Bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998. Photograph: AP
I worked with a writer who wrote the second half of this story, starting with Osama Bin Laden’s entire background.  The individual asked to remain anonymous. They have ties with Non-Traditional Security Management and currently reside in Afghanistan, where paramount protection and safety are paramount.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the 911 bombings at the World Trade Center.   Bin Laden was undoubtedly a complex man, brilliant but sinister.  Sometimes kind, but abusive and violent.   On the night that former President Barack Obama ordered a military special operations unit to forcefully enter the compound where Bin Laden, 54, was killed, further details emerged.   Many of Bin Laden’s family members described the chaos minutes before mayhem erupted. 

In July 2013, personal records and testimony of 201 witnesses, including members of Bin Laden’s family, were leaked to the site Al Jazeera.  According to reports, one of Bin Laden’s youngest wives, Amal Abdul Fattah al-Saddah, told the Pakistani government that  Bin Laden and the family had a meal and prayed together before she and her husband went to bed.   However, around midnight, Fattah al-Saddah said she and Bin Laden were jarred by the noise of “what at first sounded like a storm,” according to the document.

His wife tried to turn on their bedroom light, but “the sheikh,” the name Bin Laden went by, told her no. Fattah al-Saddah said Bin Laden called for his son Khalid, who stayed on the first floor with his mother Sharifa.  And that’s when Bin Laden’s two daughters, Maryam and Sumaiya, joined their father and recited the Kalima (the declaration of faith) and verses from The Holy  Koran. 

“The Sheikh said the American helicopters had arrived, and they should all leave his room immediately,” but they were unwilling to do so.  According to reports, Sumayya told the commission, “[Bin Laden] had been hit in the forehead, and she knew he was dead.” His face was ‘clear’ and recognizable as blood dropped down the back of his head.    

In his book “The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden,” Peter Bergen was the first journalist to grasp the threat of Islamist extremism, Bin Laden.  Bergen had the opportunity to meet with bin Laden in 1997.    “[Bin Laden] could have chosen a different path at several points in his life,” Bergen said during an interview.  “But the introduction of American troops into Saudi Arabia [in 1992] turned his sort of latent anti-Americanism into a passionate hatred of the United States.”

Bin Laden was a founder and architect of the terror organization known as Al-Qaeda. He was from a Saudi family, a well-known business family with a multimillion-dollar construction empire in Saudi Arabia. Osama’s father was a millionaire, and he would have always taken Osama Bin Laden with himself for business purposes in the Arab world. Osama Bin Laden fought the Soviet Union with the help of the U.S. in Afghanistan.

Moreover, he has made close contacts with the Afghan Mujahedeen, who had fought the Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Later, the man masterminded the 9/11 attack and killed 3000 innocent people in New York and other parts of the U.S. homeland. However, Osama Bin Laden, later in 2011, was deeply concerned. The man has killed hundreds and thousands of innocent Muslims throughout all Muslim countries, particularly in the Middle East, Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

A compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, had been painstakingly constructed to conceal him and his entire family—wives, children, and grandchildren—but his well-constructed hideout appeared crumbling. His long-time bodyguards were two brothers who were members of al-Qaeda and whose family had ties to the area where he lived. They completed every task for bin Laden, from buying in the local markets to hand-delivering his lengthy notes to the other members of the al-Qaeda hierarchy in Yemen.

Bin Laden was unable to search a new hiding place. Thus, he was constantly under surveillance by the U.S. intelligence agencies in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Shakeel Afridi, a Pakistani Physician, had visited the Bin Laden compound in Abbottabad. He founded the house with a strange feeling that only children could play, and no male was observed inside the house. Shakeel Afridi was working to eradicate polio from the area. He visited Bin Land compound many times to give polio vaccination drops to the children in the house. Even though Shakeel was not allowed to enter the compound, the children will come out for the vaccination drops.

The physician later helped the CIA pinpoint Osama Bin Ladan. Later, Shakeel Afridi was put behind bars in Pakistan for helping the CIA. Shakeel Afridi was a hero for the Americans, while he was more than a traitor for Pakistan.

When U.S. Navy SEALs invaded the complex on May 2, 2011, Osama bin Laden, his son Khalid, his two bodyguards were killed, including one of Osama’s wives. Not only did the operation rid the world of a terrorist mastermind, but it also retrieved over 470,000 computer files from ten hard drives, five computers, and approximately one hundred thumb drives and disks, as well as several other items.

His eldest wife, Umm Hamza (often known as “the mother of Hamza”), had recently arrived in Pakistan to join him. Bin Laden regarded Umm Hamza as an intellectual equal. She was eight years his senior, and she possessed a Ph.D. in child psychology and extensive knowledge of the Koran. She had also spent the previous decade in Iran under house imprisonment, having been placed there shortly after the September 11 attacks.

Bin Laden in Afghanistan, around 2001. His use of online recruiting anticipated the Facebook strategies of the Arab Spring.Photograph from SIPA

Osama’s eldest wife joined him in Pakistan. At that time, liberals mainly inspired the Arab Spring revolutions, and bin Laden believed she could help him solve the situation. Osama Bin Laden would discuss political implication in the Middle East and around Muslims with Umma Hamza. 

During a private conversation with his family, Bin Laden expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that he had issued a public statement as long as 2004 calling his supporters to “hold Arab authorities accountable” and that his intervention had gone unheeded. “Perhaps your statement is one of the factors contributing to the Arab Spring uprisings?” Umm, Hamza speculated. But, of course, this was not the case. The entire family of Osama Bin Laden believed Al-Qaeda would change the course of the Arab spring.

The Arab world, especially Egypt and Libya, descended into a chaos of political rivalry between the Muslim Brotherhood forces in the Arab world and the liberal forces.

However, Osama Bin Laden discussed the matter with Umma Hamza if Jihadi forces would overtake the Arab spring revolution. It seemed impossible for Al-Qaeda to overtake the revolution, since it was people’s revolution in the Arab world, and demanded the disposal of the autocracy of the Arab leaders.

Meanwhile, the liberal forces were also aware of the Al-Qaeda threat to hijack the Arab spring and use it for their own Jihadi political power.  Meanwhile, it was hard for Al-Qaeda to influence the Arab spring, since Al-Qaeda has killed thousands of innocent people in the Arab world and the Muslim world.

Osama Bin Laden and his terror organization, Al-Qaeda, were considering an apology to the Muslims. Since Al-Qaeda has killed many innocent Muslims, an apology for Al-Qaeda would bring many more Muslims to join Jihad. The apology was not meant for the Americans. The US still became the number one enemy of Al-Qaeda.  Moreover, the truth is that Bin Laden was all aware that forces linked with Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Al-Shabaab, and the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan have killed many thousands of Muslim civilians since 9/11, undermining the notion that Al-Qaeda was engaged in a holy war on behalf of all Muslims. In his last days, Osama Bin Laden felt he had killed innocent Muslim people and that Al-Qaeda acted like a killer machine.

He wanted to brand his Jihadi organization with other aims to unleash further Jihad waves in the Muslim world and the world.  Despite that, the U.S. was dragged into wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and that the U.S. was losing, and Al-Qaeda was winning with the help of the Taliban. He wanted not to kill Muslims and order his lieutenants to create past mistakes.  It was the perfect time to apologize to Muslims for more recruitment into Al-Qaeda and make its image broader in the Muslim world.

The documents retrieved from Al-Qaeda hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan, claimed former President Obama was the prime target of Al-Qaeda, and then General David Petraeus, who was commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan. In anticipation of the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, bin Laden was keen to commemorate the date with another significant attack. He ordered his lieutenants and stated he desired “successful operations whose impact, God willing, is greater than September 11.”

The recorded documents described “The heavy Pakistani pressure on us,” referring to the Pakistani army. Apart from that, they also include plans for assaults against military targets in Pakistan. However, ties with the Taliban in Afghanistan remained strong. According to the Taliban’s apologists, Afghan militants had to renounce Al-Qaeda in exchange for the complete evacuation of American forces from Afghanistan. But the Abbottabad records show al Qaeda and the Taliban were not planning to break up. Al-Qaeda had close relations with the Taliban and worked with them on military operations and financing.

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