Bin Laden’s Fatwas

In the wake of the removal of Osama bin Laden from the world, there will inevitably be apologists who claim that he was an innocent victim, that the US forces were not justified in doggedly tracking him down and ultimately killing him. He will be portrayed as a “civilian,” not a legitimate military target. Inevitably someone will argue that it would have been better to capture him and bring him to trial in Manhattan Federal Court.

Lest anyone fall for such propaganda, here are quotes from two Fatwas issued by Bin Laden in 1996 and 1998 in which he declared war on the US and Israel.

1996 – “You, the USA, together with the Saudi regime are responsible for the shedding of the blood of these innocent children. Due to all of that, what ever treaty you have with our country is now null and void.”

1998 – “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. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, ‘and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,’ and ‘fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God.’ … 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.”

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