Osama Bin Laden - The
Anatomy of a Mass Terrorist
Bin Laden, too, had a difficult childhood. Though he was
wealthier than Koresh, he was one of 52 children in a strict,
fundamentalist household, and his father died when he was young.
Bin Laden developed a close
relationship early on with Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian who played a
major role in the reemergence of Islamic traditionalism.
Azzam was the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, a
group which could have competed with the Davidians in terms of
religious faith and zeal.
In 1979, when he was
22, Bin Laden joined countless other Muslims to fight the
Soviet forces in Afghanistan. (He saw the Soviets as waging war
on Islam, the religion, on Allah the god, not just on Islamic peoples.
Bin Laden undoubtedly viewed that battle, in which he did see combat,
as part of the same jihad he has now launched against the US.)
In 1980, Azzam founded an organization that later came to be known as
Al-Qaeda. Bin Laden rejoined his mentor, and served as his chief
financer and a major recruiter. After Azzam was murdered by an
assassin, Bin Laden stepped in to head Al-Qaeda (similar to the way
Koresh took Roden’s place.)
Over the next few
decades, Bin Laden became angrier with the world – with the
Communists, with the Westerners who invaded Islamic territories with
their weapons, not to mention their Christian and Jewish heritages and
risqué women and rock ‘n roll, and even with conflicting Islamic groups
who seemed unmotivated to join the jihad and defend god’s honor.
Bin Laden began to recruit heavily, while at the
same time distancing Al-Qaeda
from everyone else by utilizing rhetoric similar to Koresh’s.
"We fight the governments that are bent on attacking our religion and
on stealing our wealth and on hurting our feelings. And as I have
mentioned before, we fight them, and those who are part of their rule
are judged in the same manner," Bin Laden said in a 1998 interview with
Frontline. "It is far better for anyone to kill a single American
soldier than to squander his efforts on other activities," he