Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (10 March 1957 – 2 May 2011) was the founder of al-Qaeda, a militant Islamic organization that has been involved in terrorist attacks against civilian and military targets around the world, especially against western countries.
Declaration of War against the Americans (1996)
- Osama Bin Laden's Jihad and text of Fatwahs and Declaration of War, Text of the August 1996 Fatwa at PBS
- It should not be hidden from you that the people of Islam had 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 Palestine and Iraq. The horrifying pictures of the massacre of Qana, in Lebanon are still fresh in our memory. Massacres in Tajikistan, Burma, Kashmir, Assam, Philippines, Pattani, Ogaden, Somalia, Eritrea, Chechnya, and in Bosnia-Herzegovina took place, massacres that send shivers in the body and shake the conscience. All of this and the world watch and hear, and not only didn't respond to these atrocities, but also with a clear conspiracy between the USA and its' allies and under the cover of the iniquitous United Nations, the dispossessed people were even prevented from obtaining arms to defend themselves. 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.
Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders (1998)
- English translation of a statement in al-Quds al-Arabi (23 February 1998) "Summary/Review of Reports Concerning Threats by Osama Bin Laden to Conduct Terrorist Operations Against the United States and/or her Allies - 23 February 1998 to 16 June 1998"
- First, 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.
If some people have in the past argued about the fact of the occupation, all the people of the Peninsula have now acknowledged it. The best proof of this is the Americans' continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are against their territories being used to that end, but they are helpless.
Second, 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 devastation.
So here they come to annihilate what is left of this people and to humiliate their Muslim neighbors.
Third, if the Americans' aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews' petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there. The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel's survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula.
- 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.
ABC interview (1998)
- The call to wage war against America was made because America has spear-headed the crusade against the Islamic nation, sending tens of thousands of its troops to the land of the two Holy Mosques over and above its meddling in its affairs and its politics, and its support of the oppressive, corrupt and tyrannical regime that is in control. These are the reasons behind the singling out of America as a target. And not exempt of responsibility are those Western regimes whose presence in the region offers support to the American troops there. We know at least one reason behind the symbolic participation of the Western forces and that is to support the Jewish and Zionist plans for expansion of what is called the Great Israel. Surely, their presence is not out of concern over their interests in the region. … Their presence has no meaning save one and that is to offer support to the Jews in Palestine who are in need of their Christian brothers to achieve full control over the Arab Peninsula which they intend to make an important part of the so called Greater Israel.
- After our victory in Afghanistan and the defeat of the oppressors who had killed millions of Muslims, the legend about the invincibility of the superpowers vanished. Our boys no longer viewed America as a superpower. So, when they left Afghanistan, they went to Somalia and prepared themselves carefully for a long war. They had thought that the Americans were like the Russians, so they trained and prepared. They were stunned when they discovered how low was the morale of the American soldier. America had entered with 30,000 soldiers in addition to thousands of soldiers from different countries in the world. … As I said, our boys were shocked by the low morale of the American soldier and they realized that the American soldier was just a paper tiger.
Time magazine interview (1998)
- 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 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 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.
- In response to the interviewer stating: 'Are you responsible for the bomb attacks on the two American embassies in Africa?'
- What I know is that those who risked their lives to earn the pleasure of God are real men. They managed to rid the Islamic nation of disgrace. We hold them in the highest esteem.
- In response to the interviewer stating: 'Do you know the men who have been arrested for these attacks?'
- Wadih el-Hage was one of our brothers whom God was kind enough to steer to the path of relief work for Afghan refugees. I still remember him, though I have not seen him or heard from him for many years. He has nothing to do with the U.S. allegations. As for Mohamed Rashed al-'Owhali, we were informed that he is a Saudi from the province of Najd. The fact of the matter is that America, and in particular the CIA, wanted to cover up its failure in the aftermath of the events that took place in Riyadh, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Capetown, Kampala--and other places, God willing, in the future--by arresting any person who had participated in the Islamic jihad in Afghanistan. We pray to God to end the plight, and we are confident they will be exonerated.
- In response to the interviewer stating: 'But all those arrested are said to have been associated with you.'
- There is no doubt that the treacherous attack has confirmed that Britain and America are acting on behalf of Israel and the Jews, paving the way for the Jews to divide the Muslim world once again, enslave it and loot the rest of its wealth. A great part of the force that carried out the attack came from certain gulf countries that have lost their sovereignty. Now infidels walk everywhere on the land where Muhammad was born and where the Koran was revealed to him. The situation is serious. The rulers have become powerless. Muslims should carry out their obligations, since the rulers of the region have accepted the invasion of their countries. These countries belong to Islam and not the rulers.
- In response to the interviewer stating: 'How do you react to the December attack on Iraq by U.S. and British forces?'
- 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 they inflict.
- In response to the interviewer stating: 'What can the U.S. expect from you now?'
- 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.
- In response to the interviewer stating: 'The U.S. says you are trying to acquire chemical and nuclear weapons.'
- The U.S. knows that I have attacked it, by the grace of God, for more than 10 years now. The U.S. alleges that I am fully responsible for the killing of its soldiers in Somalia. God knows that we have been pleased at the killing of American soldiers. This was achieved by the grace of God and the efforts of the mujahedin from among the Somali brothers and other Arab mujahedin who had been in Afghanistan before that. America has been trying ever since to tighten its economic blockade against us and to arrest me. It has failed. This blockade does not hurt us much. We expect to be rewarded by God.
- In response to the interviewer stating: 'The U.S. is trying to stop the flow of funds to your organization. Has it been able to do so?'
- Winds of change have blown in order to lift the injustice to which the world is subjected by America and its supporters and the Jews who are collaborating with them. Look at what is happening these days in Indonesia, where Suharto, a despot who ruled for 30 years, was overthrown. The time will come, sooner rather than later, when criminal despots who betrayed God and his Prophet, and betrayed their trust and their nation, will face the same fate.
- In response to the interviewer stating: 'Is your Islamic message having an impact?'
- We should fully understand our religion. Fighting is a part of our religion and our Shari'a. Those who love God and his Prophet and this religion cannot deny that. Whoever denies even a minor tenet of our religion commits the gravest sin in Islam. Those who sympathize with the infidels-such as the PLO in Palestine or the so-called Palestinian Authority--have been trying for tens of years to get back some of their rights. They laid down arms and abandoned what is called violence and tried peaceful bargaining. What did the Jews give them? They did not give them even 1% of their rights.
- In response to the interviewer stating: 'But there are many Muslims who do not agree with your kind of violence.'
- 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.
- In response to the interviewer stating: 'America, the world's only superpower, has called you Public Enemy Number One. Are you worried?'
- In today's wars, there are no morals. We believe the worst thieves in the world today and the worst terrorists are the Americans. We do not have to differentiate between military or civilian. As far as we are concerned, they are all targets.
- The pieces of the bodies of infidels were flying like dust particles. If you would have seen it with your own eyes, you would have been very pleased, and your heart would have been filled with joy.
- I'm fighting so I can die a martyr and go to heaven to meet God. Our fight now is against the Americans.
- Statement in al-Quds al-Arabi, as quoted in "Bin Laden: I Didn't Do It" CBS News (12 September 2001); also at Positive Atheism's "Big List of Scary Quotes"
- Neither I had any knowledge of these attacks nor I consider the killing of innocent women, children, and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children, and other people. Such a practice is forbidden ever in the course of a battle. … I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed.
- Interview with Karachi Ummat (28 September 2001)
- Every Muslim must rise to defend his religion. The wind of faith is blowing.
- We had notification since the previous Thursday that the event would take place that day. We had finished our work that day and had the radio on. It was 5:30 PM our time. I was sitting with Dr. Ahmad Abu al-Khair. Immediately, we heard the news that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.
- Undated video released by the US Department of Defense (13 December 2001)
- I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life.
- Al-Jazeera interview, (21 October 2001), as reported in "Bin Laden's sole post-September 11 TV interview aired" CNN (31 January 2002)
- We say our terror against America is blessed terror in order to put an end to suppression, in order for the United States to stop its support to Israel.
- If inciting people to do that is terrorism, and if killing those who kill our sons is terrorism, then let history be witness that we are terrorists.
- Just like you kill us, we will kill you.
- We will continue to fight you as long as we have weapons in our hands.
- There is no dialogue except with weapons.
- Audiotape aired on Al-Jazeera (18 October 2003)
- This war in Iraq makes millions of dollars for big corporations, either weapons manufacturers or those working in the reconstruction, such as Halliburton and its sister companies. . . It is crystal clear who benefits from igniting the fire of this war and this bloodshed: They are the merchants of war, the bloodsuckers who run the policy of the world from behind the scenes. President Bush and his ilk, the media giants, and the U.N. . . all are a fatal danger to the world, and the Zionist lobby is their most dangerous member. God willing, we will persist in fighting them. . .
- English translation by MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) of statement by bin Laden (15 April 2004)
- Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or al Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands. Each and every state that does not tamper with our security will have automatically assured its own security.
- Videotape broadcast on al-Jazeera TV as reported in a BBC article (29 October 2004)
- Free people do not relinquish their security. This is contrary to Bush's claim that we hate freedom. Let him tell us why we did not strike Sweden, for example.
- Videotape broadcast on al-Jazeera TV as reported by BBC (29 October 2004)
- We fought with you because we are free, and we don't put up with transgressions. We want to reclaim our nation. As you spoil our security, we will do so to you.
- It never occurred that the highest leader of the military armed forces would leave 50,000 people to face the horror that they faced all by themselves when they needed him most.
- Videotape broadcast on al-Jazeera TV as reported by CNN (29 October 2004)
- And as I was looking at those towers that were destroyed in Lebanon, it occurred to me that we have to punish the transgressor with the same, and that we had to destroy the towers in America, so that they taste what we tasted and they stop killing our women and children.
- Videotape broadcast on al-Jazeera TV as reported by CNN (29 October 2004)
- We have not found it difficult to deal with the Bush administration in light of the resemblance that it bears to the regimes in our countries, half of which are ruled by the military and the other half which are ruled by the sons of kings.
- Videotape broadcast on Aljazeera and CNN (29 October 2004)
- All we have to do is send two mujaheddin [...] to raise a small piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaeda" in order to make the generals race there, to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses.
- Unidentified 2004 video message
- Koppel, Ted (12 September 2010). "Nine years after 9/11, let's stop playing into bin Laden's hands". Washington Post. Retrieved on 2010-09-11.
- Every Muslim, from the moment they realize the distinction in their hearts, hates Americans, hates Jews and hates Christians. For as long as I can remember, I have felt tormented and at war, and have felt hatred and animosity for Americans.
- As quoted in Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden (2005) by Bruce Lawrence ISBN 1844670457
- Thinking people, when disaster strikes, make it their priority to look for its causes, in order to prevent it happening again.
- I am the one in charge of the 19 brothers … I was responsible for entrusting the 19 brothers … with the raids.
- On the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, in an audiotape broadcast on Al Jazeera (23 May 2006)
- People of America: the world is following your news in regards to your invasion of Iraq, for people have recently come to know that, after several years of tragedies of this war, the vast majority of you want it stopped. Thus, you elected the Democratic Party for this purpose, but the Democrats haven't made a move worth mentioning.
- As for those who condemned these operations looked at the event [9/11] in isolation and failed to connect them to past events and did not look at the causes that lead to this result. So their point of view is narrow.
- Al - Jazeera Broadcast Tape - On 9/11 and the American reaction (the release date is needed for this )
Letter to the American people (2002)
- The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam. The religion of the Unification of God; of freedom from associating partners with Him, and rejection of this; of complete love of Him, the Exalted; of complete submission to His Laws; and of the discarding of all the opinions, orders, theories and religions which contradict with the religion He sent down to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam is the religion of all the prophets, and makes no distinction between them - peace be upon them all. It is to this religion that we call you; the seal of all the previous religions. It is the religion of Unification of God, sincerity, the best of manners, righteousness, mercy, honour, purity, and piety. It is the religion of showing kindness to others, establishing justice between them, granting them their rights, and defending the oppressed and the persecuted. It is the religion of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil with the hand, tongue and heart. It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah's Word and religion reign Supreme. And it is the religion of unity and agreement on the obedience to Allah, and total equality between all people, without regarding their colour, sex, or language. It is the religion whose book - the Quran - will remained preserved and unchanged, after the other Divine books and messages have been changed. The Quran is the miracle until the Day of Judgment. Allah has challenged anyone to bring a book like the Quran or even ten verses like it.
- You are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah in its Constitution and Laws, choose to invent your own laws as you will and desire. You separate religion from your policies, contradicting the pure nature which affirms Absolute Authority to the Lord and your Creator. You flee from the embarrassing question posed to you: How is it possible for Allah the Almighty to create His creation, grant them power over all the creatures and land, grant them all the amenities of life, and then deny them that which they are most in need of: knowledge of the laws which govern their lives?
Quotes about bin Laden
- Alphabetized by author
- Last year, when the need to form a fact-finding team to undertake a thorough investigation concerning the hidden elements involved in September 11 incident was brought up; an idea also endorsed by all independent governments and nations as well as by the majority in the United States, my country and myself came under pressure and threat by the government of the United States. Instead of assigning a fact-finding team, they killed the main perpetrator and threw his body into the sea. Would it not have been reasonable to bring to justice and openly bring to trial the main perpetrator of the incident in order to identifY the elements behind the safe space provided for the invading aircraft to attack the twin world trade towers? Why should it not have been allowed to bring him to trial to help recognize those who launched terrorist groups and brought wars and other miseries into the region? Is there any classified information that must be kept secret?
- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Speech to the United Nations General Assembly (22 September 2011).
- I would like to emphasize here, on Al-Arabiya TV, that I place Sheik Osama on the same level as my father, and I love him perhaps even more than my father.
- Nasser Al-Bahri, AKA "Abu Jandal," former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden, on Al-Arabiya TV (4 May 2007) as quoted in "Former Osama bin Laden Bodyguard in Al-Arabiya TV Interview : I Love Him More Than I Love My Own Father" (6 June 2007)
- I will screw him in the ass.
- George W. Bush, as quoted in Ariel Sharon: An Intimate Portrait (2007), by Uri Dan.
- As a human being, bin Laden may have deserved compassion and even forgiveness, the Dalai Lama said in answer to a question about the assassination of the al-Qaeda leader. But, he said, "Forgiveness doesn't mean forget what happened. … If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures."
- Though it took a decade to find bin Laden, there is one consolation for his long evasion of justice: He lived long enough to witness what some are calling the Arab Spring, the complete repudiation of his violent ideology.
- Osama bin Laden understands that he cannot defeat the US in a conventional war. What he and his allies can do is inflict enough pain to provoke a reaction of the sort we’ve seen in Iraq--a botched & ill-advised US military incursion into a Muslim country, which in turn spurs on insurgencies based on religious sentiment & nationalist pride, which in turn necessitates a lengthy & difficult US occupation. All of this fans anti-American sentiment among Muslims, and increases the pool of potential terrorist recruits.
That’s the plan for winning a war from a cave, and so far, we are playing to script. To change that script, we’ll need to make sure that any exercise of American military power helps rather than hinders our broader goals: to incapacitate the destructive potential of terrorist networks and win this global battle of ideas.
- Barack Obama Audacity of Hope (2006) P. 307
- Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda.
- Last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.
Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.
- Barack Obama, in remarks on the death of bin Laden (2 May 2011)
- On the existential plain, Bin Laden was marginalized, out of play, but inside the chrysalis of myth that he had spun about himself he was becoming a representative of all persecuted and humiliated Muslims. His life and the symbols in which he cloaked himself powerfully embodied the pervasive sense of dispossession that characterized the modern Muslim world. In his own miserable exile, he absorbed the misery of his fellow believers, his loss entitled him to speak for theirs, his vengeance would sanctify their suffering.
- Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower
- In what people irritatingly call "iconic" terms, Bin Laden certainly had no rival. The strange, scrofulous quasi-nobility and bogus spirituality of his appearance was appallingly telegenic, and it will be highly interesting to see whether this charisma survives the alternative definition of revolution that has lately transfigured the Muslim world. The most tenaciously lasting impression of all, however, is that of his sheer irrationality. What had the man thought he was doing? Ten years ago, did he expect, let alone desire, to be in a walled compound in dear little Abbottabad?
- What happened in Abbottobad … has been the second death of Osama bin Laden. His physical one. Meanwhile, his symbolic, political and ideological [death] had already occurred on the squares of Cairo, Tunis, Damascus and Bengasi, where Al Qaeda had been ignored. Nobody exhalted it. Nobody mentioned it. The "Arab spring" has blossomed and exploded for want of democracy and freedom. It is not provoked by Islamic fanaticism, and even less inspired by the idea of a caliphate... launched by bin Laden. It is not a choice. It is outdated, even if its sporadic followers are still able to strike. Before the Americans, bin Laden had been symbolically killed by the people on Tahrir square and Burghiba avenue.
- Bernardo Valli, in "Il giovane viziato con lo sguardo timido diventato il 'principe del terrore': I soldi del padre e la svolta nella lotta contro l'Urss in Afghanistan" in La Republica (3 May 2011)
- We should give him credit for only one thing : unlike other vile tyrants, he did not live in golden palaces, but avoided them.
- Gabriele Romagnoli, Osama: Quando Muore un Fantasma, Vanity Fair (11 May 2011)
- Interpol Profile
- FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives poster
- "Hunting Bin Laden" PBS (November 2002)
- 'I met Osama bin Laden' BBC News (26 March 2004)
- "Young Osama" by Steve Coll, The New Yorker (12 December 2005)
- "Listening to Bin Laden" by Said Shirazi at PrintCulture (31 March 2006)
- Transcript: Full Text of Bin Ladin 4 January Audio Message (4 March 2004).