Osama bin Laden, “Declaration of Jihad Against Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Mosques” (1996)
Praise be to Allah, we seek His help and ask for his pardon. We take refuge in Allah from our wrongs and bad deeds. Whoever has been guided by Allah will not be misled, and who ever has been misled, he will never be guided. J bear witness that there is no God except Allah, no associates with Him and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger. . . .
It should not be hidden from you that the community of Islam has suffered
from aggression, iniquity and injustice imposed on them by the Zionist-Crusaders
alliance and their collaborators; to the extent that the Muslims’ blood became
the cheapest and their wealth as loot in the hands of the enemies. Their blood
was spilled in
The people of Islam awakened and realized that they are the main target for the aggression of the Zionist-Crusaders alliance. All false claims and propaganda about “Human Rights” were hammered down and exposed by the massacres that took place against the Muslims in every part of the world. The latest and the greatest of these aggressions experienced by the Muslims since the death of the Prophet is the occupation of the land of the two Holy Places,<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> the foundation of the house of Islam, the place of the revelation, the source of the message and the place of the noble Kabah, the Qiblah of all Muslims,<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> by the armies of the American Crusaders and their allies.
Today we work. to lift the iniquity that had been imposed on the Umma [the
Muslim cornmunity] by the Zionist-Crusaders alliance, particularly after they
have occupied the blessed
Injustice had affected the people in industry and agriculture. It affected the people of the rural and urban areas. And almost everybody complains about something. The situation at the land of the two Holy Places became like a huge volcano at the verge of eruption that would destroy the Kuffar<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> and the corruption and its sources. . . .
People are fully concerned about their everyday living; everybody talks about the deterioration of the economy, inflation, ever increasing debts and jails full of prisoners. Government employees with limited income talk about debts of ten thousands and hundred thousands of Saudi Riyals. They complain that the value of the Riyal is greatly and continuously deteriorating among most of the main currencies. Great merchants and contractors speak about hundreds and thousands of million Riyals owed to them by the government. . . .
Through its course of actions the regime has torn off its legitimacy:
(1) Suspension of the Islamic Sharia law and exchanging it with man-made civil law. . . .
(2) The inability of the regime to protect the country and allowing the enemy of the Umma, the American crusader forces, to occupy the land for the longest of years. . . . As a result of the policy imposed on the country, especially in the oil industry where production is restricted or expanded and prices are fixed to suit the American economy, ignoring the economy of the country. Expensive deals were imposed on the country to purchase arms. People are asking what then is the justification for the very existence of the regime?
Quick efforts were made by individuals and by different groups in society to contain the situation and to prevent the danger. They advised the government both privately and openly; they sent letters and poems, reports after reports, reminders after reminders, they explored every avenue and enlisted every influential man in their movement of reform and correction. They wrote in a style of passion, diplomacy and wisdom asking for corrective measures . . . from the “great wrongdoings and corruption’ that had engulfed even the basic principles of the religion and the legitimate rights of the people.
But to our deepest regret the regime refused to listen to the people. . . .
Under such circumstances, to push the enemy out of the country is a prime duty. No other duty after Belief is more important. . . . Also to remind the Muslims not to be engaged in an internal war among themselves, as that will have consequences, namely:
1. Consumption of the Muslims’ human resources as casualties and fatalities.
. . .
2. Exhaustion of the economic and financial resources
3. Destruction of the country’s infrastructures
4. Disruption of society
5. Destruction of the oil industries. . . .
6. Division of the land of the two Holy Places, and annexing of the northern part of it by
The regime is fully responsible for what has been incurred by the country and the nation; however, the occupying American enemy is the principle and the main cause of the situation. Therefore efforts should be concentrated on destroying, fighting and killing the enemy until, by the Grace of Allah, it is completely defeated....
It is incredible that our country is the world’s largest buyer of arms from
We expect the women of the land of the two Holy Places and other countries to carry out their role in boycotting the American goods. If economic boycott is intertwined with the military operations of the Mujahideen [holy warriors], then defeating the enemy will be even nearer, by the Permission of Allah.
A few days ago the news agencies had reported that the Defense Secretary<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> of
the Crusading Americans had said that “the explosions at
We say to the Defense Secretary that his talk can induce a grieving mother
to laughter! . . . Where was this false courage of yours when the explosion in
But your most disgraceful case was in
Since the sons of the land of the two Holy Places feel and strongly believe that fighting against the nonbelievers in every part of the world is absolutely essential; then they would be even more enthusiastic, more powerful and larger in number upon fighting on their own land, the place of their births, defending the greatest of their sanctities, the noble Kabah (the Qiblah of all Muslims). They know that the Muslims of the world will assist and help them to victory. To liberate their Holy Places is the greatest of issues concerning all Muslims; it is the duty of every Muslim in this world. I say to you William [Perry] that: These youths love death as you love ilk. They inherit dignity, pride, courage, generosity, truthfulness and sacrifice from father to father. They are most . . . steadfast at war. They inherit these values from their ancestors.
These youths believe in what has been told by Allah and His messenger about the greatness of the reward for the Mujahideen martyrs....
Those youths know that their reward in fighting you, the
Those youths will not ask you for explanations, they will tell you. . . there is nothing between us that needs to be explained, there is only killing and neck smiting.
In the heat of battle they do not care, and cure the insanity of the enemy by their ‘insane’ courage. Terrorizing you, while you are carrying arms on our land, is a legitimate and morally required duty. It is a legitimate right well known to all humans and other creatures. Your example and our example is like a snake which entered into a house of a man and got killed by him. The coward is the man who lets you walk, while carrying arms, freely on his land and provides you with peace and security.
Those youths are different from your soldiers. Your problem will be how to convince your troops to fight, while our problem will be how to restrain our youths to wait for their turn in fighting....
The youths hold you responsible for all of the killings and evictions of the
Muslims and the violation of the sanctities, carried out by your Zionist
The children of
It is a duty now on every tribe on the
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> In April 1996 the Israelis launched a two-week
bombardment of territory in southern
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> This is a rather wide-ranging list. The massacres in
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> The Kabah is the cube-shaped shrine in
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> Muhammad’s miraculous “night journey” took him and the
angel Gabriel from
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> Those who do not believe in God.
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> Perry, secretary of defense between 1994 and 1997.
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> In November 1995 a car bomb in Riyadh at a Saudi National Guard training center killed five Americans; the bombing of Kohbar Towers, a U.S. Air Force housing complex in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killed nineteen Americans.
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> President Reagan ordered
the withdrawal of marine peace- keepers after a bomb killed 241 marines and
navy seamen in October 1983 in
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> The Pentagon withdrew 100 army personnel after the
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> President Clinton ordered the withdrawal of
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> The alleged victims of economic sanctions imposed on