- "We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the difference between us two."
- —Osama bin Laden
- "Jihad will continue even if I am not around."
- —Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden (born Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden; March 10th, 1957 – May 2nd, 2011), also known as Osama, was the terrorist mastermind behind the infamous and tragic September 11 attacks - which resulted in one of the largest losses of civilian life during peace time on American soil: He had also been responsible for the creation of a vast international terrorist network that champions Jihad and the destruction of Western democracy in favor of Islamic law.
On May 2, 2011, bin Laden was shot and killed by the Navy SEALs in his compound and was buried at sea. After President Obama had made the announcement, U.S. citizens gathered around the White House and celebrated Osama's death. Afterwards, sometime in June 2011, al-Qaeda announced that Ayman al-Zawahiri was elected as the new leader; plus, they vowed to get revenge on the United States to avenge bin Laden.
Bin Laden had been in hiding for years and there had been doubts as to whether or not the mastermind was even still alive - but every now and then, Osama released a videotape of himself trying to intimidate the Western world with threats of further violence: Because of the nature of Islamic fundamentalism, it is argued that bin Laden and his followers were amongst the most dangerous terrorists in modern-times.
However, unlike many of his followers, bin Laden hadn't shown himself to be fanatical enough to risk his own life; in fact, he had gone to great lengths to ensure his own survival, despite encouraging others to commit suicide-bombings and other atrocities in defense of his cause. When his compound was finally discovered, he used one of his own wives as a human shield and was gunned down attempting to flee and save his own life.
bin Laden was a strong believer in Sharia law and believed that all other ideologies must be opposed violently and without mercy - he also believed that civilians (even women and children) are legitimate targets in his war against the unbeliever, he often viewed America and Israel as imperialist nations that must be destroyed or convinced into merging with Islam, he had often urged America and the Western world in general to abandon such vices as music, sex and liberalism: He was also antisemitic and believes that Jews are a dangerous enemy of Islam and must be treated as such.
Osama's violent criticism of the world was not limited to the Western world as he also believed almost all current Muslim nations had failed in their responsibilities as Muslim nations, he once believed that the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan was the only true Muslim nation in the world.
Over time, bin Laden settled into a compound near Abbottabad, Pakistan. Eventually, the Americans learned of bin Laden's whereabouts, and a strike team was assembled to go after him.
U.S. President Barack Obama launched a mission, "Operation Geronimo", where United States Special Operation forces raided bin Laden's hideout compound. At around 01:00 Pakistan Standard Time, 2 May 2011 (UTC 20:00, 1 May), bin Laden was killed by bullets to the chest and head. DNA confirmed that it was his body. Additionally, photographs were taken of the body to confirm that it was Osama to senior officials, these photographs were not released to the public in order to keep from inflaming sentiment against the US. In order to keep bin Laden's burial site from becoming a place of pilgrimage for extremists, bin Laden was buried at sea within a few hours of his death.
- In addition to destroying the Twin Towers and killing around 3,000 people, Osama bin Laden's 9/11 attacks were also responsible for the ban of the Pokemon episodes "The Tower of Terror" (due to the title) and "Tentacool and Tentacruel" (due to Tentacruel smashing a skyscraper), and the 29th episode of The Amanda Show due to the Lucklesses' house being hit by a meteor, though it was included in the Season 2 DVD release while the ban on the Pokemon episodes was eventually lifted.