Osama bin Laden has been killed, the man responsible for the deaths of some 3,000 in the largest terrorist attack on American soil—and thousands more in the ongoing war on the ten-year war on terror that had his manhunt at its heart. Born in 1957, bin Laden was the 17th child among 50 or more children, his father died when he was ten and bin Laden became the beneficiary of millions of dollars. Following the 1989 defeat of the Soviets in Afghanistan, bin Laden saw an opportunity to recreate Islamic political power and overthrow infidel governments around the world through jihad. From 1996 to 2001, he paid for the protection of the Taliban, the former rulers of Afghanistan, which bought him time to strengthen al Qaeda. First making American radar after the 1996 embassy bombings in Africa, bin Laden’s terrorist network was not only responsible for the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, but also the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, 2004 train bombing in Madrid, 2005 London transit bombing, and the 2002 Bali nightclub bombing. He told supporters that if Americans killed him, his greatest hope was that the Muslim world would defeat the nation that killed him.
Obit Robert Giroux / Getty Images; AP Photo