Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization that claimed responsibility for the September 11 attacks on the United States, along with numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets. He was a member of the wealthy Saudi bin Laden family, and an ethnic Yemeni Kindite.
He was born in the bin Laden family to billionaire Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden in Saudi Arabia. He studied there in college until 1979, when he joined the mujahideen forces in Pakistan against the Soviets in Afghanistan. He helped to fund the mujahideen by funneling arms, money and fighters from the Arab world into Afghanistan, also gaining popularity from many Arabs. In 1988, he formed al-Qaeda. He was banished from Saudi Arabia in 1992, and shifted his base to Sudan, until US pressure forced him to leave Sudan in 1996. After establishing a new base in Afghanistan, he declared a war against the United States, initiating a series of bombings and related attacks.