He may have started out as a freedom fighter but he was a TERRORIST, he was THE TERRORIST, public enemy number one. Sure he helped the US fight along side him with the Afghan rebels during Charlie Wilson's War against the Soviet Union but he was a terrorist. The US abandoned Afghanistan; basically it was a huge, costly betrayal in more ways than one. The (radicals) actually started with Yassar Arafat, the creation of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1960's and the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who brought in Islamism (theocracy) into Middle East in 1979 ousting the Shah of Iran (an ally of the US at the time).
If the US had stayed and helped them rebuild their country there may have never been an Al Qaeda or not on the scale that Radical Fundamentalist Islam is now. Also the hegemony that the US has tried to push on the Middle East and democracy; they don't want either. The hatred just grew. The indoctrination of Palestinian youth into Radical Fundamentalist Islam (particularly those in the Gaza Strip and West Bank without a country) and their animosity towards Israel being a representation of the West (the Holy Land debate too)
Bin Laden was educated in the US, which gave him even more credibility to his followers or recruit. Al Qaeda first pops up on US official radar in 1993 in Mogadishu Somalia, Black Hawk Down and Clinton does nothing. That same year Al Qaeda member Ramzi Yousef parks a truck bomb in the underground parking garage of WTC1 and detonates it; it blows out 6 floors and kills several injures, hundreds. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the mastermind behind this attack also worked for Bin Laden. Arguably it was KSM imprisoned at GITMO who gave up Bin Laden's whereabouts in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Al Qaeda tried to topple the Twin Towers back during this attack and failed. Youseff was Al Qaeda, and Bin Laden was the leader of Al Qaeda. 7 years later Al Qaeda blows a whole in the side of the USS COLE in the port Aden Yemen (a known terrorist sponsoring country for Al Qaeda) then in 2000, two SIMULTANEOUS attacks happen at US Embassy's in Kenya and Tunisia, again Al Qaeda.
All this time Bin Laden issues videos, warning to the US about potential attack ABROAD not within the US. Go back to 1991, the US went into Iraq because of SADDAM HUSSEIN, he used a biological weapon on the Kurdish, instantly killing 5,000 of them. Iraq was threatening and literally burning the Kuwaiti oil fields, Kuwait was/is a major OIL source. Bush Sr, did that move.
Back to prior 9.11. Meanwhile Middle Eastern men (the hijackers) are training in flight simulators in Arizona, but they don't want to know how to land a plane, just fly one.
George W Bush becomes president and then after 9 years of planning the September, 11, 2001 attacks happen. 15 of the 19 hijackers were from SAUDI ARABIA, this is no coincidence that Bin Laden was from Saudi Arabia. And yet, the US goes into Iraq and Afghanistan; okay not the smartest thing to do. Bin Laden supported, financed, trained terrorists not just Al Qaeda; he was a mass murderer who killed thousands of innocents over the years any way you put it.
special topics classes
history of Middle East
FBI, UN, Globalsecurity.org, Newsweek, National Geographic: Motivations behind 9/11