Militant group of students and religious leaders who established the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in 1994 – 96 in order to end the lengthy civil war following the withdrawal of the Soviet Union from the region in 1989 . Led by Mullah Omar . Promotes Islam as a moral, stable, and orderly alternative to civil war, ethnic divisions, and warring tribal chiefs. Follows strict, literal, and conservative interpretations of Islam and Sunni Islamic public standards, including the implementation of hudud punishments. Influenced primarily by Wahhabi teachers and Pashtun tribal traditions. The regime was denounced by international human rights organizations for its refusal to allow the practice or presence of any other religion besides Islam in Afghanistan and for the absolute segregation of women. It was supported and recognized by only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. It provided shelter for Osama bin Laden and his associates, who ran training camps for international terrorists. Forcibly removed from power by United States forces after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.