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Bin Laden, Osama

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Bin Laden, Osama

    (b. 1957 )

    Militant extremist believed to be a major financier of international terrorism and head of the al-Qaeda network. Educated in economics and public administration at King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Made a fortune in the family construction business. Fought for and financed the mujahidin in Afghanistan, 1979 – 89 . Returned to his native Saudi Arabia in 1990 . Offered his own troops, trained in Afghanistan, to drive Iraq out of Kuwait during the Gulf War, since he opposed the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia. Became an opponent of the Saudi royal family after they rejected his offer. Stripped of Saudi citizenship in 1994 . Exiled to Sudan 1993 – 96 . Returned to Afghanistan in 1996 and became a supporter of the Taliban regime. Issued a fatwa declaring that jihad against Americans and Zionists was a duty incumbent upon all Muslims due to the continued U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia, U.S. support for economic sanctions against Iraq, and unequivocal U.S. support for Israel, which he accuses of terrorism against Palestinians. Implicated in funding or masterminding attacks against the United States in Somalia and New York in 1993 , Saudi Arabia in 1995 , Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 , the USS Cole in 2000 , and New York and Washington in 2001 .

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