Turtledove
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Osama bin Laden
Osama bin laden.jpg
Historical Figure
Nationality: Saudi Arabia (officially stateless)
Date of Birth: 1957
Date of Death: 2011
Cause of Death: Shot to Death
Religion: Islam
Occupation: Terrorist, Civil engineer
Spouse: Five or six (divorced at least one)
Children: Between 20 and 26
Professional Affiliations: Al-Qaeda
Fictional Appearances:
"Bedfellows"
Satire
Type of Appearance: Direct (as "O")
Spouse: W
Shared Universe Story
Domination of the Draka
"The Last Word"
POD: 1776
Type of Appearance: Direct (as "Usama")
Nationality: Arab resident of the Domination of the Draka
Date of Death: 1998
Cause of Death: Killed in action
Occupation: Slave-Soldier
Military Branch: Janissaries (Final War)

Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن‎, 10 March 1957 – 2 May 2011), also rendered Usama bin Ladin (10 March 1957 - 2 May 2011) was a member of the prominent Saudi Arabian bin Laden family and the founder of the jihadist organization Al-Qaeda. Although bin Laden was never indicted for the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States, he orally claimed responsibility for them in audio and video tapes that have been made public.

On 2 May 2011, bin Laden was killed in a compound outside the Pakistani capital of Islamabad by U.S. Special Forces.

Osama bin Laden in "Bedfellows"[]

O married his long-term partner, W, in a highly publicized ceremony in at the State House in Boston. Although not an American himself, O seemed generally more educated and better-spoken than his spouse. Both admitted to the press that each would be nothing without the other.

After the ceremony, performed in front of a justice of the peace, O and W shared a public and passionate kiss staged for the media. They then went home to hammer out the honeymoon. O was a little disturbed by W's suggestion that O start wearing a burka when visiting W's mother and father. W then laughed at this little joke.[1]

Literary comment[]

While neither O nor W are identified by a full name, descriptions and contexts make clear that they are meant to represent Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush.

Osama bin Laden in "The Last Word"[]

Usama (1957-1998) was a member of Sergeant Hans' Janissaries during the Final War. A tall, lean, dark man, with a long scimitar of a nose and a neat black beard, he gleefully took part in the destruction of Cheoah, North Carolina. Although he was generally disdainful of Americans as inferior to Draka Citizen-soldiers, Usama had a grudging admiration for the sniper who killed his teammate Boris from a range of over 500 meters.

Ultimately, Hans led the group into an ambush, where they were killed by Captain Fischer's francs-tireurs.

Literary comment[]

Harry Turtledove stated in a 2019 tweet that Usama is in fact Osama bin Laden.

References[]

  1. See, e.g., Atlantis and Other Places, pgs. 69-75, HC.
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