Osama bin Laden (is an Islamic fundamentalist, a primary founder of the al-Qaeda organization and a member of the immensely wealthy bin Laden family.
Bin Laden and al-Qaeda have allegedly committed several attacks worldwide, including the allegation that they both were directly responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., which killed at least 2,985 people. In addition, they have been linked to the bombings at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and U.S. Embassy Nairobi, Kenya and the USS Cole.
According to an audio tape released by Osama bin Laden, his main grievances against the West and especially the United States, include their support for the State of Israel, their support for several dictatorial regimes in the Middle East, and the presence of United States military bases in Saudi Arabia, where the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina are located. The U.S. withdrew from these bases in 2003 stating that they were no longer necessary for their campaign in Iraq.
The United States Department of State is offering a reward of 25 million US dollars for information leading to the capture or death of bin Laden. An additional reward of $2 million is being offered by the Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association for an unrelated issue. While bin Laden's current whereabouts are unknown, the most popular assumption is that he is hiding in Pakistan's tribal region of Waziristan bordering Afghanistan, or, more specifically, near the small Pakistani market town of Chitral , . If bin Laden is in Pakistan, it is possible that he benefits from local support by the Waziri. With the inhospitable mountainous terrain, the United States faces many difficulties in pursuing his capture, despite a wide array of sophisticated eavesdropping sensors deployed in the region .
Twice newspapers have reported his death. The first report in December 2001 was quickly disproven when Bin Laden issued a videotape. The second report that Bin Laden died in June 2005 was published in a Pakistani newspaper. Few Western publications decided the news was worth reporting. In January 2006, audiotapes purportedly from bin Laden were aired on all popular news media (audio , transcript ). The authenticity of these tapes, while still disputed, has been confirmed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency.
Bin Laden continues to hold support and loyalty from extremists within the Muslim world. The West, particularly the United States, persistently sees him as the leader of a terrorist organization that seeks the destruction of the West and the creation of a fundamentalist pan-Islamic caliphate.