Palestinian Sunni theologian, teacher and mentor to Osama bin Laden, with whom he established al-Qaeda. He obtained a Ph.D. in Islamic jurisprudence (Sharia) from the most prestigious Sunni university, the Al-Azhar University in Cairo. He promoted the idea of taking up arms to defend Islamic civilisation, destroying national borders and creating a unified state. Known as ‘the Father of Global Jihad’, he fundamentally influenced its theory, organisation and practice, reminding his comrades-in-arms that ‘one day1 in the path of jihad is worth more than 70 years of praying at home’.
1 According to other sources, he said ‘one hour’, not ‘one day’