan. The consultant added: ‘At that point, the CIA took control of the body. The cover story was that it had been flown to the Carl Vinson.’ The second consultant agreed that there had been ‘no burial at sea’. He added that ‘the killing of bin Laden was political theatre designed to burnish Obama’s military credentials … The Seals should have expected the political grandstanding. It’s irresistible to a politician. Bin Laden became a working asset.’
In 2018, Alia Ghanem, the woman who bore Bin Laden, had given a fis`t ever interview with an agency outside Saudi Arabia. The Guardian had conducted it, it was here that Ghanem told Martin Chulov, that Bin Laden was never motivated by religious ideologies taught to him from his family or by the universities, but instead those around him had manipulated him.
“The people at university changed him,” Ghanem says. “He became a different man.” One of the men he met there was Abdullah Azzam, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who was later exiled from Saudi Arabia and became Osama’s spiritual adviser. “He was a very good child until he met some people who pretty much brainwashed him in his early 20's. 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.”
So who really was Osama Bin Laden?
The mysteries surrounding Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden started from his birth, to his untimely suspected death. Very much like the terrorist activities that were born from this Saudi mind, shaped by the radical Islamists from Egypt and Pakistan, in which the Intelligence Community funded and helped assist, at times, and even watched from near and afar, the birth of a Jihadist who operated almost without impunity. He was assisted from outside forces starting at the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in 1979.
Today Al Qaeda is a fractured network, the international entity would be left in tatters after the U.S had forcibly entered Afghanistan in 2001. The mere mention of Bin Laden’s name is still revered by those who despise American-Israeli policies, and for “reasonable” measure. Those policies have made more prospective “Bin Laden’s” with their disastrous military bombings which rain from drones above the skies of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria and Libya….and thus the next Bin Laden could very well rise from the rubble for which these polices helped create, just like they did from the sands and rubble of Afghanistan in 1979.