Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, also transliterated as Usama bin Ladin, was a founder of the pan-Islamic militant organization al-Qaeda. The group is designated as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union, and various countries. Under bin Laden's leadership, al-Qaeda was responsible for, in addition to the September 11 attacks in the United States, many other mass-casualty attacks worldwide.
He was a Saudi Arabian citizen until 1994 and a member of the wealthy bin Laden family. Bin Laden's father was Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, a Saudi millionaire from Hadhramaut, Yemen, and the founder of the construction company, Saudi Binladin Group. His mother, Alia Ghanem, was from a secular middle-class family in Latakia, Syria. He was born in Saudi Arabia and studied at university in the country until 1979, when he joined Mujahideen forces in Pakistan fighting against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. He helped to fund the Mujahideen by funneling arms, money, and fighters from the Arab world into Afghanistan, and gained popularity among many Arabs. In 1988, he formed al-Qaeda.