Hadramawt – southern tip of Saudi Arabian Peninsula; currently province in Yemen.
Very fertile mountainous valley with ideal
climate and soil. A wide variety
of trees can be grown here. Valuable spices such as frankincense and myrrh came
from these trees.
Regional capital of Hadramawt
province is Mulkalla or ‘Bride of the Arabian
Sea’. Other important cities include Ash Shirh,
Dowan, Seyun, Shibam,
Tarim is the oldest town and for
hundreds of years it has been an influential scientific and religious center.
It has a library that boasts of having a large collection of rare and ancient
parchments. In early 1900’s a farmer named Awad bin
Laden lived hear Tarim. The family had an acre of
land to grow food and raise goats. The largest source of income came from
raising honey bees. Bee-keeping was a major industry of the Hadramwt
area and the honey was acclaimed for its high quality and many uses for
thousands of years. Awad was known as an expert bee
keeper and he was hired by the wealthy families of the region to advise them on
how to manage their hives.
Awad had 2 sons. The older was
named Mohammad and the second was called Abdullah. Sometime in late 1929 or early 1930 Awad bought ship passage for Mohammad from Mulkalla to Jeddah, Saudia
Arabia. The idea was that Mohammad would work as a porter in the busy seaport
of Jeddah and send part of his paycheck to the family back home. Mohammad loved
the opportunity to experience life beyond the confines of his birthplace. The
busy seaport of Jeddah was a wonderful opportunity to talk and learn from many
different merchants and businessman that were traversing. Mohammad learned
valuable knowledge and business skills that were far beyond his humble and
Saudia Arabia was growing and
expanding at a phenomenal pace. Mohammad saved enough money to buy some old
construction equipment and because the need for rapid expansion was
outstripping building contracts, Mohammad was able to get his first contract.
By 1940, Mohammad was a wealthy man. He had his own construction company
employing hundreds of people.
Mohammad grew not only in wealth, but also in influence. He
became very close to the king and royal family. He became the Al Saud family’s private and most preferred builder. He built
many of the royal palaces and was awarded numerous lucrative government
contracts such as constructing the Dharain airport.
Mohammad had 10 or 11 wives of various nationalities
including Saudia Arabian, Yemeni, Syrian, and
Palestinian. He had 54 children and the last born son in 1957 was Osama. His mother’s name was Hamida.
Her family resided in Damascus, Syria
and Mohammad had business ties with her father. Osama
was Hamida’s only son to Mohammad. Hamida was soon disliked by Mohammad because she was
outspoken and chose to be independent from the remaining wives and families.
Mohammad ostracized her and she could never be at the same residence as her
husband. He frequently sent her to his home in Tabuk.
Osama was required to spend most of his time at his
father’s side in Jeddah. Osama grew up missing his
mother and resenting his siblings because they had their mother’s closeness and
presence in their upbringing. Basically, Osama grew
up as a very shy, quiet, and introverted young man. He did not have much
opportunity for developing a relationship with his father because his father
died when he was 10.
Left Jeddah in August 1973 for schooling in Beirut,
Lebanon. In the early ‘70’s Beirut was called the , “Paris
of the Middle East”. Osama led
a very flamboyant and nonmuslim lifestyle. He shaved
his beard and acquired a yellow Mercedes convertible. He began wearing stylish
clothing. He stopped praying 5 times
each day. He went to the nightclubs and
gaming houses with liberal muslims and Lebanese Christians. He was very
attractive and did not go unescorted as he toured the town for most of the
night. He liked blonde haired women. His
first real girlfriend was a Lebanese Christian and he mingled with the
Christian/Muslim social group. Osama drank alcohol
beginning at age 16. It was about this
time that Osama discovered he had a sensitive stomach
and he had to learn how to moderate what he ate. Osama
was called back to Jeddah when civil war broke out April 13, 1975.
The Bin Laden family forced Osama
to enroll at King Saud University
in Riyadh in 1975 to study
economics and Islamic economics. He
tried to re-create the liberal lifestyle he had lived in Lebanon,
but Saudia Arabia was a strict religious muslim country. He persisted as
best he could until 1977. His older
brother Salim was going to make his first Hajj and he
invited Osama to accompany him. This experience
completely changed him away from his “sinful” life and back to being devoutly
religious. He grew the long beard and made sure he prayed the required 5 times
In 1979, he left his management position with the Bin Laden
construction company and flew to Afghanistan.
He was incensed that the godless Soviets would occupy muslim land. He entered the country at Peshawar
city is the spiritual home of the Pathan People. Peshawar
was the staging point for nonafgan muslims who wanted to organize and
fight the atheistic soviets. It is surmised that Osama
was doing this to atone for his sinful past life. He felt there was a special
place in the hereafter for those who participated in jihad.
February 15, 1989
Soviets pull our of Afghanistan.
Osama had spent 10 years of his life in the war
against the soviets. He was discouraged because immediately after the Soviets
vacated the country, it fell into a protracted civil war. The afghani muslim people were left in worse
living conditions that before the Soviet invasion. The country was composed a
factions warring against one another.
Summer of 1989 Osama returned to Saudia Arabia. He was welcomed back as a hero. He quietly
took an office in the Bin Laden Construction building and settled into managing
the building of roads. However, his
Jeddah office quickly becomes a base for keeping track of his mujahideen lieutenants and highly trained extremely loyal
men. He has begun calling this operation “THE BASE” or AL Qaeda. He spends a good portion each working day
organizing men and supplies to go into areas of the world where the faithful muslims are being persecuted and killed or the reigning Arab
governments has become too liberal.
In 1990 the royal family of SA learns that Osama has secretly been funding insurgencies. They require
him to surrender his passport. Osama has been
attending meetings in mosques warning that Saddam Huessin
has plans of invading Kuwait
and then Saudia Arabia. He contacts the King’s office
and offers an arab fighting
force of 10,000 warriors to protect the country.
August 2, 1990,
Saddam invades Kuwait.
Again, Osama attempts to contact the King’s office,
but no reply for his urgent message that he can defend the kingdom. Instead, it
is announced that the United States
will be doing this work. Osama is completely
Determines King Fahd is not a good
muslim and needs to be
April 1991, tricks his older brother, Bakr
to get back his passport and flies to Karachi, Pakistan
with plans to making his way to his base in Afghanistan. When he arrives, there is a hugh celebration from old friends
and fellow soldiers. He goes to Pakistan
to get away from the watchful eye of the SA intelligence community. He does not
remain long in his old camp in the outback areas of Afghanistan
because the country is torn by civil war. Osama
cannot effectively manage his army here. He leaves and flies to Sudan late in 1991. The
Sudanese ruler give Osama complete freedom to build
his training camps; to launder his money and to fly “busninessmen”
in from all over the world to consult with how to wage war against the
American, Christians, and Jews. It is from here that he sends muslim fighters to Bosnia
and then later another large operation is organized for the Somalia