Usama bin Laden, born in 1957, comes from a wealthy Saudi Arabian family that owns a multinational construction business. He used his inherited wealth to finance Afghan forces fighting the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980's. After the 1991 Gulf War, he was distressed that Saudi Arabia allowed U.S. forces to remain in the Arabian Peninsula. To advance his agenda of expelling the U.S. from the Islamic world, he worked with other anti-Western fundamentalists to organize a secretive, highly compartmentalized terrorist network, known as al-Qaida. It is through his upbringing, education, culture, and wars in Islamic countries, that Usama bin Laden has sought to purge the Islamic world of the influences that he believes have corrupted and degraded it.
Usama bin Laden was born in 1957 in Saudi Arabia. He was the seventeenth son of 51 children of Muhammad bin Laden. His father was of Yemeni descent, and his mother was from Saudi Arabia. Usama's father was the dominant figure in the family, and Usama may have obtained his strong Islamic heritage from his father. "He had a tough discipline and observed all the children with strict religious and social code. He maintained a special daily program and obliged his children to follow."1 Over and above the strict Islamic teachings that he received from his father, Usama bin Laden also received religious indoctrination from a variety of people who were transients during Hajj.
While Usama was still young in age, his father would invite pilgrims traveling during Hajj into their home. Those individuals seemingly had a profound effect on his life. Some of those were senior Islamic scholars or leaders of Muslim movements, and he used to make good contacts and relations through those gatherings.1 In addition to the Islamic teachings at home, Usama also expanded his education in relation to Islam and Islamic movements at the collegiate... [continues]
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