Osama bin Laden is finally dead and his body has been recovered, said US officials. US President Barack Obama will make an announcement shortly, said repports.

The search for the most wanted person is on since he disappeared in Afghanistan in 2001 and reports often either midled his death or reported his last sighting in some place in the Middle east. But many experts believed that the Saudi-born leader of al-Qaeda was hiding in Pakistan evading his capture. He was protected by the erstwhile ruling junta of Taliban in Afghanistan.

Former US President George W. Bush was determined to capture him dead or alive and tens of millions of bounty on his head was declared but failed to capture him since his indictment in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and on the Pentagon.

Last week, some reports said al Qaeda threatened nuclear attacks if Osama bin-Laden was captured or killed, triggering speculations that his capture would be difficult.

Born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 10, 1957, Osama bin-Laden was member of a wealthy family with close ties to the Saudi royal family. His parents divorced a year after he was born and he lived with his mother who had married another rich businessman Muhammad al-Attas. He had three half-brothers and one half-sister. His father Muhammed bin Laden was killed in 1967 in an aircraft crash.

He attended an elite secular school till 1976 and studied economics and business administration at King Abdulaziz university in Saudi Arabia. Some reports said he dropped out of the university and pursued his interest in religion which turned him into his crusade for Jihad or religious war.

A CNN report said he had married four women as of 2002 and had more than 20 children.

He became the mastermind of Islamic war or Jihad waged against non-Islamic nations including the United States, Europe, Africa and India. He defended Jihad and attacks against civilians, including women and children. He was also a known anti-semitic and reportedly said, These Jews are masters of usury and leaders in treachery. They will leave you nothing, either in this world or the next.

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