Osama bin Mohammed bin Awat bin Laden was born 28 on June 1957 of the year in the Saudi Arabian capital city of Riyadh. 17 (from 52), the son of a large construction magnate, he was brought up in a strict religious atmosphere and, according to the recollections of relatives, was "a lonely, timid boy, pious and kind."
In 1979, Osama graduated from the Faculty of Economics and Management at the University of Saudi City of Jeddah and could claim a place among the top staff in the family group Ben Laden Brothers for Counter-distributing and Industry, however, it would have pleased him to go a completely different way.
In the same year, 1979, at the request of the government of Afghanistan, a limited contingent of Soviet troops was introduced into the country. We will not discuss the subtleties and nuances of such a step, let us just say that its consequences for both Afghanistan and the Soviet Union turned out to be very sad. Not all this news relished. The height of the Cold War divided the whole world into two irreconcilable camps. Taking advantage of the occasion, the United States launched a rampant anti-Soviet company among Arab countries. Saudi Arabia, a faithful US ally in the Middle East, also played a very active role in stirring up this hysteria. Jihad, the “holy war,” was declared to the Soviet Union, and from all corners of the Muslim world to the Afghan mountains a stream of volunteers reached out to fight on the side of the opposition.
“The East is a delicate matter,” once cinema comrade Sukhov used to say. Politics and religion are intertwined here so tightly that it is sometimes impossible to distinguish a political struggle from a struggle for “faith.” Especially if the adversary is people praying to another god. Excellently, the orchestrated idea of “war with the infidels” gave thick shoots in the face of hundreds and thousands of volunteers hurrying to help the brothers who were moaning under the heel of Moscow - the Muslims of Afghanistan.
In 1980, a young Osama held historical a conversation with an old friend of the bin Laden family, the son of the Saudi king Faisal, Prince of Turki al-Faisal. It was this conversation that fundamentally changed the fate of Osama, turning it twenty years later, into "terrorist No. 1" and the most wanted criminal in the world.
The fact is that the Prince of Türks al-Faisal headed the intelligence service of Saudi Arabia, and the proposal he made during the conversation was for young Osama bin Laden to send volunteers who gathered in Jeddah to Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden could not refuse such a pious deed. After all, mojaheds - “fighters for the faith” - in the Muslim world were considered to be true heroes: high-ranking Egyptian officers with diplomas from American and Western European academies were engaged in their training; and their struggle was generously financed by Arab and American sponsors (according to official data, more than 285 million dollars were allocated annually for these purposes). Moreover (as mentioned above), a strong religious base was brought under the war of the Afghan opposition with the Soviet troops, which is very important for Asia-infatuated with Islamic fanaticism.
Osama bin Laden did an excellent job with the Saudi intelligence chief’s instructions and even “overfulfilled the task”, not only sending volunteers to Afghanistan, but also creating a network of recruiting points for recruiting new Mujahideen recruits.
Such zeal did not go unnoticed. The Turks al-Faisal and the CIA curators looming behind him drew attention to the initiative and fanatically inclined to fight the "infidel" youth. Soon he gets a new task - to go to Pakistan to organize the infrastructure of Afghan jihad.
Having settled in border Peshawar, Osama begins to engage in material and technical supply of the opposition at their Pakistani rear bases. It builds schools, hospitals, mosques and homes for the families of the Mujahideen. At the same time, through the network, Mantab al-Qidam recruits and trains volunteers. A little later, more and more drawn into the undeclared war, bin Laden switched to building roads, fortifications, and tunnels for militants in Afghanistan itself.
The “cold war” between the Soviet Union and the United States reached its apogee during these years, and the stirring up of the armed conflict at the southern borders of the USSR corresponds to Washington’s ambitious plans. The United States does not skimp on funds and provides unprecedented support to militants. In 1981, Ronald Reagan makes an alliance with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to effectively and, if possible, secretly arm the Mujahideen. And for the delivery weapons and ammunition to Islamic militants meets the director of the CIA, William Casey.
It was then that the security services again remember Osama bin Laden. In place of the Saudi scout Turks al-Faisalu come residents from the CIA. In a very short period of time, Osama becomes one of the key figures of the Afghan resistance, standing alongside such well-known fundamentalists like Gulmeddin Hekmatyar, for example. Through bin Laden, tons of weapons, including the super-expensive Stinger missiles, are being shipped to Afghanistan by the CIA. Through it is also funded militants. All this contributed to the rallying of “Arab Afghans” around bin Laden and the growth of his political ambitions. In 1988, he creates the organization Al-Qaida (Arabic "basis"), and its main task is to proclaim the overthrow of secular regimes in Islamic states and the establishment of an Islamic order based on Sharia. In the long-term plans, he keeps the spread of Islam to the entire globe and the creation of the World Caliphate.
The tasks are truly fantastic, but for fanatically tuned bin Laden, seemingly quite doable. The protracted, and in many ways successful, guerrilla war, densely mixed with religious extremism, could not leave a trace in the soul of a young Saudi. And his markedly increased political weight makes him look at himself as a leader capable of leading the masses. Fortunately, all the prerequisites for this are available. The years spent among the militants have created a reputation for him in the Arab world, where he is recognized and well known primarily as an inflexible fighter for the faith. One of his comrades-in-arms, the Palestinian Hamza Mohammed, admired Bin Laden from the pages of the American Times: “For us, he was a hero, because he always went ahead. He always managed to occupy a place in the front ranks ... He not only gave money for the cause, he gave him all of himself ... "
And then came the 1989 year. In February, the Soviet Union withdrew its troops from Afghanistan, and after a short euphoria, the outdated mojaheds faced the question - what to do next? During the ten years of war, these militants, who came from different countries of the Muslim world, turned into a formidable and well-organized force, called "Arab Afghans." After the end of the war, they were useless and forgotten by everyone. Everyone except Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida. Significant financial opportunities and well-established ties with wealthy Saudi sponsors helped him to rally this huge army of veterans to set new goals for them. The main one was the struggle with ... the United States of America.
What is the reason for this phenomenon? Why did a reliable US ally and confidant of the CIA suddenly become an implacable enemy? In our opinion, the casket opens quite simply. The religious fanaticism of bin Laden played a cruel joke with America. In the Afghan mountains he fought not with the Russians, as with the nation, he fought with the “infidels”, with people who pray to another God. And the withdrawal of the Soviet contingent from Afghanistan would inevitably have to redirect Osama to another stronghold of "godlessness" - the United States of America. Proclaiming the purpose of his life to create a world caliphate, he firmly and consistently began to implement his plan. In 1997, bin Laden said in an interview with the Pakistan newspaper: “... Americans are afraid of death ... They are like mice. If we could crush Russia, then the United States can be beheaded ... "
It was more difficult to find a reason to explain to his "army" why the recent ally in the fight against the Russians suddenly turned into an enemy. Bin Laden did an excellent job with this task. Actually, the United States substituted themselves. In 1990, they were actively engaged in preparations for the war against Iraq and flooded their troops with the entire Arabian Peninsula. And after the end of “Storm in the Desert”, they legalized their permanent military presence in the homeland of bin Laden, in Saudi Arabia. For deeply devout Osama, this has become a real slap in the face. In the same year, 1997, in an interview with CNN, Bin Laden said that this is “the occupation of the country where the holy places (Islam. - Author) are located.”
The belligerent mood of the recent hero of the Afghan company did not go unnoticed for the official authorities of Saudi Arabia, whose pro-American positions were well known. Soon, under their pressure, bin Laden had to leave the country. He settles in neighboring Sudan, in which he creates numerous enterprises, makes investments in industry, road construction, banking, export-import operations, etc. Enterprises bring him colossal revenues (estimated in tens of millions of dollars), which allows him to contain a significant contingent of militants. Bin Laden's Al-Qaida organization is growing and expanding. According to intelligence, by the 1994 year, its members operated in Algeria, Holland, Jordan, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Russia, Romania, Syria, the USA and Turkey. And al-Qaida militants took part in the wars in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya and Tajikistan. Bin Laden himself is becoming a key figure in the international coalition of Islamic radicals. According to the American authorities, he is associated with such fundamentalist groups as Al-Jihad in Egypt, Hezbollah in Iran, the National Islamic Front in Sudan, as well as with similar groups in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Somalia. Al-Qaida is also linked to the Islamic Group, which was once led by Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, an Egyptian priest who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1995 for attempting to blow up several objects in New York. Two of the sons of Sheikh Rahman at the end of the 90-s began to act together with bin Laden.
And with the 1992 of the year, according to the Americans, Al-Qaida begins secret operations against the United States. Assaults on American tourists in two hotels in Aden (Yemen) and an attack on the American military in Somalia are attributed to her. There, US special forces 18 who participated in the humanitarian mission in Mogadishu (the capital of Somalia) were killed and their bodies were dragged through the streets of the city (in 97, bin Laden partially admitted that the people in Mogadishu were killed by his people together with local Muslims) . In 1995, Al-Qaida militants carried out sabotage against the military center in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), and in 1996, they detonated a charge near the US air base in Dhahran (Saudi Arabia). Both of these attacks led to the death of 30 people.
America was not slow to respond to the attacks of its former ally. Under US pressure, the government of Sudan declared Osama bin Laden persona non grata. In May of the same 1996, he chartered the Hercules C-130 transport aircraft, loaded all of his wives, children and about 150 accompanying persons into it and flew in an unknown direction. And six hours later, he appeared in the Afghan Jalalabad. A new page has begun in the biography of the creator of Al-Qaida.
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A few months after it was settled in Afghanistan, a new political force emerged in the country torn by civil strife - the Taliban. In September, Kubul fell on 96, and the power in the country actually passed into their hands. Osama got along well with them, which was greatly contributed by his generous financial donations to the Taliban and his daughter's wedding with the Taliban spiritual leader Mullah Omar. It is not known which of these steps played a decisive role, but in the future the Taliban answered all US demands for extradition of Bin Laden with a categorical refusal.
He does not forget about his worst enemy - America. 23 August 1996, the entire Muslim world was circumvented by the fatwa he signed (religious-legal prescription. - Author), which the Americans regarded as the official declaration of war. “Young people whom you call cowards,” he appealed to the Americans, “are competing with each other for the right to fight with you and kill you. Listen to what some of them are saying: “The army of Christians turned to dust when we, along with brave Islamic youth, who were not afraid of danger, blew up Al-Khodar ... These young people in Afghanistan carried weapons for over a decade; they gave a vow to Allah while they are alive, not to let the weapon out of your hands until you, by the will of Allah, are expelled, crushed and destroyed. ”
Soon, bin Laden moves from words to deeds. 7 August 1998, in the center of Nairobi (Kenya), in a car park outside the US Embassy, a powerful bomb exploded. 212 people were killed (about ten of them were Americans, the rest were Kenyans who worked in the pouch department), 4650 people were injured. A few minutes later, exactly the same explosion thundered in Dar es Salaam, at the US Embassy in Tanzania. 11 people died, 72 - injured.
The traces of both attacks led to Al-Qaeda, and the United States, in its cowboy style, struck back on its abuser. 20 August 1998, several Tomahawk cruise missiles wiped out a chemical plant in Khartoum, Sudan, where, according to US intelligence, chemical weapons were produced for Al-Qaida (presumably VX gas). On the same day, another missile salvo destroyed the headquarters of Al-Qaida in Khost (Afghanistan). However, the American strike was just an act of intimidation. Osama bin Laden himself was not injured, but after taking into account the lesson presented, he became much more careful. In particular, his system of communication with his supporters became more complicated. Instead of a satellite phone, he increasingly began to use the Internet and a radio transmitter.
At the same time, he continues to strengthen his friendship with the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar. This friendship is generously fueled by money. It is believed that it cost Bin Laden 50 million dollars. In exchange, he received complete freedom of movement in Afghanistan, which, in light of the ongoing hunt for him by the American special services, was not at all superfluous.
The head of al-Qaida built refuge for himself throughout Afghanistan. He had residences in Jalalabad and Kandahar, Khorasan and Zara al-Hindu Kush, Kornach and Kabul, Rishkor and Khost.
Bin Laden’s political weight is growing among extremist and terrorist groups. A little earlier, in February 1998, he announced the formation of a united organization of Islamic terrorists, called the Islamic World Front for the Fight Against Jews and Crusaders. Its co-founders were also Ayman al-Zawahiri (“Islamic Jihad”), Rifan Ahmad Taha (“Gamaa al-Islamiya”), some Pakistani leaders of extremist fundamentalist organizations. In addition to Al-Qaida, the Islamic World Front (IMF) also includes the Egyptian Gamaa al-Islamiya and Al-Jihad, the Pakistani Society of Scholars, the Kashmir Insurgent Movement, the Jihad (Bangladesh), and the military A branch of the Afghan organization, the Council and Reform. These organizations have previously coordinated their actions, but outside of unified governance structures. Each of them independently determined targets for attacks, and cooperation was carried out only at the level of conducting joint combat operations. With the creation of the IMP, relations were radically reorganized. The Front was headed by “Shura” - a council led by bin Laden, carrying out the leadership as a whole. In its new state, the organization is managed more rigidly, which increases the effectiveness of military operations of the IMP. The joint ideology of the Front was developed. Everything that happens in the Middle, Middle and Far East conflicts are considered as the struggle of devout Muslims with atheists and heretics. The enemies of Islam include not only such odious countries as the USA and Israel, but also moderate Islamic regimes (Saudi Arabia, for example). The presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Arab countries is regarded as a new crusade of the Christian West against the Muslim East, as the occupation of holy places.
Across Afghanistan, which has become a real fiefdom of terrorists, training camps are being set up for future IMF fighters. From here they spread throughout the world, swelling the ranks of terrorists in Kosovo and Chechnya, the Philippines and Kashmir. Many settle in Europe and America, creating well-concealed al-Qaida cells.
The beginning of the new millennium, Osama bin Laden, marked the new terrorist attack. October 12 The American Cob destroyer 2000 entered the port of Aden (Yemen) to replenish fuel supplies before being sent to the Persian Gulf. A small hovercraft rushed toward him. Loaded with 80 kilograms of TNT and driven by two suicide bombers, it crashed into the destroyer, having done a huge hole in it with the size of 12 × 12 meters. 17 sailors died, 38 injured.
At the same time, with the now commonplace terrorist attacks, Osama bin Laden is persistently seeking the opportunity to lift the fight against the Christian world he hated to a new, more ambitious and terrible level of consequences. He seeks to obtain chemical, nuclear or bacteriological weapons in his arsenals. “It’s our duty to acquire weapons to protect Muslims,” he says in one of his statements. - If it is true that I bought a weapon (chemical or nuclear), I thank Allah, who allowed me this. And if I try to get such a weapon, then it is a duty. For Muslims, it would be a sin not to try to seize the weapons that could prevent the infidels from harming Muslims. ”
There is no exact data on the presence of “terrorist number XXUMX” of this type of weapon, but some facts confirm, at least, their desire to acquire it. According to Russian intelligence, back in 1, bin Laden’s agents tried to acquire a nuclear warhead in the former Soviet Union. Having failed to achieve the desired, they turned to illegal merchants with a proposal to buy enriched uranium. Fortunately, to no avail. There is also information (bordering, however, with rumors) that bin Laden's emissaries were in close contact with young Pakistani researchers in the field of nuclear physics. More recently, there were reports that in 1993, an unnamed nuclear scientists from Ukraine visited the Afghan city of Kandahar.
In April, the 2000 of the year, the Uzbek secret services found a truck on the border with Kyrgyzstan in which there was a fissile substance. According to one of the versions, the sender of the cargo was the Uzbek Islamist leader Jumabai Namangani. His connection with Osama bin Laden is widely known, so it is likely that the end point of the “radioactive transit” was one of the secret laboratories of Al-Qaida.
Another indirect confirmation that “terrorist number XXUMX” may possess nuclear weapons was received in 1. At the airport in Chicago (USA), an American citizen Abdullah al-Mujahir was arrested, who was supposed to make and blow up a radiological device - in simple words “a dirty nuclear bomb”. But, fortunately, deactivation was not required, because the suspect did not find any radioactive material itself.
In addition to "nuclear attempts", bin Laden makes attempts to acquire chemical and bacteriological weapons. Theoretically, it is much easier to assemble it, since the components are quite easy to purchase in the market of chemical and pharmaceutical products. A minimum of precautions, and a small team with scientific knowledge in a primitive laboratory can successfully work with pathogenic biological substances. According to the CIA, at the end of 90, al-Qaida chemists conducted experiments on animals, trying to figure out how cyanide works. And the Russian special services claim that at about the same time in one of the training camps in Afghanistan two former instructors of the East German Stasi taught IMF fighters a course on handling chemical and bacteriological weapons.
It was also established that in the spring of 2001, the future suicide pilot Mohammed Atta was interested in the capabilities of the aircraft spraying the field with insecticides. He asked the instructor about the flight range, what kind of cargo such a plane could carry, etc. For what purpose? I think it is easy to guess ...