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BBC : Osama Bin Laden's life In pictures
alaaron | May 2, 2011 at 03:20 amby
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Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden has been killed after a manhunt that lasted almost a decade. The son of a Saudi multi-millionaire, he first took up arms following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Determined to fight the Soviet forces, he moved to Afghanistan where, for a decade, he fought an ultimately victorious campaign with the mujahideen. His hatred of the Soviets shifted to the US after American troops were based in Saudi Arabia, home of two of Islam's holiest places, during the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq. Bin Laden saw their presence as blasphemy. Amongst a string of worldwide attacks, Bin Laden was implicated in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York; a 1995 car bomb in the Saudi capital, Riyadh; a truck bomb in a Saudi barracks which killed 19 US soldiers in 1996; and attacks against US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. But Bin Laden really came to the world's attention on 11 September 2001, when attacks on New York and the Pentagon left nearly 3,000 people dead.
Although US forces moved into Afghanistan late in 2001, Bin Laden slipped across the border into Pakistan. He continued to elude capture for nearly a decade despite his "most wanted" status. He found many supporters in Pakistan, where he was often seen as a fighter for freedom against the US and Israel - not, as he was to many in the West, a terrorist with the blood of thousands on his hands. Although a fugitive, he maintained a presence in the public eye with the periodic release of audio messages and videos purportedly showing him addressing his supporters and Western governments. The unexpected news of his killing by US forces in Pakistan led to spontaneous late-night celebrations outside the White House in Washington and in New York.