The Truth and Lie on Bin Laden

Bin Laden was born into a rich Saudi family, inherited $300 million, and was killed in his mansion – on the anniversary of Hitler’s suicide.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, | updated: 13:35

Al Qaeda
Al Qaeda
Israel news photo: Wikimedia Commons

Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden was born in 1957 into a rich Saudi family, inherited $300 million at the age of 11, and was killed in his mansion, belying the myth that poverty breeds terrorists.

He was killed on the same day that it was announced that Hitler had committed suicide, one day earlier in 1945, and on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

His father was a contractor who adhered to fundamentalist Islam. Bin Laden grew up surrounded by material wealth – crystal chandeliers, gold statues and Italian tapestries, McClatchy newspapers reported.

At the age of 11, he inherited a fortune estimated to be worth $300 million after his father died in a helicopter crash. His exposure to radical Islam began after he shunned Western universities and studied at a university in Saudi Arabia, where he learned from Muslim preachers that following strict Islam was a defense against corruption and Western decadence.

At the age of 18, he married a 14-year-old girl, the first of four wives. In 1988, he founded Al-Qaeda, an Arabic word that literally means “the base."

American authorities labeled him a co-conspirator in the 1993 bomb attack at the World Trade Center, when six people were killed and hundreds were wounded. It turned out to be a prelude to the devastating 9/11 suicide plane attacks in 2001 that brought down the Twin Towers, where approximately 2,700 people were murdered.

He survived several assassination attempts, one of which narrowly missed him by a time difference of less than one hour.

The more he succeeded in killing, the more radical he became. Bin Laden began issuing “fatwas,” Muslim religious decrees, including one in 1996 that declared a holy war against the U.S. Army. A year later, he told an interviewer that the United States is "unjust, criminal and tyrannical… [and] wants to occupy our countries, steal our resources, impose on us agents to rule us, and then wants us to agree to all this. If we refuse to do so, it says we are terrorists."

Two years later, he endorsed a fatwa that that Muslims should kill Americans – including civilians – anywhere in the world.

After terrorist bombings outside U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 that killed 224 people, he was indicted in absentia on 224 counts of murder and appeared on the FBI’s listed of the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. After the 9/11 attacks, a $25 million bounty was placed over his head.

While preaching the radical Muslim philosophy against Western opulence and corruption, his Al-Qaeda terrorist network continues to raise hundreds of millions of dollars through drug smuggling, extortion and money funneled from Muslim ”charities,”

He died in the same opulent environment in which he grew up. American SEAL teams killed him in his huge mansion in Pakistan, ending the life of the man who was once described by terrorism expert Yosef Bodansky as “the man who declared war on America.”

Although Bin Laden is dead, he leaves a large inheritance—the thriving Al-Qaeda terrorist network. His Egyptian deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, is likely to take his place. Psychologically Al-Qaeda has suffered a serious blow and possibly even the beginning of its demise in the long term.

However, an American official told The New York Times Monday, “Al Qaeda operatives and sympathizers may try to respond violently to avenge Bin Laden’s death, and other terrorist leaders may try to accelerate their efforts to strike the United States.”