Osama bin Laden was the Islamic fundamentalist leader and leader of the terrorist group Al Qaeda. He was a harsh critic of the United States and its policies.
Usama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was born on March 10, 1957 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His father, Mohammad bin Laden, was one of the country’s wealthiest business leaders. Osama had more than 50 brothers and sisters. At the age of 17 he married a Syrian girl. She was to be the first of several wives.
In 1979 he earned a degree in civil engineering from King Abdul-Aziz University.
In 1979 the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Bin Laden, like many other Muslims, rose to join the jihad declared against the attackers.
In 1988 he and the Egyptians founded Al Qaeda (The Base). Their goal was to protect the religion of Islam and Muslim people. Later Al Qaeda became known as a radical Islamic group.