Osama bin Laden Timeline
Timeline Description: Osama bin Laden was America's most wanted terrorist for quite some time, from the 1990s until his death in 2011. Bin Laden was responsible for multiple terrorist attacks, including 9/11.

Date Event
1957 Birth of Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Laden was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He was 17th of 52 children sired by Muhammad Bin Laden. Muhammad bin Laden was Saudi Arabia's wealthiest construction magnate.
1979 Bin Laden Graduated

In 1979, Bin Laden graduated from King Abdul Aziz University in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia with a degree in civil engineering.
December 26, 1979 Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan

On December 29, 1979, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. Bin Laden left his home in Saudi Arabia to join the Afghan resistance fighters, called the mujahedeen.
1980 Provided Aid to Mujahedeen(1980 to 1986)

From 1980 to 1986, Osama bin Laden maintained a base across the Pakistani border, providing financial and logistical support to the Mujahedeen.
1986 Guerilla Commander(1986 to 1989)

Bin Laden took a more active role fighting in Afghanistan between 1986 and 1989. He led resistance forces in many battles during this time, eventually leading to the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan.
1988 Establishment of al-Qaeda

In 1988, with a number of other mujahedeen fighters, bin Laden established al-Qaeda. The mission of the organization was to support Afghan fighters.
June 30, 1989 National Islamic Front Seized Sudan

On June 30, 1989, the National Islamic Front, a radical Islamic organization, seized control of the Sudan.
1989 Returned to Saudi Arabia

Bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia in 1989, working for his family's construction company. He began to politically oppose the Saudi royal family and government.
April 1991 Fled Saudi Arabia

In April 1991, Bin Laden fled Saudi Arabia. He first moved to Afghanistan, and later to Sudan. The Sudan was, by this time, a haven for Islamic terrorists.
1991 The Gulf War

During and after the Gulf War in 1991, the U.S. established a long-standing presence is Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf.
1992 Bin Laden Identified as Terrorist

By 1992, bin Laden, in coalition with other terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah, identified the United States as their primary enemy.
February 26, 1993 World Trade Center Bombing

As part of a broad campaign against the U.S., the World Trade Center was bombed in February, 1993. Links are later shown between the bomber and bin Laden's growing organization. Additional attacks occurred in Mogadishu, Somalia the same year.
May 1996 Bin Laden Expelled from Sudan

Facing international pressure, the Sudan expelled bin Laden. He moved to Afghanistan at this time. By the spring of 1996, U.S. President Clinton authorized the CIA to destroy bin Laden's network.
February 1998 Joint Declaration

In February 1998, bin Laden, as part of the World Islamic Front, issued a declaration that Muslims should kill Americans anywhere in the world. A U.S. indictment followed in June 1998. Additional indictments followed, including murder charges for past embassy bombings.
September 11, 2001 World Trade Center Attack on 9/11

On September 11, 2001, bin Laden's network was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, leaving thousands dead.
2002 Osama bin Laden Confirmed Alive

After numerous rumors of his death, he was confirmed alive by multiple sources over the course of 2002.
August 2010 Located(August 2010 to April 2011)

U.S. forces located bin Laden around August 2010. Repeat meetings among the U.S. military and administration led to action in May 2011.
May 2, 2011 Bin Laden Killed

A team of elite U.S. special forces operatives entered bin Laden's location and killed him. He was buried at sea within 24 hours by U.S. forces.