Al-Qaeda is a multi-national support group which funds and orchestrates the activities of Islamic militants worldwide. It grew out of the Afghan war against the Soviets, and its core members consist of Afghan war veterans from all over the Muslim world. Al-Qaeda was established around 1988 by the Saudi militant Osama bin Ladin. Based in of Afghanistan, bin Ladin uses an extensive international network to maintain a loose connection between Muslim extremists in diverse countries. Working through high-tech means, such as faxes, satellite telephones, and the internet, he is in touch with an unknown number of followers all over the Arab world, as well as in Europe, Asia, the United States and Canada.