Aspects of Osama’s Life

What was the rivalry between USA and Osama Bin Laden  all about? What was the nature of the rivalry? What lead to the success of the operation that was carried out by Navy Seals on the 2nd of May? And how would the Pakistani forces react if such an operation is carried out again?

A closer look at Osama Bin Laden’s early life is necessary in order to achieve a better understanding of this scenario. Osama was very close to his father Muhammad Bin Laden. The 1967 Arab Israel war left Osama’s father furious. 10 years old, his father’s anger towards the war paved way for fundamentalist ideas in Osama’s mind. The 1973 Arab Israel war intensified the fundamentalism. Osama had developed a religious attitude at a very early age.

Osama in Afghanistan in 1980s, engaging in Jihad

Osama met Abdullah Azaam at King Abdullah University. Azaam invited him to participate in Jihad in Afghanistan. Osama went to Afghanistan in early 1980s where he became an active Jihadist. Osama expanded his mission by creating an organization “Maktab Al Khidmat” in Peshawar. This organization invited the youth to participate in Jihad in Afghanistan and offered them residency and a free airline ticket. Osama and his companions began their training with Afghan Jihad Leader Abdul Ruff Siaff.

Journalist Hamid Mir with Osama Bin Laden

A great number of people associate Osama with CIA. Osama, during an interview with the famous Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir, denied any relation with the CIA. He stated that he had always boycotted American products. Osama also said that he was using Pakistan and Afghanistan as a training base for Palestine. Osama created Al Qaeda around 1988 in Peshawar. However, he had to return to Saudi Arabia in 1989 due to the Jalalabad operation. Osama is believed to have played a major role in the no-confidence movement against Benazir Bhutto during this time.

1990 was the beginning of a new phase for Osama’s life. Kuwait had attacked Iraq and American forces had established their airbases in Saudi Arabia. Osama conveyed a message to the Saudi Kingdom that he was capable of defending the country and that they should not rely on American help. Osama added that he and his organization had defeated the Soviet Union earlier and this scenario wasn’t any different. However, the Kingdom refused his offer. Sheikh Abdul Rehman issued an Islamic decree, known as “fatwa”, against the presence of Americans in Saudi Arabia. This served as a fuel to Osama’s resentment against the western interference in the country. He was put under a house arrest. However, he used his contacts to persuade the Kingdom to allow him to leave the country. In 1991 he visited Pakistan for a while before settling in Sudan. Sudan served as a unification ground for Al Qaeda. Osama gathered Al Qaeda again and established training camps for Jihadists from all over the world.

The American airbases in Saudi Arabia (SA) were attacked. SA suspected Osama for these attacks. This laid foundations for the rivalry between SA and Osama. Al Qaeda began operating from Somalia around 1993 and started their activities against the Pakistani and American forces. SA tried convincing Osama, through his family, to reconcile matters and ask Shah Fahad for forgiveness. They offered him a safe return to his home country. Osama, however, refused. SA was left with no other choice but to revoke his citizenship. Sudanese government, under US pressure, pressurized Osama to leave their country. In 1996 Osama moved to Afghanistan with promises of aid and support from his friends. The famous mujahedeen commander Mohammad Younas Khalis (Maulvi Younas) provided Osama with the necessary infrastructure in Tora Bora. Khalis also introduced Osama to the Taliban.

Taliban were a whole different deal back then. These were times when Pakistan supported Taliban. Robin L. Raphel, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs during the Clinton administration, had advised Benazir Bhutto to support the Taliban. The 1990s witnessed a strengthening Osama. In 1998 Osama established the “International Islamic Front” with the support of Muhammad Atif and Aimen Al-Zawahiri. Announcements were made in the Islamic Front directing America to withdraw its forces from SA and demands for the freedom of Palestine were made as well. This announcement was followed by countless attacks on American soldiers and embassies. The attack on twin towers was a part of this series of attacks. 9 11 lead to the American war with Afghanistan.  The US kept trying to track Osama in the following years and Osama kept evading. He went underground after drone attacks began in South Waziristan in 2004. Osama moved to Abbottabad around 5 years ago (2006). He was living in Abbottabad with three wives and kids.

The Compound Where the Navy Seals Killed Obama

On the 2nd of May 2011, American Navy tracked and killed Osama at his residential compound. The question is what allowed the American planes to go undetected in Pakistani airspace? Many theories are being suggested in this regard. One of them is the that Pakistani Radar systems are always surveillancing Indo-Pak Borders and the radar system in Abbottabad was not active at the time of the operation. Another theory that’s been going around is that the American’s were able to evade radar detection due their advanced stealth technology.


Whatever the reason, Pakistani administration has warned that this event should not be taken as a sign of military incompetence or negligence on Pakistani forces’ part in any way. The Chief of Army confirmed that he was informed of unidentified planes in Pakistani airspace and he ordered the air force to bring them down. However, by the time the night fighters got there, the trespassing planes had left.


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  1. Ali Ammar says:

    The question is what we can do if it happens again? Army chief, some days back, said that he can strike down drones but the consequences will be unaffordable. Is he suggesting that we should keep quiet in the fear of UNAFFORDABLE CIRCUMSTANCES?

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