In a never-published interview with a French journalist, Osama bin Laden says
that his decision to fight alongside Afghan mujahedeen dated from "the time
when the Americans decided to help the Afghans fight the Russians."|
"To counter these atheist Russians, the Saudis chose me as their representative
in Afghanistan... I did not fight against the communist threat while forgetting
the peril from the West."
"For us, the idea was not to get involved more than necessary in the fight
against the Russians, which was the business of the Americans, but rather to
show our solidarity with our Islamist brothers. I discovered that it was not
enough to fight in Afghanistan, but that we had to fight on all fronts against
communist or Western oppression. The urgent thing was communism, but the next
target was America... This is an open war up to the end, until victory."
|August 3, 1995||
Bin Laden issues a communiqué called "an Open Letter to King Fahd." He
outlines major grievances against the Saudi regime: lack of commitment to Sunni
Islam, inability to conduct viable defense policy, the squandering of public
funds and oil money, and the dependence on non-Muslims for protection. He
calls for a campaign of guerilla attacks to drive U.S. forces out of the Saudi
|July 10, 1996||
The British newspaper The Independent quotes bin Laden as
"The ordinary man knows that [Saudi Arabia] is the largest oil producer
in the world, yet at the same time he is suffering from taxes and bad services.
Now the people understand the speeches of the ulemas in the mosques--that our
country has become an American colony. They act decisively with every action to
kick the Americans out of Saudi Arabia. What happened in Riyadh and [Dhahran]
when 24 Americans were killed in two bombings is clear evidence of the huge
anger of Saudi people against America. The Saudis now know their real enemy is
America." [From The Washington Post 8/23/98]
|August 23, 1996||
Several months after being expelled from the Sudan, bin Laden issues his
"Declaration of War Against the Americans Who Occupy the Land of the Two Holy
Mosques." It reads, in part:
"Muslims burn with anger at America. For its own good, America should leave
[Saudi Arabia.] ... There is no more important duty than pushing the American
enemy out of the holy land. ... The presence of the USA Crusader military
forces on land, sea and air of the states of the Islamic Gulf is the greatest
danger threatening the largest oil reserve in the world. The existence of
these forces in the area will provoke the people of the country and induces
aggression on their religion, feelings and prides and pushes them to take up
armed struggle against the invaders occupying the land. ... Due to the
imbalance of power between our armed forces and the enemy forces, a suitable
means of fighting must be adopted, i.e. using fast-moving, light forces that
work under complete secrecy. In other words, to initiate a guerrilla war,
where the sons of the nation, and not the military forces, take part in it."
|October - November 1996||
Bin Laden is quoted in October/November issue of Nida'ul Islam magazine
"As for their accusations of terrorizing the innocent, the children, and the
women, these are in the category of 'accusing others with their own affliction
in order to fool the masses.' The evidence overwhelmingly shows America and
Israel killing the weaker men, women and children in the Muslim world and
elsewhere. A few examples of this are seen in the recent Qana massacre in
Lebanon, and the death of more than 600,000 Iraqi children because of the
shortage of food and medicine which resulted from the boycotts and sanctions
against the Muslim Iraqi people, also their withholding of arms from the
Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina leaving them prey to the Christian Serbians who
massacred and raped in a manner not seen in contemporary history. Not to forget
the dropping of the H-bombs on cities with their entire populations of
children, elderly, and women, on purpose, and in a premeditated manner as was
the case with Hiroshima and Nagasaki."[From The Washington Post
|March 1997||In a CNN interview with Osama bin Laden, he says:
"We declared jihad against the US government, because the US government is
unjust, criminal and tyrannical. It has committed acts that are extremely
unjust, hideous and criminal whether directly or through its support of the
"For this and other acts of aggression and injustice, we have declared jihad
against the US, because in our religion it is our duty to make jihad so that
God's word is the one exalted to the heights and so that we drive the Americans
away from all Muslim countries.As for what you asked whether jihad is directed
against US soldiers, the civilians in the land of the Two Holy Places (Saudi
Arabia, Mecca and Medina) or against the civilians in America, we have focused
our declaration on striking at the soldiers in the country of The Two Holy
"The country of the Two Holy Places has in our religion a peculiarity of its
own over the other Muslim countries. In our religion, it is not permissible for
any non-Muslim to stay in our country. Therefore, even though American
civilians are not targeted in our plan, they must leave. We do not guarantee
their safety, because we are in a society of more than a billion Muslims."
"I have benefited so greatly from the jihad in Afghanistan that it would have
been impossible for me to gain such a benefit from any other chance and this
cannot be measured by tens of years but rather more than that. ... Our
experience in this jihad was great, by the grace of God, praise and glory be to
Him, and the most of what we benefited from was that the myth of the superpower
was destroyed not only in my mind but also in the minds of all Muslims. Slumber
and fatigue vanished and so was the terror which the U.S. would use in its
media by attributing itself superpower status or which the Soviet Union used by
attributing itself as a superpower."
[As quoted in The Washington Post 8/23/98]
|February 22, 1998||Bin Laden issues an edict calling for attacks on all Americans, including
civilians, and announces the creation of the International Islamic Front for
Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders, in association with extremist groups from
Egypt, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The following quotations are taken from the edict, as translated by the
Federation of American Scientists. (FAS). The edict's full text is available on their web site.
"For over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam
in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches,
dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and
turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the
neighboring Muslim peoples."
"Despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the
crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, which
has exceeded 1 million... despite all this, the Americans are once again trying
to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the
protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and
"We--with God's help--call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be
rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their
money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema,
leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the
devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them
so that they may learn a lesson."
"The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military --
is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it
is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy
mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of
all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim."
|December 23, 1998||This interview with Time Magazine includes the following question-answer
TIME: Are you responsible for the bomb attacks on the two American embassies
Osama bin Laden: The International Islamic Front for Jihad against the U.S.
and Israel has, by the grace of God, issued a crystal-clear fatwah calling on
the Islamic nation to carry on jihad [holy war] aimed at liberating holy sites.
The nation of Muhammad has responded to this appeal. If the instigation for
jihad against the Jews and the Americans in order to liberate al-Aksa Mosque
and the Holy Ka'aba [Islamic shrines in Jerusalem and Saudi Arabia] is
considered a crime, then let history be a witness that I am a criminal. Our job
is to instigate and, by the grace of God, we did that, and certain people
responded to this instigation.
What can the U.S. expect from you now?
Any thief or criminal or robber who enters another country
in order to steal should expect to be exposed to murder at any time. For the
American forces to expect anything from me personally reflects a very narrow
perception. Thousands of millions of Muslims are angry. The Americans should
expect reactions from the Muslim world that are proportionate to the injustice
The U.S. says you are trying to acquire chemical and nuclear
Acquiring weapons for the defense of Muslims is a religious
duty. If I have indeed acquired these weapons, then I thank God for enabling me
to do so. And if I seek to acquire these weapons, I am carrying out a duty. It
would be a sin for Muslims not to try to possess the weapons that would prevent
the infidels from inflicting harm on Muslims.
America, the world's only superpower, has called you Public Enemy
Number One. Are you worried?
Hostility toward America is a religious duty, and we hope
to be rewarded for it by God. To call us Enemy No. 1 or 2 does not hurt us.
Osama bin Laden is confident that the Islamic nation will carry out its duty. I
am confident that Muslims will be able to end the legend of the so-called
superpower that is America.
|December 24, 1998||In a second interview with reporter John Miller, which is televised on ABC
News, bin Laden says he wants to "put to rest" speculation that he was hurt
or killed in the U.S. retaliatory missile strikes in Afghanistan and the
He denies that he was behind the bombings of the U.S. embassies in East
Africa but describes two of the suspects, whom he said he knew, as "two men
whom we respect and hold in the highest esteem."
Renewing his fatwah, bin Laden states, "We are confident that the Muslim
nation would rid Islamic countries of the Americans and the Jews." He also does
not deny charges that he tried to develop chemical and nuclear weapons, "If I
seek to acquire such weapons, this is a religious duty. How we use them is up