In a mansion in Pakistan, hundreds of thousands of documents reveal intimate details about the life of one of history’s most wanted men. Hoarded by the CIA for six years, they are eventually released – and the personal journal of Osama bin Laden spills its secrets to the world. But what does it tell us about the leader of Al Qaeda and the terror that he wreaked on the world?
Bin Laden was born on March 10, 1957, in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia. The son of a billionaire who had made his fortune in construction, the young bin Laden enjoyed a seemingly charmed life. And by the time that he became a student at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, he had developed some surprisingly cosmopolitan tastes.
Nonetheless, bin Laden was also a strict Sunni Muslim, and his passion for religion only grew during his youth. And by the time that he finished his college studies in 1979, he was committed to the idea of a jihad, or holy war. Eventually, after spending a decade supporting the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, he helped to form Al Qaeda – an organization that soon gained notoriety around the world.