Letter from Osama bin Laden
by James Glaser
November 26, 2002
This Osama bin Laden letter was translated by Mohammed al-Massari, a British-based Saudi dissident who heads the "Committee for the Defence of Legitimate Rights." al Massuri denies that he supports terrorism.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,
"Permission to fight (against disbelievers) is given to those
(believers) who are fought against, because they have been
wronged and surely, Allah is Able to give them (believers)
victory" [Quran 22:39]
"Those who believe, fight in the Cause of Allah, and those who
disbelieve, fight in the cause of Taghut (anything worshipped
other than Allah e.g. Satan). So fight you against the friends of
Satan; ever feeble is indeed the plot of Satan."[Quran 4:76]
Some American writers have published articles under the title
'On what basis are we fighting?' These articles have generated a
number of responses, some of which adhered to the truth and
were based on Islamic Law, and others which have not. Here we
wanted to outline the truth - as an explanation and warning -
hoping for Allah's reward, seeking success and support from
While seeking Allah's help, we form our reply based on two
questions directed at the Americans:
(Q1) Why are we fighting and opposing you?
Q2)What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?
As for the first question: Why are we fighting and opposing you?
The answer is very simple:
(1) Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.
a) You attacked us in Palestine:
(i) Palestine, which has sunk under military occupation for more
than 80 years. The British handed over Palestine, with your help
and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more
than 50 years; years overflowing with oppression, tyranny,
crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation. The
creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes,
and you are the leaders of its criminals. And of course there is
no need to explain and prove the degree of American support for
Israel. The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased.
Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in
the contribution towards this crime must pay its*price, and pay
for it heavily.
(ii) It brings us both laughter and tears to see that you have not
yet tired of repeating your fabricated lies that the Jews have a
historical right to Palestine, as it was promised to them in the
Torah. Anyone who disputes with them on this alleged fact is
accused of anti-semitism. This is one of the most fallacious,
widely-circulated fabrications in history. The people of Palestine
are pure Arabs and original Semites. It is the Muslims who are
the inheritors of Moses (peace be upon him) and the inheritors of
the real Torah that has not been changed. Muslims believe in all
of the Prophets, including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and
Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all. If
the followers of Moses have been promised a right to Palestine
in the Torah, then the Muslims are the most worthy nation of
When the Muslims conquered Palestine and drove out the
Romans, Palestine and Jerusalem returned to Islaam, the
religion of all the Prophets peace be upon them. Therefore, the
call to a historical right to Palestine cannot be raised against the
Islamic Ummah that believes in all the Prophets of Allah (peace
and blessings be upon them) - and we make no distinction
(iii) The blood pouring out of Palestine must be equally revenged.
You must know that the Palestinians do not cry alone; their
women are not widowed alone; their sons are not orphaned
(b) You attacked us in Somalia; you supported the Russian
atrocities against us in Chechnya, the Indian oppression against
us in Kashmir, and the Jewish aggression against us in
(c) Under your supervision, consent and orders, the governments
of our countries which act as your agents, attack us on a daily
(i) These governments prevent our people from establishing the
Islamic Shariah, using violence and lies to do so.
(ii) These governments give us a taste of humiliation, and places
us in a large prison of fear and subdual.
(iii) These governments steal our Ummah's wealth and sell them
to you at a paltry price.
(iv) These governments have surrendered to the Jews, and
handed them most of Palestine, acknowledging the existence of
their state over the dismembered limbs of their own people.
(v) The removal of these governments is an obligation upon us,
and a necessary step to free the Ummah, to make the Shariah
the supreme law and to regain Palestine. And our fight against
these governments is not separate from out fight against you.
(d) You steal our wealth and oil at paltry prices because of you
international influence and military threats. This theft is indeed
the biggest theft ever witnessed by mankind in the history of the
(e) Your forces occupy our countries; you spread your military
bases throughout them; you corrupt our lands, and you besiege
our sanctities, to protect the security of the Jews and to ensure
the continuity of your pillage of our treasures.
(f) You have starved the Muslims of Iraq, where children die
every day. It is a wonder that more than 1.5 million Iraqi children
have died as a result of your sanctions, and you did not show
concern. Yet when 3000 of your people died, the entire world
rises and has not yet sat down.
(g) You have supported the Jews in their idea that Jerusalem is
their eternal capital, and agreed to move your embassy there.
With your help and under your protection, the Israelis are
planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque. Under the protection of
your weapons, Sharon entered the Al-Aqsa mosque, to pollute it
as a preparation to capture and destroy it.
(2) These tragedies and calamities are only a few examples of
your oppression and aggression against us. It is commanded by
our religion and intellect that the oppressed have a right to return
the aggression. Do not await anything from us but Jihad,
resistance and revenge. Is it in any way rational to expect that
after America has attacked us for more than half a century, that
we will then leave her to live in security and peace?!!
(3) You may then dispute that all the above does not justify
aggression against civilians, for crimes they did not commit and
offenses in which they did not partake:
(a) This argument contradicts your continuous repetition that
America is the land of freedom, and its leaders in this world.
Therefore, the American people are the ones who choose their
government by way of their own free will; a choice which stems
from their agreement to its policies. Thus the American people
have chosen, consented to, and affirmed their support for the
Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, the occupation and
usurpation of their land, and its continuous killing, torture,
punishment and expulsion of the Palestinians. The American
people have the ability and choice to refuse the policies of their
Government and even to change it if they want.
(b) The American people are the ones who pay the taxes which
fund the planes that bomb us in Afghanistan, the tanks that
strike and destroy our homes in Palestine, the armies which
occupy our lands in the Arabian Gulf, and the fleets which
ensure the blockade of Iraq. These tax dollars are given to Israel
for it to continue to attack us and penetrate our lands. So the
American people are the ones who fund the attacks against us,
and they are the ones who oversee the expenditure of these
monies in the way they wish, through their elected candidates.
(c) Also the American army is part of the American people. It is
this very same people who are shamelessly helping the Jews
fight against us.
(d) The American people are the ones who employ both their
men and their women in the American Forces which attack us.
(e) This is why the American people cannot be not innocent of
all the crimes committed by the Americans and Jews against
(f) Allah, the Almighty, legislated the permission and the option
to take revenge. Thus, if we are attacked, then we have the right
to attack back. Whoever has destroyed our villages and towns,
then we have the right to destroy their villages and towns.
Whoever has stolen our wealth, then we have the right to
destroy their economy. And whoever has killed our civilians,
then we have the right to kill theirs.
The American Government and press still refuses to answer the
Why did they attack us in New York and Washington?
If Sharon is a man of peace in the eyes of Bush, then we are
also men of peace!!! America does not understand the language
of manners and principles, so we are addressing it using the
language it understands.
(Q2) As for the second question that we want to answer: What
are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?
(1) The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.
(a) 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.
(b) 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.
(2) The second thing we call you to, is to stop your oppression,
lies, immorality and debauchery that has spread among you.
(a) We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honour,
and purity; to reject the immoral acts of fornication,
homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling's, and trading with
We call you to all of this that you may be freed from that which
you have become caught up in; that you may be freed from the
deceptive lies that you are a great nation, that your leaders
spread amongst you to conceal from you the despicable state to
which you have reached.
(b) It is saddening to tell you that you are the worst civilization
witnessed by the history of mankind:
(i) 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?
(ii) You are the nation that permits Usury, which has been
forbidden by all the religions. Yet you build your economy and
investments on Usury. As a result of this, in all its different
forms and guises, the Jews have taken control of your economy,
through which they have then taken control of your media, and
now control all aspects of your life making you their servants
and achieving their aims at your expense; precisely what
Benjamin Franklin warned you against.
(iii) You are a nation that permits the production, trading and
usage of intoxicants. You also permit drugs, and only forbid the
trade of them, even though your nation is the largest consumer
(iv) You are a nation that permits acts of immorality, and you
consider them to be pillars of personal freedom. You have
continued to sink down this abyss from level to level until incest
has spread amongst you, in the face of which neither your
sense of honour nor your laws object.
Who can forget your President Clinton's immoral acts
committed in the official Oval office? After that you did not even
bring him to account, other than that he 'made a mistake', after
which everything passed with no punishment. Is there a worse
kind of event for which your name will go down in history and
remembered by nations?
(v) You are a nation that permits gambling in its all forms. The
companies practice this as well, resulting in the investments
becoming active and the criminals becoming rich.
(vi) You are a nation that exploits women like consumer
products or advertising tools calling upon customers to purchase
them. You use women to serve passengers, visitors, and
strangers to increase your profit margins. You then rant that you
support the liberation of women.
(vii) You are a nation that practices the trade of sex in all its
forms, directly and indirectly. Giant corporations and
establishments are established on this, under the name of art,
entertainment, tourism and freedom, and other deceptive names
you attribute to it.
(viii) And because of all this, you have been described in history
as a nation that spreads diseases that were unknown to man in
the past. Go ahead and boast to the nations of man, that you
brought them AIDS as a Satanic American Invention.
(xi) You have destroyed nature with your industrial waste and
gases more than any other nation in history. Despite this, you
refuse to sign the Kyoto agreement so that you can secure the
profit of your greedy companies and*industries.
(x) Your law is the law of the rich and wealthy people, who hold
sway in their political parties, and fund their election campaigns
with their gifts. Behind them stand the Jews, who control your
policies, media and economy.
(xi) That which you are singled out for in the history of mankind,
is that you have used your force to destroy mankind more than
any other nation in history; not to defend principles and values,
but to hasten to secure your interests and profits. You who
dropped a nuclear bomb on Japan, even though Japan was
ready to negotiate an end to the war. How many acts of
oppression, tyranny and injustice have you carried out, O callers
(xii) Let us not forget one of your major characteristics: your
duality in both manners and values; your hypocrisy in manners
and principles. All*manners, principles and values have two
scales: one for you and one for the others.
(a)The freedom and democracy that you call to is for yourselves
and for white race only; as for the rest of the world, you impose
upon them your monstrous, destructive policies and
Governments, which you call the 'American friends'. Yet you
prevent them from establishing democracies. When the Islamic
party in Algeria wanted to practice democracy and they won the
election, you unleashed your agents in the Algerian army onto
them, and to attack them with tanks and guns, to imprison them
and torture them - a new lesson from the 'American book of
(b)Your policy on prohibiting and forcibly removing weapons of
mass destruction to ensure world peace: it only applies to those
countries which you do not permit to possess such weapons.
As for the countries you consent to, such as Israel, then they
are allowed to keep and use such weapons to defend their
security. Anyone else who you suspect might be manufacturing
or keeping these kinds of weapons, you call them criminals and
you take military action against them.
(c)You are the last ones to respect the resolutions and policies
of International Law, yet you claim to want to selectively punish
anyone else who does the same. Israel has for more than 50
years been pushing UN resolutions and rules against the wall
with the full support of America.
(d)As for the war criminals which you censure and form criminal
courts for - you shamelessly ask that your own are granted
immunity!! However, history will not forget the war crimes that
you committed against the Muslims and the rest of the world;
those you have killed in Japan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Lebanon
and Iraq will remain a shame that you will never be able to
escape. It will suffice to remind you of your latest war crimes in
Afghanistan, in which densely populated innocent civilian
villages were destroyed, bombs were dropped on mosques
causing the roof of the mosque to come crashing down on the
heads of the Muslims praying inside. You are the ones who
broke the agreement with the Mujahideen when they left
Qunduz, bombing them in Jangi fort, and killing more than 1,000
of your prisoners through suffocation and thirst. Allah alone
knows how many people have died by torture at the hands of
you and your agents. Your planes remain in the Afghan skies,
looking for anyone remotely suspicious.
(e)You have claimed to be the vanguards of Human Rights, and
your Ministry of Foreign affairs issues annual reports containing
statistics of those countries that violate any Human Rights.
However, all these things vanished when the Mujahideen hit you,
and you then implemented the methods of the same
documented governments that you used to curse. In America,
you captured thousands the Muslims and Arabs, took them into
custody with neither reason, court trial, nor even disclosing their
names. You issued newer, harsher laws.
What happens in Guatanamo is a historical embarrassment to
America and its values, and it screams into your faces - you
hypocrites, "What is the value of your signature on any
agreement or treaty?"
(3) What we call you to thirdly is to take an honest stance with
yourselves - and I doubt you will do so - to discover that you are
a nation without principles or manners, and that the values and
principles to you are something which you merely demand from
others, not that which you yourself must adhere to.
(4) We also advise you to stop supporting Israel, and to end
your support of the Indians in Kashmir, the Russians against the
Chechens and to also cease supporting the Manila Government
against the Muslims in Southern Philippines.
(5) We also advise you to pack your luggage and get out of our
lands. We desire for your goodness, guidance, and
righteousness, so do not force us to send you back as cargo in
(6) Sixthly, we call upon you to end your support of the corrupt
leaders in our countries. Do not interfere in our politics and
method of education. Leave us alone, or else expect us in New
York and Washington.
(7) We also call you to deal with us and interact with us on the
basis of mutual interests and benefits, rather than the policies of
sub dual, theft and occupation, and not to continue your policy
of supporting the Jews because this will result in more disasters