Episode 254: Osama bin Laden: Nuff Said!

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On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the life, lies, and legacy of terrorist number one, Osama bin Laden. He was born on March 10, 1957, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His father was a billionaire who earned his fortune through doing construction for the royal family, and his mother was wife number ten! Osama was the seventh of the fifty children born to his father; however, he was the only child of his mother.

Osama bin Laden was raised in a strict, religious household where children were treated like grown men and forced to mature quickly or suffer. At the age of 14, Osama started attending the Al Thagher school, and it was here that he was introduced to the hardcore, jihadist type of Islam that he preached through the rest of his life. By the time he was 18, he had married a cousin and started university, but in 1979 when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, he left school to join the freedom fighters there.

He used his fortune and his contacts to start recruiting people from all around the world to join his cause. He also got backing, weapons, and training from the CIA as part of their Operation Cyclone, which was in place to destabilize the Soviet regime. Eventually, the war in Afghanistan ended, and he returned to Saudi Arabia. However, his anti-American rhetoric was so strong that he got bounced from country.

In 1993, Osama bin Laden formed his terrorist group known as al Qaeda (Arabic for “the Base”). He manned it with militant Muslims he had connected with during his time as an Afghan rebel. From there, the story of the familiar Osama comes up. There are a dozen terrorist attacks all around the world that tie back to him, and ultimately—according to the official U.S. account—his acts culminate in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

From there, he allegedly ran his terrorist network while on the run, recording videos to keep morale and recruitment high. On May 2, 2011, though, he allegedly died in a raid conducted by Seal Team Six in Operation Neptune Spear. The official account tells of a U.S. solo effort to track and kill Osama bin Laden. A helicopter crashed, there was resistance, the Seals thought it was a one-way suicide mission.

But one important journalist named Seymour M. Hersh vocally disputes this story. He makes claims that the government lied about the circumstances around bin Laden’s death. Give this one a listen if you want to get to the bottom of someone who was either the worst terrorist or worst government bag man in history.

Official Version of his Death: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/politics/2012/11/inside-osama-bin-laden-assassination-plot

Alternate Version of his Death: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n10/seymour-m-hersh/the-killing-of-osama-bin-laden

 

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