Professor Kathryn Lambert
American Military University
14 January 2018
Osama Bin Laden Expertly Leading Terror
The works of many terrorists around the world have made an imprint on world history but know one is as well known as Osama Bin Laden. The leader of Al Qaeda terror group organized and orchestrated terror attacked for decades across all stretches of the world. This man was not some simple minded terror constructor his plans were developed like an architect’s sketching and eventually the building of his masterpiece. Unfortunately for the world Osama bin Laden excelled in areas that allowed him to exploit and manipulate men and women’s minds into doing his terror attacks. Communicating in the way bin Laden did allowed for his attacks to go undetected and off the radar until it was to late to stop. According to Post, the primary method bin Laden used to recruit and inspire followers was invoking jihad as a religious duty, an obligation all Muslims had to God, for whom bin Laden spoke with authority(2003). A man who has seen it all from a young age and realized that America and other countries who he believed were a threat against Islam would become his targets for terror attacks. Osama bin Laden’s ability to garner his followers respect by leading past wars against Russia and his fearlessness of United States of America enabled his teachings to further his influence on the radical Islamic world.
Terrorist leaders like Osama bin Laden have certain talents that would also be beneficial in many other jobs it just so happens the choice to terrorize the world was more desirable to bin Laden’s needs. One way bin Laden shaped Al Qaeda was out of dissatisfaction with his home country of Saudi Arabia which was allowing the United States to operate militarily on their soil. His belief was that Saudi Arabia should be coming together with their fellow Arab neighbors to help protect holy places of Mecca and Medina against Saddam Hussein not foreigners(Hoffman 2003).Being that bin Laden was extremely loyal and dedicated to his war against countries that were fighting his fellow Islamic. His skill to recruit people who were experienced in areas like social media, banking, promoting, personnel management, and strategy allowed him to command a much larger group of people than he would have on his own. One factor in his abilities to recruit when he first started off was the wealth from his family. This inheritance went towards funding of terror groups allowing him to make his name even larger in the Islamic world. Bin Laden is not the typical terrorist most people would think of having come from wealth and highly educated.
Communication is an important part of any organization and the leader of a major terrorist group being hunted getting your messages out to your followers in an important detail. During the time of the September 11th attacks technology was taking off with the internet, email, and cell phones. This is where bin Laden kept himself and his plans safe from the his enemies coming to stop and capture or kill him. For bin Laden the use of a cell phone or using the internet were never in question because he used other forms of communication that relied on discipline and trust. The ability to trust the message being sent thousands of miles away will be understood shows just how much fear, respect, blind faith in this mans plans. As his plans for Al Qaeda connoted to grow the stress of keeping out of the snares of the United States was always on his mind. Even after losing Afghanistan from the Americans bin Laden continued working in the shadows targeting softer targets.
While Osama bin Laden has major impacts on people he recruits enabling them to fulfill his religious war goals there are still some areas where he struggles to connect. For example his narcissism is amplified by the fact that organizations such as his focus their recruitment efforts on individuals who willingly fill a followers role and don’t often assume alpha positions (Locicero, 2008). While bin Laden has all the money and power to make his attacks happen there are still those people who must give up their own lives for the cause. Suicide bombings have been a major player in Al Qaeda and they never seem to have a shortage of individuals willing to die for their religious beliefs. This is the area where bin Laden seems to disconnect from his recruits because he has no idea what it would be like to give his life in a suicide bombing. Locicero stated “Rather than pushing others, he appears to have simply assumed that others had beliefs similar to his own, and expected them to act accordingly”(2008). Understanding that this disconnect still is not enough to deter people from following bin Laden’s radical ideals is bewildering to outsiders. For Americans the idea that someone has so much control over individuals actions all because of religious motives is shocking. This is even more shocking when experts look into the files that were found after his death. Locicero describes bin Laden “While becoming a mores sophisticated leader and grew stronger in managing complex issues his religious ideology remained low”(2008).
Osama bin Laden is a great example to all people to better understand how easily anyone can be turned towards a belief with words. Adolf Hitler was said to be an outstanding speaker and motivator and from details uncovered Osama bin Laden is just as well rounded at motivational speeches. Osama’s abilities to communicate his terrorist plans across oceans while hiding in caves and compounds further shows how dedicated his followers were to his cause. Without having to see him they follow blindly continuing on his religious war against the West.
Hoffman, B. (2003). The leadership secrets of osama bin laden. Boston: Atlantic Media, Inc.
Locicero, A., & Sinclair, J. (n.d.). Terrorism and Terrorist Leaders: Insights from Developmental and Ecological Psychology. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 31(3), 227–250. https:// doi.org/10.1080/10576100701879638
Post,J. (2003). “Killing in the Name of God: Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.” Paper
presented at the annual meeting of the International Society of Political
Psychology’s annual meeting, Boston, MA, July 2003.