One name is above all others when examining modern Islamic fundamentalism - Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden has earned global notoriety because of his role in the September 11th attacks against the United States of America. Yet, Osama does not represent the beginning, nor the end of Muslim radicals. He is only one link in a chain of radical thought. Bin Laden's unorthodox actions and words will leave a legacy, but what factors influenced him? This thesis provides insight into understanding the ideological foundation of Osama bin Laden. It incorporates primary documents from those individuals responsible for indoctrinating the Saudi millionaire, particularly Abdullah Azzam and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Additionally, it identifies key historic figures and events that transformed bin Laden from a modest, shy conservative into a Muslim extremist.