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Re: unƒorgetaßle ...

Author:
Bankyi
Date:
2018-09-11 16:21:33



Comment: WHO IS OSAMA BIN LADEN?

Author: Kofi Ellison

Date: 2001-09-17 14:03:19


I did this as part of a report last Wednesday....! Kofi Ellison

WHO IS OSAMA bin LADEN? A PERSPECTIVE

Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., one name that is constantly evoked world-wide, as the possible culprit in the deadly dastardly act, is that of Osama bin Laden. The US State Department?s book on world-wide terrorist activities describes bin Laden as, ?one of the most significant financial sponsors of Islamic extremist activities in the world?. Bin Laden is at the very top of the Federal Bureau of Investigation?s (FBI) ?Ten Most Wanted Fugitive? list; and a 5 million dollar bounty has been placed on his head by the FBI. The Russians detest him for supporting Muslim separatist fighters in Chechnya and other Russian provinces. Arab leaders will not speak ill of him for fear of inviting his wrath. Europeans would much rather remain mute about him. And, he is revered by Muslim fundamentalists everywhere. Who is Osama bin Laden; and, how did he acquire such notoriety?

The FBI reports that bin Laden was born the 17th of 52 children of a wealthy Yemeni construction magnate in Saudi Arabia in 1957 (other reports put his birth at 1958). According to Saudi sources bin Laden?s intense religiosity began to emerge when his family?s construction company was involved in a contract to rebuild Islam?s holy mosques in Medina and Mecca. By all accounts, he grew up a wealthy man with access to all the trappings that wealth afforded. That lifestyle was to change for bin Laden once the former Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979.

It all started on 27 April, 1978, when the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), a Marxist organization led by Nur Mohammed Taraki, seized control of Afghanistan and set up a revolutionary government. Babrak Karmal and Hafizullah Amin, key figures in the unfolding drama, also assumed prominent posts in the new regime. Soon after seizing power, the Taraki regime announced a traditional Marxist-Leninist reform program, including the establishment of full women's rights and the implementation of land reform. These reforms were seen as undermining Afghan religious and cultural traditions, and thus elicited huge opposition from Afghan Islamic religious leaders. By September 1978, revolts had spread throughout Afghanistan's provinces and cities against the new government. On 14 February, 1979, in one of these outbursts of violence, the U.S. Ambassador Adolph Dubs was killed. This led to the elimination of any U.S. presence in the country.

On 28 March 1979, Taraki was removed from power, and Hafizullah Amin became prime minister. When anarchy continued to spread through the country, Amin asked for, and received, additional Soviet aid. Conditions continued to deteriorate, and on 14 September 1979, Taraki died in a confrontation with Amin's supporters. Babrak Karmal fled to Moscow. Finally, on the night of 24 December 1979, the Soviets began a full scale invasion and occupation of Afghanistan; Amin died three days later. Babrak Karmal was returned from the Soviet Union and became the new prime minister. He became essentially a Soviet puppet.

Meanwhile, Muslim fighters known as Mujahidden (Arabic word for fighter) flooded Afghanistan to join in the Afghan Jihad (Holy War) to extricate the Soviet ?infidels? from Islamic Afghanistan. One of the warriors who answered the call for jihad in Afghanistan was the Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden. These "Afghans-Arabs," as they came to be called because they were non-Afghans who came primarily from Islamic countries, and consisted of Baluchis, Algerians, Egyptians, Saudis, Filipinos, Palestinians and others. In the Cold War era, any move to defeat the guardians of Communism proved to be music to the ears of the USA and her Western allies. The US government embraced the Mujahidden cause wholeheartedly.

The US president at the time, Ronald Reagan, was effusive in his praise for the group as this quotation from him in the 1980's reflects: "The Afghan Mujaheddin are the moral equivalent of the Founding Fathers of America"!!! The US government through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), wasted no time, nor resources in funding, training, and arming the Mujaheddin at covert camps in Pakistan with the tacit and unflinching support of the Pakistani government of General Zia-ul Huq. By the time it was all over, the US had poured in at least 3 billion dollars into the Afghan resistance.

In 1989, facing imminent humiliating defeat and destruction of their forces, the Soviets, just as the US had done earlier in Vietnam; hurriedly got out of Afghanistan. With the war over, the Afghan-Arabs, also called Afghan Veterans such as Osama bin Laden began to go back to their countries and built ideological convictions with guerrilla skills that they learned in Pakistan under CIA training and supervision. Then, in 1991, the USA led a coalition of countries against Iraq in the Persian Gulf War. The presence of ?crusader forces?, as bin Laden called the US and Western soldiers, on Arab Holy lands (Saudi Arabia) fired the jihad in bin Laden once more.

In a May 1998 interview with John Miller of ABC News (a US television network), bin Laden described the presence of the ?crusader forces? in Saudi Arabia, as ?the latest and greatest aggression? against the Islamic world since the death of the prophet Muhammad in the year 632. For his denunciations and attacks on the religiosity of the Saudi rulers, he was placed under house arrest, and later evicted from the country. He sought refuge in Khartoum, Sudan in 1991. Under increased US pressure and threats of sanctions, the government of Sudan expelled bin Laden, and his followers in 1996. They ended up in Afghanistan, where bin Laden found common cause with the ultra-fundamentalist Islamic regime of the Taliban.

It is in Afghanistan that bin Laden set up several camps to train cadres for his jihad to drive the ?crusaders? and Jews (i.e. Americans and Israel), from Islamic Holy Places in Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem. He has several cells in places like Algeria, Egypt, Philippines, Chechnya, and the Gaza Strip and West Bank, all under the control of his group called Al Qaeda (The Base). Terrorist groups like al-Gamma al-Islamiya in Egypt, and the Islamic Jihad in the West Bank (Palestine) were formed by Afghan Veterans. All these groups have joined to, in the words of bin Laden, ?coordinate rousing the Muslim nation to carry out jihad against Jews and Crusaders?; under an umbrella organization called International Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders. By placing his person and immense wealth (estimated at over 300 million dollars), at the disposal of a pan-Islamic movement aimed at furthering the goals of his brand of Islamic revolution, bin Laden has truly become the Che Guevara of the Islamic world.

Such attacks as the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the 1996 bombing of US soldiers in Saudi Arabia, and the attack on the ship USS Cole in Yemen have all been linked to Bin Laden and his group. In addition, bin Laden has issued religious Fatwas (legal statements) to his followers to attack the US. It is against this background that Osama bin Laden has all but been named responsible for the blow ups in New York and Washington, D.C. Though he has denied involvement, bin Laden has praised the act. According to Jamal Ismail of Abu Dhabi television in Islamabad (Pakistan), quoting a close aide of bin Laden, ?Osama bin Laden thanked All mighty Allah and bowed before him when he heard this news?.

Whoever is responsible for the blow up of the buildings, one thing is certain. By attacking the World Trade Centre in New York, and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. (though located about half a mile from DC, in Arlington, Virginia), the perpetrators temporarily dented the symbols of American financial and military strength. For the first time in the nation?s history, the pillars of American political power, the White House and Congress were evacuated. Federal offices were shut down; schools and universities were closed; US airspace was closed to air traffic; and a sense of fear and insecurity pervaded the great nation.

Indeed, this tragedy which has had a world-wide effect in terms of human and financial loss; has dealt a blow as to the way free people live their lives. By choosing to hit the US where it hurts most, the perpetrators have probably spelt their eventual doom by inviting a certain huge and unrestrained response from the USA .

[This is an authentic posting from Bankyi (Registered User)]
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Re: unƒorgetaßle ...
Bankyi on 09-11 16:21