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Monday, May 2, 2011


Osama bin Laden was the only son of the tenth wife of Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, #17 of 54 children, and was assassinated by Navy Seals on 1May2011 at the age of 54.  Father Mohammed married 22 times, but divorced many, for he could legally only have four wives at one time.  Osama's mother, Alia Ghanem (later Hamidah al-Attas) was from Syria, and divorced Father Mohammed soon after Osama was born, going on to marry one of Osama's stepfathers, another Mohammed, an al-Attas.  Osama, thus, grew up in this household with three younger brothers and a sister.  Above at the age of 17 in 1971 on a visit with his family to Sweden. He is supposedly second from the right, whatever that means.

While Osama's childhood must have been metastable, worse, regarding his respect for the United States, his father Mohammed was in 1967 killed when he was on a flight misjudged by an American pilot, while eldest son, brother Salem, who took over the company, died in 1988 on an ultralight plane he was flying in San Antonio, Texas.  The Saudi Binlaudin Group has annual revenues of $5 billion, and is one of the largest construction firms in the Islamic world.  The company is run by brother Bakr bin Laden, who attended the University of Miami, and is rarely seen.  When he goes out to dinner, the restaurant is closed only for his party.

His college career was also mixed up, at least for information available.  He did attend King Abdulaziz University (37,000 students), and studied either civil engineering or public administration, with a main interest in religion, such that he might not have graduated.

His married life?  First wife at age of 17, had four wives and at least 12, but maybe up to 26, children.  

A devout Wahhabi Muslim, he wanted restoration of Sharia law and called on Americans to reject our immoral ways, not limited to drinking, gambling, usury, listening to music and homosexuality.  He was very much anti-Semitic.

In the '80's he fought in Afghanistan, and as a Mujahideen, was praised by President Ronald Reagan as a "Freedom Fighter."  He was then a hero, for he brought down the Russians, and become one of the founders of al-Qaeda in 1988, providing deep anger for the West and money (family gave him $7 million/year).  Killing women, children and other innocents was justified for good cause, for they would go to Paradise.  When Saddam Hussein attacked Kuwait, bin Laden met with King Saud to protect Saudi Arabia, but was rebuffed in favor of America.  This is where the falling out occurred with his home country.  So he began focusing on causing havoc, especially the World Trade Center twin towers, being involved with both the 1993 basement bombing and 9/11.  As early as 1998 President Bill Clinton was warned by the CIA that this group was planning to hijack planes to crash into skyscrapers, and an initial attempt was made to apprehend him, with deadly force authorized.

That same year, both Libya and the USA officially indicted bin Laden for separate murders.  He was added to the FBI most wanted list (with 455 others) the following year, 1999.  In 2001 he made the Top 22 Most Wanted Terrorist group.  After 9/11, the CIA formed a special task force to take out bin Ladin, but this group was disestablished in 2005.  Of course, we kept raiding mountain caves in Afghanistan hoping to get him, but only recently homed in on Abbotabad (31 miles north of Islamabad--about a quarter mile from a Pakistani police office and close to the Pakistan Military Academy) in Pakistan.  The attack by more
than two dozen Navy Seals on 1May2011 resulted in no American casualties and four terrorist (including probably one of his wives) deaths.  Those bodies were buried at sea from the U.S.S. Vinson in the North Arabian Sea.  Information will be updated, so let me stop here, except to add my congratulations for a job well done, President Barack Obama.

The Dow Jones Industrials slipped 3 to 12,807, with world markets mixed and the Japan Nikkei surging 154 to 10,004.  Gold sunk $17/toz to $1546, while oil remains essentially unchanged, the NYMEX at $113/barrel and Brent Spot at $124/barrel.


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