You’ve heard it all before, “Bin Laden was a CIA agent in the 1980’s; The United States financed al-Qaeda!” No, is the answer to this question that you’ve undoubtedly heard. Bin Laden was not a CIA Asset during the 1980’s.
[An image suggesting that Bin Laden was a CIA asset during the 1980’s]
There exists a prominent mythology behind the involvement of Operation Cyclone (The code name the CIA used in order to arm and finance Mujahideen in Afghanistan against the USSR and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan) and Bin Laden. Bin Laden was not a CIA asset during the 1980’s.
Maktab al-Khidamat, in which Bin Laden was heavily involved with received funding from the United States government to the tune of several millions. In 2005, investigative journalist Joe Trento wrote: “CIA money was actually funneled to MAK, since it was recruiting young men to come join the jihad in Afghanistan. By 1985 MAK branches opened in over 30 US cities, allowing Muslim-Americans to donate millions of dollars to support the Afghan war against the Soviet Union.” The MaK played a minimal role in Afghanistan, having 100 Mujahideen at the most. Abdullah Azzam however, was the leader of the MaK, not Bin Laden. 
[Pictured Abdullah Azzam around the late 1980’s]
Did the MaK work with with CIA through the ISI of Pakistan? Yes, the CIA helped to organize the MaK in order to fly Mujahideen recruits to Afghanistan in order to wage jihad against the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. The MaK had 33 branches in the United States, ironically including Brooklyn. 
[The Al-Farooq Mosque in Brooklyn, New York which housed the al-Kifah Refugee Center]
Anecdotal evidence exists of training by the CIA, British SAS and Pakistani ISI for members of the MaK. Training included instructions in urban terrorism and guerrilla warfare. (The ISI who had been trained by the United States military and elite navy forces in US training facilities.) 
[United States President Ronald Reagan meeting with leaders of the Afghan Mujahideen in 1983]
In the aftermath of Abdullah Azzam’s assassination in 1989 .Bin Laden emerged in in a key leadership role. The distinct difference in Azzam and Bin Laden’s approaches emerged in inner feuding in the closing of the Afghan-Soviet conflict. As the war ended, a difference in opinion, emerged between Azzam and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) led by Ayman al-Zawahiri over the future direction of MAK . Azzam wanted to use the wealth it had generated, and the network it created to help install a pure Islamic government in post-war Afghanistan. Azzam had believed: “Like earlier influential Islamist Sayyid Qutb, Azzam urged the creation of `pioneering vanguard`, as the core of a new Islamic society. `This vanguard constitutes the solid base` [qaeda in Arabic] for the hoped-for society … We shall continue the jihad no matter how long the way, until the last breath and the last beat of the pulse – or until we see the Islamic state established. From its victory in Afghanistan jihad would liberate Muslim land (or land where Muslims for a minority in the case of the Philippines or formerly Muslim land in the case of Spain) ruled by unbelievers: the southern Soviet Republics of Central Asia, Bosnia, the Philippines, Kashmir, Somalia, Eritrea, and Spain. He believed the natural place to continue the jihad was his birthplace, Palestine. Azzam planned to train brigades of Hamas fighters in Afghanistan, who would then return to carry on the battle against Israel.” This put him at odds with Ayman al-Zawahiri, then leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad. .
[Intro text, “Al-Qa’ida Al-Subah,” al-Jihad magazine, April 1988 Edition featuring Azzam’s article]
It was not until the United States involvement in the Gulf War that Bin Laden declared jihad formally against the United States, which started with the bombing of a hotel targeting US soldiers in Yemen. Bin Laden had been upset that US troops were in Saudi Arabia and that his offer to use the Mujahideen in effort to ‘liberate Kuwait’ was turned down by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,
 Katz, Samuel M. “Relentless Pursuit: The DSS and the manhunt for the al-Qaeda terrorists”, 2002
 Holmes, Dave; Dixon, Norm. “Behind the US War on Afghanistan”
 Emmerso, Steve; “The Man Before Osama Bin Laden”: “In November 1989, Azzam was killed by a devastating bomb blast that also killed two of his sons. No perpetrator was ever found responsible”
 Wright, Lawrence, Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, by Lawrence Wright, New York, Knopf, 2006, p.130
 “The Solid Base” (Al-Qaeda), Al-Jihad(journal), April 1988, n.41 (Abdallah Azzam’s April 1988 article titled “al-Qa’ida al-Subah”) al-Qa’ida al-Subah available: http://insidethejihad.com/2014/03/al-qaida-al-subah-the-solid-base/
 “Bomb blasts rockbreezy two hotels in Yemen”. Reuters / The Globe and Mail. December 30, 1992.