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Osama Bin Laden

September 12, 2001

Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden, the man considered by many to be either the mastermind or the financier behind the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, is the most notorious person on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitive list.

Born in 1957 in Saudi Arabia, Bin Laden is identified as the "leader of a terrorist organization known as Al-Qaeda, The Base'." It is said that he he walks with a cane.

The FBI description says that "Usama Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of hte United States embassies in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya."

He is "considered armed and extremely dangerous".

According to the BBC, Bin Laden is "an immensely wealthy and private man [who] has been granted a safe haven by Afghanistan's ruling Taleban movement. During his time in hiding, he has called for a holy war against the US, and for the killing of Americans and Jews. He is reported to be able to rally around him up to 3,000 fighters. He is also suspected of helping to set up Islamic training centres to prepare soldiers to fight in Chechnya and other parts of the former Soviet Union."

Born in Saudi Arabia to a Yemeni family, Bin Laden left Saudi Arabia in 1979 to fight against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. There he established the Maktab al-Khidimat (MAK), which recruited fighters from around the world and imported equipment to aid the Afghan resistance against the Soviet army.

After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the "Arab Afghans" turned their fire against the US and its allies in the Middle East.

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