By Steven Otfinoski
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Additional resources for Afghanistan (Nations in Transition)
The United States Attacks On October 1, less than three weeks after the attacks in New York and Washington, the United States, assisted by Great Britain and Australia, h OSAMA BIN LADEN (b. 1957– ) Although not an Afghan, Osama bin Laden has helped to turn this country into a breeding ground for international terrorism. He is the most wanted fugitive in United States history. Osama bin Laden was born in Saudi Arabia in 1957, the 17th of 24 sons of an immigrant bricklayer from Yemen. Through hard work and a sharp business sense, bin Laden’s father became one of the wealthiest building contractors in the country.
Through hard work and a sharp business sense, bin Laden’s father became one of the wealthiest building contractors in the country. When bin Laden was about 12, his father died in an airplane crash and he inherited a huge fortune. As a youth, he was a pious Muslim. But as a civil engineering student at King Abdul Aziz University, he gained a reputation as a playboy who preferred women and drink to his studies. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 was a turning point in bin Laden’s life. He felt solidarity with the Afghans and gave millions of his money to support the mujahideen.
His hatred of the Soviets soon extended to all Western countries that interfered with Muslim nations, including the United States. In 1986, he established a training camp for terrorists. Two years later he founded al-Qaeda (meaning “the Base”), with the Egyptian terrorist group Islamic Jihad (Holy War). He returned briefly to Saudi Arabia in 1989, but then moved back to Afghanistan and then to the Sudan in Africa. The Saudis revoked his citizenship in 1994, a year after terrorists were credited with the bombing of an underground garage at the World Trade Center.
Afghanistan (Nations in Transition) by Steven Otfinoski