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    9/11 Anniversary: How Osama Bin Laden Was Influenced By His School Teacher

    Yesterday was the 15th anniversary ( 11 September 2001) of the bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York and other US targets by the Osama bin Laden-led Al Qaeda, a terrorist organisation. In other words, people associated with the Islamic extremist group, as history.com put it, hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

    Often referred to as 9/11, the attacks resulted in extensive death and destruction, triggering major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defining the presidency of George W. Bush. Over 3,000 people were killed during the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., “including more than 400 police officers and firefighters.”

    The mastermind of the attack was the late Osama, son of a millionaire contractor in Saudi Arabia, who made it big doing construction works for the Saudi Kingdom.

    Saudi Arabia being a Sunni enclave, the question remains, how did an Islamic terrorist rise from there to become a problem to the world and Uncle Sam’s bogeyman? No thanks to the infiltration of the Saudi education system by radical Islamic elements from outside.

    Osama’s secondary school Al Thagher Model School is one of the experimental centres for such inductrination from outside. It is sited north of the Old Mecca Road, near downtown Jedda, the Saudi Arabian port. It is here, according to The New Yorker magazine, bin Laden spent most of his childhood and teen-age years.

    Most Al Thagher students, including bin Laden, were, according to the report, commuters, but there were a few boarders; they lived on the second floor, as did some of the school’s foreign teachers.

    It was in this upstairs dormitory The New Yorker learnt that a
    young Syrian physical-education teacher led an after-school Islamic study group for a few outstanding boys, and it was there, beginning at about age fourteen, that bin Laden received his first formal education in some of the precepts of violent jihad.

    This is a big lesson to Nigeria.
    Governments at all levels should monitor what pupils are being taught in schools or after school. It is at this impressionable age that character is formed, a situation that led to Boko Haram agents and other incendiary elements that abound in Nigeria.

    Part of The New Yorker story is published below:

    ‘Saudi Arabia during the nineteen-sixties, King Faisal welcomed exiled teachers from Syria, Egypt, and Jordan, even if they were influenced by the Brotherhood, because he believed that they had been unfairly persecuted for their religious and political beliefs. He also hoped that their emphasis on Islamic teachings might help to inoculate Saudi Arabia against ideas such as socialism and secular pan-Arab nationalism, which were then spreading through Arab societies.

    Moreover, as he expanded Saudi Arabia’s schools, Faisal faced
    a shortage of qualified instructors of all kinds. The King “needed
    teachers,” Khaled al-Maeena, a prominent Jedda newspaper editor, told me.

    “Where would you get them?” Egypt and Syria offered Saudi Arabia a ready source at a time when the kingdom, barely a generation removed from widespread poverty and illiteracy, was struggling to produce teachers from its own population.

    Read more here
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