Born into a wealthy Saudi Arabian family.
Travels to Afghanistan, recruits Islamic soldiers to fight the Soviet invasion.
Soviets withdraw from Afghanistan, bin Laden returns to Saudi Arabia working in family construction business.
Bin Laden expelled from Saudi Arabia and later surfaces in Sudan.
Claims responsibility for attacking US soldiers in Yemen.
Claims credit for firefight in Somalia that killed 18 US military personnel.
Expelled from Sudan.
Claims credit for bombing of Khobar military complex in Saudi Arabia. The Taliban gives him sanctuary in Afghanistan.
Implicated in bombings at US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Claims credit for the attack on the USS Cole in a Yemeni port.
Sept. 11, 2001
Masterminds attacks leading to the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York and damage to the Pentagon. In the days following the attacks, President George W. Bush says clear evidence ties bin Laden to the attacks and launches the war on terror targeting bin Laden, Al Qaeda and their allies in Afghanistan.
US forces believe they have bin Laden trapped on mountains of Tora Bora, but fail to find him.
An audio tape purporting to be bin Laden calls for attacks on the US if Iraq is invaded.
Oct. 29, 2004
A videotape of bin Laden surfaces days before George W. Bush is reelected president. For the first time, bin Laden admits responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks. He threatens new attacks against America, saying, Bush is still deceiving you and hiding the truth from you, and therefore the reasons are still there to repeat what happened.
Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar says his fighters helped bin Laden escape from Tora Bora.
Shortly after being elected, President Obama authorizes killing or capture of bin Laden as top priority of war on Al Qaeda.
Obama briefed on information pointing to bin Laden, hiding in compound in Pakistan.
Obama authorizes operation to kill or capture bin Laden.
Small team of US operatives moves on bin Laden in Abbotabad, north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. After a firefight, bin Laden is killed and his body taken into custody.
SOURCES: New report, Infoplease
FROM A GLOBE STAFF GRAPHIC