Praise be to God and we beseech Him for help
forgiveness. We seek refuge with the Lord of our bad and
He whom God guides is rightly guided but he whom God leaves
to stray, for him wilt thou find no protector to lead him to
right way. I witness that there is no God but God and
is His slave and Prophet. God Almighty hit the United
States at its most vulnerable spot. He destroyed
greatest buildings. Praise be to God. Here is the United
It was filled with terror from its north to its south and
its east to its west. Praise be to God. What the United
tastes today is a very small thing compared to what we have
tasted for tens of years. Our nation has been tasting
humiliation and contempt for more than 80 years. Its sons
being killed, its blood is being shed, its holy places are
attacked, and it is not being ruled according to what God has
Despite this, nobody cares. When Almighty God rendered
a convoy of Muslims, the vanguards of Islam, He allowed
to destroy the United States. I ask God Almighty to elevate
their status and grant them Paradise. He is the one
is capable to do so. When these defended their
oppressed sons, brothers, and sisters in Palestine and in
Islamic countries, the world at large shouted. The infidels
shouted, followed by the hypocrites. One million Iraqi children
thus far died in Iraq although they did not do anything
Despite this, we heard no denunciation by anyone in the
or a fatwa by the rulers' ulema [body of Muslim scholars].
Israeli tanks and tracked vehicles also enter to wreak havoc
Palestine, in Jenin, Ramallah, Rafah, Beit Jala, and other
areas and we hear no voices raised or moves made. But
if the sword falls on the United States after 80
hypocrisy raises its head lamenting the deaths of
killers who tampered with the blood, honour, and holy
places of the Muslims. The least that one can describe
people is that they are morally depraved. They champion
support the butcher against the victim, the oppressor
the innocent child. May God mete them the punishment they
I say that the matter is clear and explicit. In the
of this event and now that senior US officials have spoken,
beginning with Bush, the head of the world's infidels, and
whoever supports him, every Muslim should rush to defend his
They came out in arrogance with their men and horses
and instigated even those countries that belong to
against us. They came out to fight this group of people who
declared their faith in God and refused to abandon their
They came out to fight Islam in the name of terrorism.
of thousands of people, young and old, were killed in the
point on earth in Japan. [For them] this is not a crime,
rather a debatable issue. They bombed Iraq and considered
a debatable issue. But when a dozen people of them
killed in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Afghanistan
Iraq were bombed and all hypocrite ones stood behind
the head of the world's infidelity - behind the Hubal [an
worshipped by pagans before the advent of Islam] of the age
namely, America and its supporters. These incidents divided the
world into two regions - one of faith where there is no hypocrisy
and another of infidelity, from which we hope God will
us. The winds of faith and change have blown to
falsehood from the [Arabian] peninsula of Prophet
may God's prayers be upon him. As for the United
I tell it and its people these few words: I swear by
God who raised the heavens without pillars that neither the
United States nor he who lives in the United States will enjoy
before we can see it as a reality in Palestine and before all the
infidel armies leave the land of Mohammed, may God's peace
and blessing be upon him. God is great and glory to
May God's peace, mercy, and blessings be upon you.
October 9, 2001 NYT
Laden's Media Savvy: Expert Timing of Threats
By JUDITH MILLER
With his turban and
jacket, his ornate Arabic and harsh vows of continued terror against
Osama bin Laden revealed in his speech the instinctive cunning that has made him such a formidable foe.
This was in fact Mr. bin Laden's fourth call for jihad, or holy war, but this appeal differed in important ways from his
earlier ones. First and foremost was the elevation of the suffering of Iraq, and especially of Palestine, as leading causes
of his righteous indignation.
Moreover, the taped speech, broadcast over a popular
satellite channel and rebroadcast
repeatedly by CNN and
other networks, gave the Saudi-born exile his most visible platform ever to vent
a litany of grievances widely shared in the Arab world.
His choice of outlets was apt:officials complained today that Al Jazeera,
the Arabic network, had obeyed Mr. bin Laden's instructions to delay broadcasting the speech until after the start of the American bombing of Afghanistan.
This use of modern media to make his pitch fits
with what has by now become a familiar bin Laden tactic: turning the
own modern technology against it.
The timing, as well, was designed to deny President Bush a media monopoly for his declaration of war against terrorism. Just as Mr. bin Laden's followers hijacked America's jet planes and turned them against its symbols of
economic and military might, Mr. bin Laden stole Mr. Bush's media thunder. A few Arabic newspapers even featured
pictures of the two men side-by-side on their front pages.
Perversely mirroring the president's division of the
into those who stood with America in rejecting terrorism and
those who stood against her, Mr. bin Laden, too, divided people into the "faithful" who side with him, and those who
oppose him, the "infidels." What seemed a deliberate mockery of Mr. Bush's appeal made some in Washington uneasy.
"I'm a little disturbed that his press people may be as good as ours," one official lamented.
While a vast majority of Muslims are repelled and
by Al Qaeda's methods, said Nawaf Obaid, a Saudi
analyst, "the speech suggests he has the gift to strike at the very core of the grievances that the common Arab man in the
street has toward his respective government, especially in Saudi Arabia."
Whether it be his evocation of Palestine, his vow to
the 80 years of "humiliation and disgrace" that Muslims have
endured since the carving up the Ottoman empire, or his desire to re-create the caliphate, the Muslim empire that
scholar Bernard Lewis notes was based for half a millennium in Iraq, Mr. bin Laden's words have disturbing resonance
among many Muslims.
Mr. bin Laden's first appeal for a holy war, issued
1992, urged believers to kill American soldiers in the horn of
Africa, Somalia, and of course, in Arabia, the custodian of Islam's two holiest places, said David Schenker, a research
fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. There was virtually no mention of Palestine.
The 1996 fatwa, a sprawling 40- page document, cited
oppression of Palestinians by Israel, but the condemnation
was buried in an endless list of Muslim grievances against the United States and injustices endured by Muslims in
Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Somalia, Kashmir, the Philippines, Tajikistan and Eritrea, to name a few.
A three-page call-to-arms, published in February
focused first on the plight of Muslims in the Arabian peninsula,
second on the Iraqi people, and finally, not on Palestinians, but on the "occupation" of holy Jerusalem.
But while this declaration of war by the newly
World Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders was
signed by the leaders of militant groups from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Egypt, among others, there were no signatores
from militant Palestinian groups, Mr. Schenker notes.
In seeking to justify mass murder and align his
with the Palestinian cause, Mr. bin Laden understands — and,
former associates note, even envies — the appeal. Mr. bin Laden is trying to expand his terrorist base, says Daniel
Benjamin, a former White House official in the Bush administration who is writing a book on religious terror.
Each fatwa is more savage and ambitious than the
these experts note. While the earlier opinions targeted American
soldiers in Africa and the Gulf, the latest call for jihad indicts and targets all Americans. It revels in the "horror from
north to south and east to west" that has been inflicted by those whom he praises as "vanguard Muslims."
October 9, 2001
Bin Laden Images Mesmerize Muslims
By SUSAN SACHS
CAIRO, Oct. 8 — Osama bin Laden's
televised speech on Sunday mesmerized many Muslims with its
religious and historical imagery, a powerful combination that only magnified his standing with people who wanted
to see him as a heroic spokesman for the weak against the strong.
Framed in the camera's eye by barren rock and a
rifle, Mr. bin Laden summoned up Islam's desert roots. He
spoke of swords and horses and the camp of the infidel enemy. His language recalled the contained fury of passages in
the Koran where God promises Muslims that they will triumph over nonbelievers and hypocrites who only pretend to
"The way he talks, his tone and his quiet voice, his
and his logic — it's all so charismatic," said Doaa
Mostafa, a student of Arabic literature at Ain Shams University in Cairo. "He is so convincing. This was the first time
I've seen him on TV and I felt sure he is not a terrorist. I felt his aim is to protect Islam, nothing more."
But while Mr. bin Laden impressed many Muslim
with his simple phrases, his championing of the Palestinians
and his flowery contempt for the United States, he also frightened others with his vision of an apocalyptic war between
Muslims and non-Muslims.
"He made me feel he is defending the Arabs' rights,
all Arab leaders are silent," said Mohammed Ahmed, another
Ain Shams University student. "But I would prefer that he stop using violence and negotiate instead of kill. We agree
with him on his point of view, but we do not agree with his methods."
In his speech, the Saudi exile condemned the Muslim
who have sympathized with Americans over the attacks on
the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. He called them hypocrites, a word with particular resonance for Muslims
because it is used throughout the Koran to describe people who falsely claim to be Muslim.
According to Islam, which considers the Koran the
of God, hypocrites are doomed to a hell worse than the one
that awaits nonbelievers. "The hypocrites," the Koran states in one of many such passages, "will be in the lowest depths
of the fire."
"This is language that can really reach the people,
in the gulf where the tension is very high," said Fahmi
Howeidi, an influential writer on Islamic politics for Al Ahram newspaper in Cairo.
Similarly, the historical episodes Mr. bin Laden
to invoke revealed much about his view of the conflicts that
continue to simmer in the Arab world, placing them among Islam's greatest defeats. His reference to 80 years of
"humiliation and disgrace" was apparently a timeline that began with the end of the Ottoman empire and the beginning
of British colonization of the Middle East after World War I.
In the same broadcast, Ayman al- Zawahiri, Mr. bin
deputy and the leader of the Islamic Jihad group, vowed
that "the tragedy of al Andalus" would not be repeated. He was referring to the period widely considered the Islamic
golden age in Andalusia, in Spain, that ended in the ignominy of Muslims being driven out of Europe by Christian
armies in the 15th century.
Such historical allusions may well tap into the
sense of siege among many Muslims who see themselves
threatened by a modern world dominated by the United States and Western secularism.
But Mr. bin Laden was not the first would-be savior
the Muslim world to use the language of religion as part of his
appeal. Most recently, the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, whose political roots are in secular Arab nationalism, tried to
portray himself as a champion of Islam to garner support.
But Mr. bin Laden has the unique advantage of having
born into one of the richest families in Saudi Arabia, while
now living the austere life of mountain warrior.
"Here you have a simple man who presents himself as
who left behind millions of dollars to defend Muslim
dignity," Mr. Howeidi said. "He has become the symbol now of challenge to the West."
Still, there was little evidence, so far, that
in Egypt was ready to answer Mr. bin Laden's call for battle against
the nonbelievers and Americans.
About 30 students, all members of a group devoted to
Arab nationalism of the late Gamal Abdel Nasser, held a
brief protest rally at Ain Shams. A young woman climbed the iron fence to the university grounds and shouted out
anti-American slogans, while police armed with bamboo sticks surrounded the protesters. Small demonstrations also
erupted at a few other universities.
"We all feel sympathy and admiration for bin Laden,"
Mostafa Rushdi Ali, a business administration student at
Helwan University in Cairo. "But Egypt must remain neutral because if we interfere this will worsen our economy."