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Bin Laden
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US Violence
Osama Bin Laden - The Anatomy of a Mass Terrorist
Steven Barrie-Anthony

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 continued.   

Bin Laden sees, and Koresh saw, the world composed of evil forces converging to rape them of their goodness, and both devised similar means to defend themselves.

Both isolated their organizations, cited multitudes of injustices and blamed them on the defined oppressor.  Bin Laden thinks Allah is on his side – Koresh   considered himself Christ’s

emissary.  Both have used their respective holy books to rationalize the totalistic ideology.  And both viewed violence as inevitable.

In fact, it is widely believed that when the FBI first became involved with the Branch Davidians, Koresh had amassed a small arsenal of illegal weaponry within the compound.  He believed that the forces of evil would soon march upon them, and he wanted them to be prepared to defend themselves in god’s name before they ascended to heaven.


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