OSAMA BIN LADEN
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (with numerous variations; Arabic:أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن, Usāmah bin Muḥammad bin ‘Awaḍ bin Lādin; born March 10, 1957) is a member of the prominent Saudi bin Laden family and the founding leader of the terrorist Islamist organization al-Qaeda, best known for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian targets. Bin Laden is on the American Federal Bureau of Investigation's list of FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives due to several 1998 US embassy bombings.
Since 2001, Osama bin Laden and his organization have been major targets of the United States' War on Terror. Bin Laden and fellow Al-Qaeda leaders are believed to be hiding near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
Osama bin Laden was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In a 1998 interview, he gave his birth date as March 10, 1957. His father Muhammed Awad bin Laden was a wealthy businessman with close ties to the Saudi royal family. Osama bin Laden was born the only son of Muhammed bin Laden's tenth wife, Hamida al-Attas. Osama's parents divorced soon after he was born; Osama's mother then married Muhammad al-Attas. The couple had four children, and Osama lived in the new household with three half-brothers and one half-sister.
Bin Laden was raised as a devout Wahhabi Muslim. From 1968 to 1976 he attended the "élite" secular Al-Thager Model School. Bin Laden studied economics and business administration at King Abdulaziz University. Some reports suggest bin Laden earned a degree incivil engineering in 1979, or a degree in public administration in 1981. Other sources describe him as having left university during his third year, never completing a college degree, though "hard working." At university, bin Laden's main interest was religion, where he was involved in both "interpreting the Quran and jihad" and charitable work. He also writes poetry.
In 1974, at the age of 17, bin Laden married his first wife Najwa Ghanem at Latakia. According to CNN national security correspondent David Ensore, as of 2002 bin Laden had married four women and fathered roughly 25 or 26 children. Other sources report that he has fathered anywhere from 12 to 24 children.