20 Facts About Osama

1. Osama studied at university in the country until 1979, when he joined Mujahideen forces in Pakistan fighting against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

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2. Osama helped to fund the Mujahideen by funneling arms, money, and fighters from the Arab world into Afghanistan, and gained popularity among many Arabs.

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3. Osama was banished from Saudi Arabia in 1992, lost his Saudi citizenship in 1994, and shifted his base to Sudan until US pressure forced him to leave in 1996.

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4. Osama became the subject of a decade-long international manhunt, during which the FBI offered a $25million bounty on him.

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5. Osama studied economics and business administration at King Abdulaziz University.

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6. Osama describes him as a frugal man and strict father, who enjoyed taking his large family on shooting trips and picnics in the desert.

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7. Osama opposed such alternatives as secular government, as well as pan-Arabism, socialism, communism, and democracy.

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8. Osama subscribed to the Athari school of Islamic theology.

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9. Osama called for the elimination of Israel, and called upon the United States to withdraw all of its civilians and military personnel from the Middle East, as well as from every Islamic country of the world.

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10. Osama was indicted on terrorism charges by law enforcement agencies in Madrid, New York City, and Tripoli.

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11. Osama believed this would lead to economic collapse of the enemy countries, by "bleeding" them dry.

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12. Osama was interested in earth-moving machinery and genetic engineering of plants on the one hand, but rejected chilled water on the other.

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13. Osama offered to send al-Qaeda to overthrow the Soviet-aligned Yemeni Socialist Party government in South Yemen but was rebuffed by Prince Turki bin Faisal.

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14. Osama was angered by the internecine tribal fighting among the Afghans.

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15. Osama bought a house on Al-Mashtal Street in the affluent Al-Riyadh quarter and a retreat at Soba on the Blue Nile.

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16. Osama was the Sudan agent for the British firm Hunting Surveys, and built roads using the same bulldozers he had employed to construct mountain tracks in Afghanistan.

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17. Osama was generous to the poor and popular with the people.

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18. Osama chose to return to Jalalabad, Afghanistan aboard a chartered flight on 18 May 1996; there he forged a close relationship with Mullah Mohammed Omar.

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19. Osama told the attending journalists, "You will see the results of this in a very short time.

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20. Osama is a former roommate of Ahmed Ressam, the man arrested at the CanadaUnited States border in mid-December 1999 with a car full of nitroglycerin and bomb-making materials.

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