The fatwa is entitled “Declaration of War against the Americans. Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places.” Praise be to Allah, we seek His help and ask for his
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OSAMA BIN LADEN’S FATWA 1996 The following text is a fatwa, or declaration of wa r, by Osama bin Laden first published in Al Quds Al Arabi , a London-based newspaper, in August, 1996. The fatwa is entitled “Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places.” Praise be to Allah, we seek His help and ask for hi s pardon. we take refuge in Allah from our wrongs and bad deeds. Who ever been guided by Allah will not be misled, and who ever has been misled, he will never be guided. I bear witness that there is no God exce pt Allah-no associates with Him- and I bear witness that Muhammad is His s lave and messenger. {O you who believe! be careful of -your duty to- Al lah with the proper care which is due to Him, and do not die unless you are Muslim} (Imraan; 3:102), {O people be careful of -your duty to- your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mat e of the same -kind- and spread from these two, many men and women; and be careful of – your duty to- Allah , by whom you demand one of ano ther -your rights-, and (be careful) to the ties of kinship; surely All ah ever watches over you} (An-Nisa; 4:1), {O you who believe! be careful – of your duty- to Allah and speak the right word; He will put your de eds into a right state for you, and forgive you your faults; and who ever obeys Allah and his Apostle, he indeed achieve a mighty success} (Al-Ah zab; 33:70-71). Praise be to Allah, reporting the saying of the pro phet Shu’aib: {I desire nothing but reform so far as I am able, and with no n but Allah is the direction of my affair to the right and successful path; on him do I rely and to him do I turn} (Hud; 11:88). Praise be to Allah, saying: {You are the best of th e nations raised up for -the benefit of- men; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and believe in Allah} (Aal-Imraan; 3:110). Allah’s bles sing and salutations on His slave and messenger who said: (The people ar e close to an all encompassing punishment from Allah if they see the oppressor and fail

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to restrain him.) 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 I raq. The horrifying pictures of the massacre of Qana, in Lebanon are st ill fresh in our memory. Massacres in Tajakestan, Burma, Cashmere, A ssam, Philippine, Fatani, Ogadin, Somalia, Erithria, Chec hnia and in Bosnia- Herzegovina took place, massacres that send shivers in the body and shake the conscience. All of this and the world wat ch and hear, and not only didn’t respond to these atrocities, but also w ith a clear conspiracy between the USA and its’ allies and under the cover of the iniquitous United Nations, the dispossessed people were even p revented from obtaining arms to defend themselves. The people of Islam awakened and realised that they are the main target for the aggression of the Zionist-Crusaders allianc e. All false claims and propaganda about “Human Rights” were hammered down and exposed by the massacres that took place against the Muslim s in every part of the world. The latest and the greatest of these aggressions, i ncurred by the Muslims since the death of the Prophet (ALLAH’S BLESSING AN D SALUTATIONS ON HIM) is the occupation of the land o f the two Holy Places -the foundation of the house of Islam, the p lace of the revelation, the source of the message and the place of the nobl e Ka’ba, the Qiblah of all Muslims- by the armies of the American Crusader s and their allies. (We bemoan this and can only say: “No power and pow er acquiring except through Allah”). Under the present circumstances, and under the bann er of the blessed awakening which is sweeping the world in general an d the Islamic world in particular, I meet with you today. And after a l ong absence, imposed on the scholars (Ulama) and callers (Da’ees) of Isl am by the iniquitous crusaders movement under the leadership of the USA; who fears that they, the scholars and callers of Islam, will insti gate the Ummah of Islam against its’ enemies as their ancestor scholars-may Allah be pleased with them- like Ibn Taymiyyah and Al’iz Ibn Abdes-Salaam did. And therefore the Zionist-Crusader alliance resorted to killing and arresting the truthful Ulama and the working Da’ees (We are n ot praising or sanctifying them; Allah sanctify whom He pleased). They killed the Mujahid Sheikh Abdullah Azzaam, and they arrested t he Mujahid Sheikh Ahmad Yaseen and the Mujahid Sheikh Omar Abd ur Rahman (in

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America). By orders from the USA they also arrested a large n umber of scholars, Da’ees and young people – in the land of the two Ho ly Places- among them the prominent Sheikh Salman Al-Oud’a and Sheik h Safar Al- Hawali and their brothers; (We bemoan this and can only say: “No power and power acquiring except through Allah”). W e, myself and my group, have suffered some of this injustice ourselv es; we have been prevented from addressing the Muslims. We have been pursued in Pakistan, Sudan and Afghanistan, hence this long ab sence on my part. But by the Grace of Allah, a safe base is now avail able in the high Hindukush mountains in Khurasan ; where–by the Gra ce of Allah-the largest infidel military force of the world was des troyed. And the myth of the super power was withered in front of the Muj ahideen cries of Allahu Akbar (God is greater). Today we work from t he same mountains to lift the iniquity that had been imposed on the U mmah by the Zionist- Crusader alliance, particularly after they have occ upied the blessed land around Jerusalem, route of the journey of the Proph et (ALLAH’S BLESSING AND SALUTATIONS ON HIM) and the land of th e two Holy Places. We ask Allah to bestow us with victory , He is our Patron and He is the Most Capable. From here, today we begin the work, talking and dis cussing the ways of correcting what had happened to the Islamic world i n general, and the Land of the two Holy Places in particular. We wish to study the means that we could follow to return the situation to its ‘ normal path. And to return to the people their own rights, particularly after the large damages and the great aggression on the life and the religi on of the people. An injustice that had affected every section and group of the people; the civilians, military and security men, government of ficials and merchants, the young and the old people as well as schools and university students. Hundred of thousands of the unemployed graduates, w ho became the widest section of the society, were also affected. Injustice had affected the people of the industry a nd agriculture. It affected the people of the rural and urban areas. A nd almost every body complain about something. The situation at the land of the two Holy places became like a huge volcano at the verge of e ruption that would destroy the Kufr and the corruption and its’ source s. The explosion at Riyadh and Al-Khobar is a warning of this volcanic eruption emerging as a result of the sever oppression, suffering, exc essive iniquity, humiliation and poverty. People are fully concerned about their every day li vings; every body talks about the deterioration of the economy, infla tion, ever increasing debts and jails full of prisoners. Government emplo yees with limited

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income talk about debts of ten thousands and hundre d thousands of Saudi Riyals . They complain that the value of the Riyal is greatly and continuously deteriorating among most of the main c urrencies. Great merchants and contractors speak about hundreds and thousands of million Riyals owed to them by the government. More than three hundred forty billions of Riyal owed by the governm ent to the people in addition to the daily accumulated interest, let alo ne the foreign debt. People wonder whether we are the largest oil export ing country?! They even believe that this situation is a curse put on them by Allah for not objecting to the oppressive and illegitimate behavi our and measures of the ruling regime: Ignoring the divine Shari’ah law ; depriving people of their legitimate rights; allowing the American to o ccupy the land of the two Holy Places; imprisonment, unjustly, of the sin cere scholars. The honourable Ulamah and scholars as well as merchants , economists and eminent people of the country were all alerted by t his disastrous situation. Quick efforts were made by each group to contain an d to correct the situation. All agreed that the country is heading t oward a great catastrophe, the depth of which is not known except by Allah. One big merchant commented : ” the king is leading the sta te into ‘sixty-six’ folded disaster”, (We bemoan this and can only say : “No power and power acquiring except through Allah”). Numerous pr inces share with the people their feelings, privately expressing the ir concerns and objecting to the corruption, repression and the int imidation taking place in the country. But the competition between influen tial princes for personal gains and interest had destroyed the count ry. Through its course of actions the regime has torn off its legitimacy: (1) Suspension of the Islamic Shari’ah law and exch anging it with man made civil law. The regime entered into a bloody co nfrontation with the truthful Ulamah and the righteous youths (we sancti fy nobody; Allah sanctify Whom He pleaseth). (2) The inability of the regime to protect the coun try, and allowing the enemy of the Ummah – the American crusader forces- to occupy the land for the longest of years. The crusader forces becam e the main cause of our disastrous condition, particularly in the econo mical aspect of it due to the unjustified heavy spending on these forces. As a result of the policy imposed on the country, especially in the fi eld of oil industry where production is restricted or expanded and pric es are fixed to suit the American economy ignoring the economy of the co untry. Expensive deals were imposed on the country to purchase arms. People asking what is the justification for the very existence of the regime then? Quick efforts were made by individuals and by diffe rent groups of the

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society to contain the situation and to prevent the danger. They advised the government both privately and openly; they send letters and poems, reports after reports, reminders after reminders, t hey explored every avenue and enlist every influential man in their mo vement of reform and correction. They wrote with style of passion, diplo macy and wisdom asking for corrective measures and repentance from the “great wrong doings 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 l isten to the people accusing them of being ridiculous and imbecile. The matter got worse as previous wrong doings were followed by mischief’s o f greater magnitudes. All of this taking place in the land of the two Holy Places! It is no longer possible to be quiet. It is not acc eptable to give a blind eye to this matter. As the extent of these infringements reached the hi ghest of levels and turned into demolishing forces threatening the very existence of the Islamic principles, a group of scholars-who can tak e no more- supported by hundreds of retired officials, merchants, promin ent and educated people wrote to the King asking for implementation of the corrective measures. In 1411 A.H. (May 1991), at the time of t he gulf war, a letter, the famous letter of Shawwaal, with over four hundr ed signatures was send to the king demanding the lift of oppression a nd the implementation of corrective actions. The king humi liated those people and choose to ignore the content of their letter; a nd the very bad situation of the country became even worse. People, however, tried again and send more letters and petitions. One particular report, the glorious Memorandum Of Advic e, was handed over to the king on Muharram, 1413 A.H (July 1992), which tackled the problem pointed out the illness and prescribed the medicine in an original, righteous and scientific style. It descri bed the gaps and the shortcoming in the philosophy of the regime and sug gested the required course of action and remedy. The report gave a desc ription of: (1) The intimidation and harassment suffered by the leaders of the society, the scholars, heads of tribes, merchants, academic teachers and other eminent individuals; (2) The situation of the law within the country and the arbitrary declaration of what is Halal and Haram (lawful and unlawful) regardless of the Shari’ah as instituted by Allah; (3) The state of the press and the media which beca me a tool of truth- hiding and misinformation; the media carried out th e plan of the enemy

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of idolising cult of certain personalities and spre ading scandals among the believers to repel the people away from their r eligion, as Allah, the Exalted said: {surely- as for- those who love that scandal should circulate between the believers, they shall have a grievous chastisement in this world and in the here after} (An-Noor, 24:1 9). (4) Abuse and confiscation of human rights; (5) The financial and the economical situation of t he country and the frightening future in the view of the enormous amou nt of debts and interest owed by the government; this is at the tim e when the wealth of the Ummah being wasted to satisfy personal desires of certain individuals!! while imposing more custom duties and taxes on the nation. (the prophet said about the woman who commi tted adultery: “She repented in such a way sufficient to bring for giveness to a custom collector!!”)., (6) The miserable situation of the social services and infra-structure especially the water service and supply , the basic requirement of life., (7) The state of the ill-trained and ill-prepared a rmy and the impotence of its commander in chief despite the incredible am ount of money that has been spent on the army. The gulf war clearly ex posed the situation., (8) Shari’a law was suspended and man made law was used instead., (9) And as far as the foreign policy is concerned t he report exposed not only how this policy has disregarded the Islamic is sues and ignored the Muslims, but also how help and support were provide d to the enemy against the Muslims; the cases of Gaza-Ariha and th e communist in the south of Yemen are still fresh in the memory, and m ore can be said. As stated by the people of knowledge, it is not a s ecret that to use man made law instead of the Shari’a and to support the infidels against the Muslims is one of the ten “voiders” that would stri p a person from his Islamic status (turn a Muslim into a Mushrik, non b eliever status). The All Mighty said: {and whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are the unbelievers} (Al-Ma’ida; 5:44), and { but no! by your Lord! they do not believe (in reality) until they make yo u a judge of that which has become a matter of disagreement among them, and then do not find the slightest misgiving in their hearts as to what you have decided and submit with entire submission} (An-Nissa; 4:65). In spite of the fact that the report was written wi th soft words and very diplomatic style, reminding of Allah, giving truthf ul sincere advice, and despite of the importance of advice in Islam – bein g absolutely essential

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occasion the “movement” is dragged into an armed st ruggle at a predetermined unfavourable time and place. Sometime officials from the Ministry of Interior, who are also graduates of the colleges of the Shari’ah, are leashed out to mislead and confuse th e nation and the Ummah (by wrong Fatwas) and to circulate false info rmation about the movement. At other occasions some righteous people were tricked into a war of words against the Ulama and the leaders of t he movement, wasting the energy of the nation in discussing mino r issues and ignoring the main one that is the unification of the people under the divine law of Allah. In the shadow of these discussions and arguments tr uthfulness is covered by the falsehood, and personal feuds and partisansh ip created among the people increasing the division and the weakness of the Ummah; priorities of the Islamic work are lost while the b lasphemy and polytheism continue its grip and control over the U mmah. We should be alert to these atrocious plans carried out by the M inistry of Interior. The right answer is to follow what have been decided by the people of knowledge, as was said by Ibn Taymiyyah (Allah’s me rcy upon him): “people of Islam should join forces and support eac h other to get rid of the main “Kufr” who is controlling the countries of the Islamic world, even to bear the lesser damage to get rid of the ma jor one, that is the great Kufr”. If there are more than one duty to be carried out, then the most important one should receive priority. Clearly after Belief ( Imaan) there is no more important duty than pushing the American enemy out of the holy land. No other priority, except Belief, could be consider ed before it; the people of knowledge, Ibn Taymiyyah, stated: “to fig ht in defence of religion and Belief is a collective duty; there is no other duty after Belief than fighting the enemy who is corrupting the life and the religion. There is no preconditions for this duty and the enemy sho uld be fought with one best abilities. (ref: supplement of Fatawa). If it is not possible to push back the enemy except by the collective moveme nt of the Muslim people, then there is a duty on the Muslims to igno re the minor differences among themselves; the ill effect of ign oring these differences, at a given period of time, is much les s than the ill effect of the occupation of the Muslims’ land by the main Kuf r. Ibn Taymiyyah had explained this issue and emphasised the importa nce of dealing with the major threat on the expense of the minor one. H e described the situation of the Muslims and the Mujahideen and sta ted that even the military personnel who are not practising Islam are not exempted from the duty of Jihad against the enemy. Ibn Taymiyyah , after mentioning the Moguls (Tatar) and their behaviour in changing the law of Allah, stated that : the ultimate aim of

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pleasing Allah, raising His word, instituting His r eligion and obeying His messenger (ALLAH’S BLESSING AND SALUTATIONS ON HIM) is to fight the enemy, in every aspects and in a complete manner; if the danger to the religion from not fighting is greater than that of fighting, then it is a duty to fight them even if t he intention of some of the fighter is not pure i.e . fighting for the sake of leadership (personal gain) or if they do not observe some of the rules a nd commandments of Islam. To repel the greatest of the two dangers on the expense of the lesser one is an Islamic principle which should be observed. It was the tradition of the people of the Sunnah (Ahlul-Sunnah ) to join and invade- fight- with the righteous and non righteous men. Al lah may support this religion by righteous and non righteous people as t old by the prophet (ALLAH’S BLESSING AND SALUTATIONS ON HIM). If it is not possible to fight except with the help of non right eous military personnel and commanders, then there are two possibilities: e ither fighting will be ignored and the others, who are the great danger to this life and religion, will take control; or to fight with the help of non righteous rulers and therefore repelling the greatest of the two dangers and implementing most, though not all, of the Islamic laws. The latt er option is the right duty to be carried out in these circumstances and i n many other similar situation. In fact many of the fights and conquests that took place after the time of Rashidoon, the guided Imams, were of th is type. (majmoo’ al Fatawa, 26/506). No one, not even a blind or a deaf person , can den y the presence of the widely spread mischief’s or the prevalence of the g reat sins that had reached the grievous iniquity of polytheism and to share with Allah in His sole right of sovereignty and making of the law . The All Mighty stated: {And when Luqman said to his son while he a dmonish him: O my son! do not associate ought with Allah; most sur ely polytheism is a grievous iniquity} (Luqman; 31:13). Man fabricated laws were put forward permitting what has been forbidden by Allah such as usury (Riba) and other matters. Banks dealing in usury ar e competing, for lands, with the two Holy Places and declaring war a gainst Allah by disobeying His order {Allah has allowed trading and forbidden usury} (Baqarah; 2:275). All this taking place at the vici nity of the Holy Mosque in the Holy Land! Allah (SWT) stated in His Holy Book a unique promise (that had not been promised to any o ther sinner) to the Muslims who deals in usury: {O you who believe! Be careful of your duty to Allah and relinquish what remains (due) fro m usury, if you are believers * But if you do (it) not, then be apprais ed of WAR from Allah and His Apostle} (Baqarah; 2:278-279). This is for the “Muslim” who deals in usury (believing that it is a sin), what i s it then to the person who make himself a partner and equal to Allah, lega lising (usury and other sins) what has been forbidden by Allah. Despi te of all of the above we see the government misled and dragged some of th e righteous

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Ulamah and Da’ees away from the issue of objecting to the greatest of sins and Kufr. (We bemoan this and can only say: “N o power and power acquiring except through Allah”). Under such circumstances, to push the enemy-the gre atest Kufr- out of the country is a prime duty. No other duty after Be lief is more important than the duty of had . Utmost effort should be made to prepare and instigate the Ummah against the enemy, the American -Israeli alliance- occupying the country of the two Holy Places and th e route of the Apostle (Allah’s Blessings and Salutations may be o n him) to the Furthest Mosque (Al-Aqsa Mosque). Also to remind th e Muslims not to be engaged in an internal war among themselves, as that will have grieve consequences namely: 1-consumption of the Muslims human resources as mos t casualties and fatalities will be among the Muslims people. 2-Exhaustion of the economic and financial resource s. 3-Destruction of the country infrastructures 4-Dissociation of the society 5-Destruction of the oil industries. The presence o f 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, f eelings and prides and push them to take up armed struggle against the inv aders occupying the land; therefore spread of the fighting in the regio n will expose the oil wealth to the danger of being burned up. The econom ic interests of the States of the Gulf and the land of the two Holy Pla ces will be damaged and even a greater damage will be caused to the eco nomy of the world. I would like here to alert my brothers, the Mujahidee n, the sons of the nation, to protect this (oil) wealth and not to inc lude it in the battle as it is a great Islamic wealth and a large economical po wer essential for the soon to be established Islamic state, by Allah’s Pe rmission and Grace. We also warn the aggressors, the USA, against burni ng this Islamic wealth (a crime which they may commit in order to p revent it, at the end of the war, from falling in the hands of its legiti mate owners and to cause economic damages to the competitors of the US A in Europe or the Far East, particularly Japan which is the major con sumer of the oil of the region). 6-Division of the land of the two Holy Places, and annexing of the northerly part of it by Israel. Dividing the land o f the two Holy Places is

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an essential demand of the Zionist-Crusader allianc e. The existence of such a large country with its huge resources under the leadership of the forthcoming Islamic State, by Allah’s Grace, repres ent a serious danger to the very existence of the Zionist state in Pales tine. The Nobel Ka’ba, – the Qiblah of all Muslims- makes the land of the tw o Holy Places a symbol for the unity of the Islamic world. Moreover , the presence of the world largest oil reserve makes the land of the two Holy Places an important economical power in the Islamic world. Th e sons of the two Holy Places are directly related to the life style (Seerah) of their forefathers, the companions, may Allah be pleased w ith them. They consider the Seerah of their forefathers as a sourc e and an example for re-establishing the greatness of this Ummah and to raise the word of Allah again. Furthermore the presence of a populati on of fighters in the south of Yemen, fighting in the cause of Allah, is a strategic threat to the Zionist-Crusader alliance in the area. The Prophet (ALLAH’S BLESSING AND SALUTATIONS ON HIM) said: (around twel ve thousands will emerge from Aden/Abian helping -the cause of- Allah and His messenger, they are the best, in the time, between me and them) narrated by Ahmad with a correct trustworthy refere nce. 7-An internal war is a great mistake, no matter wha t reasons are there for it. the presence of the occupier-the USA- forces wi ll control the outcome of the battle for the benefit of the international Kufr. I address now my brothers of the security and milit ary forces and the national guards may Allah preserve you hoard for Is lam and the Muslims people: O you protectors of unity and guardians of Faith; O you descendent of the ancestors who carried the light (torch) of guid ance and spread it all over the world. O you grandsons of Sa’d Ibn Abi Waq qaas , Almothanna Ibn Haritha Ash-Shaybani , Alga’ga’ Ibn Amroo Al-Ta meemi and those pious companions who fought Jihad alongside them; y ou competed to join the army and the guard forces with the intenti on to carry out Jihad in the cause of Allah -raising His word- and to defend the faith of Islam and the land of the two Holy Places against the inv aders and the occupying forces. That is the ultimate level of bel ieving in this religion “Deen”. But the regime had reversed these principle s and their understanding, humiliating the Ummah and disobeying Allah. Half a century ago the rulers promised the Ummah to regain the first Qiblah, but fifty years later new generation arrived and th e promises have been changed; Al-Aqsa Mosque handed over to the Zionists and the wounds of the Ummah still bleeding there. At the time when the Ummah has not regained the first Qiblah and the rout of the journ ey of the Prophet (Allah’s Blessings and Salutations may be on him), and despite of all of the above, the Saudi regime had stunt the Ummah in the remaining

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