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Osama bin Laden was a Saudi Arabian noble and the leader of the international Sunni Muslim terrorist organization al Qaeda. He was responsible for both major terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, as well as the bombing of the USS Cole.
He was eventually located in a fortified compound in Pakistan. He was killed at the compound on May 1, 2011 during a U.S. Special Forces operation, closing a chapter in the war on terrorism.
- Acceptable Political Targets: Well, that's what he got for being an international mass murdering terrorist.
- Acceptable Religious Targets: He was an Islamic fundamentalist, after all
- Alternate Character Interpretation: Numerous, be it as a Muslim freedom fighter against American injustices, crimes, and terrorizations in the middle east or as a mere patsy of a conspiracy.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: He was a distant cousin of the Saudi royal family, though his family effectively disowned him.
- Being caught planning the overthrow of your own royal family tends to have that effect.
- Big Bad of the War On Terror, from the POV of America and her allies.
- Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Encyclopedia Dramatica noted that "he is the world's reigning hide-and-seek champion."
- Dark Messiah
- Dead All Along: Some people believed that was dead for a long time, before he was found and killed.
- Deadpan Snarker: One of his tapes responded to the USA's propaganda about "freedom" with him saying "if I was doing this because I hated freedom, I'd be bombing Sweden, not America".
- The Dragon: Ayman Al Zawahiri fulfilled this role for bin Laden.
- Elite Mooks: Osama had them in the form of These guys.
- Eye Scream: News reports over the May 2 assassination of Bin Laden reveal that Bin Laden was either shot in the left eye when he refused to surrender, or the bullet went high and blew away part of Osama's skull. Stephen Colbert squeed quite a bit at this particular detail.
- Face Heel Turn / The Starscream: He fought against the Soviets as a Mujahadeen commander in Afghanistan in the 80s.
- Knight Templar: Ironic trope name FTW!
- Human Shield: He allegedly tried this with one of his wives before he died. It didn't work.
- Large and In Charge: An intimidating 6' 5".
- Lean and Mean: The FBI described bin Laden as having a thin build.
- Middle-Eastern Coalition: He and his organization desired the restoration of the medieval Islamic caliphate.
- Mission from Allah
- Multinational Team: His army of fanatics was said to consist of Arabs, Afghans, Pakistanis, Uzbeks, Chechens, Somalis, converted Western citizens, and others.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He rose to his current position, unintentionally, with U.S. help to mujahideen against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
- Disputed. Osama himself has always denied it (even when he could have caused considerable trouble for his enemies with little cost to him by confirming it, if true), and there were multiple factions in Afghanistan fighting the Soviet Union. Some of those had US financial backing and arms transfers. Some of those had Saudi financial backing and arms transfers. Some of those were backed by the Pakistanis, some others by who-knows-what, and some others yet were just local opportunists. Given that Osama was never a combat type but instead a financier and organizer, and that at that time he was still a member in good standing (however distant) of the Saudi royal family, his most likely participation in Afghanistan would have been as a bagman between Saudi interests and the various mujahideen groups they were backing, not as one of the US-backed fighters.
- There's also that the Taliban traces its origin largely to the Pakistani-backed mujahideen faction, which took over control from the US-backed mujahideen factions (often violently) in their own coup after the Russians were gone.
- Noble Fugitive: Inverted, or something; besides the status of his family, his occupation as a terrorist leader means he cannot be described as "noble". At all.
- Occupiers Out of Our Country!: Except he regarded his country as the Islamic world, in general, and Palestine, specifically.
- Porn Stash: Apparantly, a massive one was found on the computers at his compound.
Anime and Manga
- Osama is the only guy the H-Doujinshi Viva Freedom who doesn't get to have sex. (And serve him right!) Specifically, his men kill him for interrupting their orgy.
- Mentioned in Planet Terror as having been found and killed by Bruce Willis' character.
- James Bond: A Captain Ersatz version of Bin Laden turns up in The Living Daylights as one of the good guys. This was before The Great Politics Mess-Up when Bin Laden was one of our stalwart allies whose band of brave freedom fighters were nobly trying to get the evil Soviet occupiers out of their countries.
- That's actually a Hamid Karzai expy. And at no point in his life was Osama bin Laden ever an ally of the United States, even back when him and the US had a common enemy. Look up his pre-Gulf-War history before he even got into terrorism in the first place and was a (somewhat) prominent and respected citizen of Saudi Arabia, and you'll find a guy angrily ranting that Saudi Arabia didn't need the Americans' help for anything and should instead mobilize a 'holy army' to go stop Saddam's invasion all by themselves.
- The movie Osama -- the first film to come out of Afghanistan since the Taliban banned films in 1996--is actually not about that Osama. Well, not explicitly about him.
- The 2008 Morgan Spurlock documentary Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden.
- Appeared in Dead Ringers, particularly in one memorable sketch where he went on a Blind Date-style show.
- An absolutely bizarre book entitled Where's Bin Laden? parodies the Where's Waldo? series with bin Laden and his minions hiding around the globe, in the midst of their own terrorist plots.
- Pearls Before Swine: A controversial series had Osama hiding out in The Family Circus universe. Since it's a 50's type universe, they have no idea who he is.
- Fugitive Hunter, a PlayStation 2 first-person shooter/fighting game, has Osama bin Laden as the final boss. You kickbox him to a gangsta rap about...beating up Osama bin Laden.
- He appears in a Bob the Angry Flower - Space Cat crossover strip from way back in 1998 or rather someone else with the same name as it turns out.
- Sore Thumbs: He appears in an out-of-freakin'-nowhere context as the villain of a storyline in the webcomic.
- Homage: Broken Saints features an aging, bearded middle-eastern man of a fearsome disposition who speaks in quotations from the Qu'ran. His name is Osama. Coincidence? The character's first involvement in the series occurred before 9/11, his identity (as father of Iraqi Anti-Hero Oran) was revealed well afterwards, and his canon name is never mentioned in the series itself at all. Make of that what you will.
- A Brazilian comedy website, Charges.com.br, have Osama (and sidekick "Zuanta", pun on "sua anta", "you ass") as frequent characters.
- Appears in 2DTV, usually in sketches where he gets annoyed by the Taliban's lack of high-tech weapons to fight the Americans with.
- American Dad did one episode where Osama is already in the US working undercover as an accountant.
- Family Guy: Osama bin Laden is beaten up by Stewie Griffin in the opening sequence of the episode "PTV", after being prevented from sending a hostile message to the United States.
- There was a "Bin Laden in a Blender" web site on The Simpsons. Implied in one episode (where Homer and Marge met each other as kids) that he was Homer's pen pal.
- South Park: Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants.
- Eminem plays him in the video for the D 12 song "Without Me".
- Brazilian comedy group Casseta & Planeta has a sketch in their TV show depicting Osama living in Rio de Janeiro with an abusing wife.