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In Their Own Words: What the Terrorists Believe, What They Hope to Accomplish, and How They Intend to Accomplish It

The Terrorists On September 11

Osama Bin Laden: The 9/11 Attacks Were "An Unparalleled And Magnificent Feat Of Valor, Unmatched By Any In Humankind." BIN LADEN: "On the blessed Tuesday 11 September 2001 … they launched their attacks with their planes in an unparalleled and magnificent feat of valor, unmatched by any in humankind before them. … Yet with the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York, there occurred an even bigger destruction: that of the great American Dream and legend of Democracy." (Translation Of Purported Bin Laden Audio Message, Posted On Islamist Site, 2/14/03)

The Terrorists On Establishing A Caliphate Ruled By Their Hateful Ideology

Osama Bin Laden: The 9/11 Attacks Were "A Great Step Towards The Unity Of Muslims And Establishing The Righteous [Caliphate]." BIN LADEN: "These attacks took off the skin of the American wolf and they have been left standing in their filthy, naked reality. Thus the whole World awoke from its sleep and the Muslims realized the importance of the belief of loving and hating for the sake of Allah; the ties of brotherhood between the Muslims have become stronger, which is a very good sign and a great step towards the unity of Muslims and establishing the Righteous Islamic Khilafah insha-Allah." (Translation Of Purported Bin Laden Audio Message, Posted On Islamist Site, 2/14/03)

Ayman al-Zawahiri: "The Whole World Is An Open Field For Us." ZAWAHIRI: "The war with Israel is not about a treaty, a cease-fire agreement, Sykes-Picot borders, national zeal, or disputed borders. It is rather a jihad for the sake of God until the religion of God is established. It is jihad for the liberation of Palestine, all Palestine, as well as every land that was a home for Islam, from Andalusia to Iraq. The whole world is an open field for us." (Al-Zawahiri's 'Full' Message On War In Lebanon, Gaza Strip, Posted On Jihadist Website, 7/28/06)

  • Zawahiri: "The Reinstatement Of Islamic Rule … Is The Individual Duty Of Every Muslim … With Every Land Occupied By Infidels." ZAWAHIRI: "Supporting the jihad in Palestine with one's life, money, and opinion is the individual duty of every Muslim because Palestine was a land of Islam that was occupied by the infidels. This means that its liberation and the reinstatement of Islamic rule there is the individual duty of every Muslim as unanimously decided by the nation's scholars. And such is the case with every land occupied by infidels." (Al-Zawahiri's June Video Message Supporting Palestinians, Posted On Jihadist Site, 6/11/06)

The Terrorists On Killing Infidels

Osama Bin Laden: "Death Is Better Than Living On This Earth With The Unbelievers Amongst Us." BIN LADEN: "O young people of Islam: Follow the orders of Almighty God and His messenger and kill those people. Follow the example of Muhammad Bin-Musallamah and his companions. Death is better than living on this earth with the unbelievers amongst us, making a mockery of our religion and prophet, God's peace and blessings upon him. Fear God, try to please Him, and do not consult with anyone regarding the killing of those unbelievers." (Translation Of Bin Laden’s 52-Minute Audiotape, Posted On Jihadist Website, 4/27/06)

Al-Qaeda Charter: "There Will Be Continuing Enmity Until Everyone Believes In Allah. We Will Not Meet [The Enemy] Halfway And There Will Be No Room For Dialogue With Them." (Al Qaeda Charter, Released By The White House Press Office, 9/5/06)

Al-Qaeda Training Manual: "Religious Scholars Have Permitted Beating … [And] The Killing Of A Hostage." "Guidelines for Beating and Killing Hostages: Religious scholars have permitted beating. … In this tradition, we find permission to interrogate the hostage for the purpose of obtaining information. It is permitted to strike the nonbeliever who has no covenant until he reveals the news, information, and secrets of his people. The religious scholars have also permitted the killing of a hostage if he insists on withholding information from Moslems." (Al-Qaeda Training Manual, Available At: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/terrorism/alqaida_manual/, Accessed 9/5/06)

  • Al-Qaeda Training Manual: "The Confrontation That Islam Calls For … Knows The Dialogue Of Bullets, The Ideals Of Assassination, Bombing, And Destruction." "Islam does not coincide or make a truce with unbelief, but rather confronts it. The confrontation that Islam calls for with these godless and apostate regimes, does not know Socratic debates, Platonic ideals nor Aristotelian diplomacy. But it knows the dialogue of bullets, the ideals of assassination, bombing, and destruction, and the diplomacy of the cannon and machine-gun." (Al-Qaeda Training Manual, Available At: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/terrorism/alqaida_manual/, Accessed 9/5/06)

Al Anbar Plan: The Al-Qaeda Governing Structure Should Include An "Execution Unit" Responsible For "Sorting Out, Arrest, Murder, And Destruction." (Al Anbar Plan, Released By The White House Press Office, 9/5/06)

The Terrorists On Their "Bleed-Until-Bankruptcy-Plan"

Osama Bin Laden: "So We Are Continuing This Policy In Bleeding America To The Point Of Bankruptcy." ('Full Transcript' Of Bin Laden's Message, Posted On Al-Jazirah Site, 11/1/04)

  • Bin Laden: In The Attacks Of 9/11, "Every Dollar Of Al-Qaida Defeated A Million Dollars By The Permission Of Allah, Besides The Loss Of A Huge Number Of Jobs." BIN LADEN: "And it was to these sorts of notions and their like that the British diplomat and others were referring in their lectures at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. (When they pointed out that) for example, al-Qaida spent $500,000 on the event, while America, in the incident and its aftermath, lost – according to the lowest estimate – more than 500 billion dollars. Meaning that every dollar of al-Qaida defeated a million dollars by the permission of Allah, besides the loss of a huge number of jobs." ('Full Transcript' Of Bin Laden's Message, Posted On Al-Jazirah Site, 11/1/04)
  • Bin Laden: "It Is Very Easy To Target [America's] Flimsy Base And … We Will Be Able Crush And Destroy Them." BIN LADEN: "In conclusion, America is definitely a great power, with an unbelievable military strength and a vibrant economy, but all of these have been built on a very weak and hollow foundation. Therefore, it is very easy to target that flimsy base and concentrate on their weak points and even if we are able to target one tenth of these weak points, we will be able [to] crush and destroy them and remove them from ruling and conquering the World." (Translation Of Purported Bin Laden Audio Message, Posted On Islamist Site, 2/14/03)

The Terrorists On Their Propaganda Strategy

Osama Bin Laden: Al-Qaeda Intends To Launch "A Media Campaign ... To Create A Wedge Between The American People And Their Government." (Letter From Osama Bin Laden To Mullah Omar, Released By The White House Press Office, 9/5/06)

  • Bin Laden: This Media Campaign Will Stress "That [The American] Government Would Bring Them More Losses, In Finances And In Casualties." (Letter From Osama Bin Laden To Mullah Omar, Released By The White House Press Office, 9/5/06)
  • Bin Laden: "[The American People] Are Being Sacrificed To Serve The Big Investors, Especially The Jews." (Letter From Osama Bin Laden To Mullah Omar, Released By The White House Press Office, 9/5/06)
  • Bin Laden: The Media Campaign "Aims At Creating Pressure From The American People On The American Government To Stop Their Campaign Against Afghanistan." (Letter From Osama Bin Laden To Mullah Omar, Released By The White House Press Office, 9/5/06)

The Terrorists On Their Belief That America Is Weak

Osama Bin Laden: America's "Combat Strategy Is Heavily Dependent On The Psychological Aspect Of War … Which Hides The Cowardice And Lack Of Fighting Spirit Of The American Soldier." BIN LADEN: "It has been made clear during our defending and fighting against the American enemy that this enemy's combat strategy is heavily dependent on the psychological aspect of war due to its large and efficient media apparatus and of course its indiscriminate aerial bombing which hides the cowardice and lack of fighting spirit of the American soldier. … Likewise, let me remind you of the defeat of the American forces in Beirut in 1982, soon after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, when the Lebanese resistance was personified by the truck laden with explosives that struck the main military base of the US Marines in Beirut, killing 242 soldiers – towards Hell was their destination and what an evil destination that is." (Translation Of Purported Bin Laden Audio Message, Posted On Islamist Site, 2/14/03)

  • Bin Laden: "In Somalia … The United States [Pulled] Out, Trailing Disappointment, Defeat, And Failure Behind It." BIN LADEN: "We found that out from our brothers who fought the Americans in Somalia. They did not see it as a power worthy of any mention. It was the big propaganda that the United State used to terrify people before fighting them. Our brothers, who were here in Afghanistan, also tried the Americans. God gave them and the mujahidin success in Somalia and the United States pull out, trailing disappointment, defeat, and failure behind it. It achieved nothing. It left quicker than people had imagined." (Full Text Of Interview With Al-Qaeda Leader Osama Bin Laden, 10/21/01)

Ayman al-Zawahiri: "There Is No Hope In Victory." ZAWAHIRI: "This is the fumbling that precedes the defeat. Bush and Blair are hiding the true disaster they are facing in Iraq and Afghanistan. They know better than others that there is no hope in victory. The Vietnam specter is closing every outlet." (Al-Qaeda's Al-Zawahiri Predicts Failure of US 'Crusade' Against Muslim States, Posted On Jihadist Websites, 12/7/05)

The Terrorists On The Importance Of Iraq

Osama Bin Laden: Baghdad Is "The Capital Of The Caliphate." (Text Of Bin Laden's Audio Message To Muslims In Iraq, Posted On Jihadist Websites, 12/28/04)

  • Bin Laden: "The Most Important And Serious Issue Today For The Whole World Is This Third World War … Raging In [Iraq]." BIN LADEN: "I now address my speech to the whole of the Islamic nation: Listen and understand. The issue is big and the misfortune is momentous. The most important and serious issue today for the whole world is this Third World War, which the Crusader-Zionist coalition began against the Islamic nation. It is raging in the land of the two rivers. The world's millstone and pillar is in Baghdad, the capital of the caliphate." (Text Of Bin Laden's Audio Message To Muslims In Iraq, Posted On Jihadist Websites, 12/28/04)
  • Bin Laden: "This Is A War Of Destiny Between Infidelity And Islam." (Text Of Bin Laden's Audio Message To Muslims In Iraq, Posted On Jihadist Websites, 12/28/04)
  • Bin Laden: "The Whole World Is Watching This War And The Two Adversaries; The Islamic Nation, On The One Hand, And The United States And Its Allies On The Other. It Is Either Victory And Glory Or Misery And Humiliation." (Text Of Bin Laden's Audio Message To Muslims In Iraq, Posted On Jihadist Websites, 12/28/04)

Ayman al-Zawahiri: We Must "Establish An Islamic Authority … Over As Much Territory As You Can To Spread Its Power In Iraq … [And] Extend The Jihad Wave To The Secular Countries Neighboring Iraq." ZAWAHIRI: "So we must think for a long time about our next steps and how we want to attain it, and it is my humble opinion that the Jihad in Iraq requires several incremental goals: The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq. The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority or amirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level of a caliphate – over as much territory as you can to spread its power in Iraq … The third stage: Extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq. The fourth stage: It may coincide with what came before: the clash with Israel, because Israel was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity." (Complete Text Of Al-Zawahiri Letter To Al-Zarqawi, 7/9/05, Available At: http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/20051011_release.htm, Accessed 9/5/06)

Bin Laden: "The War Is For You Or For Us To Win. If We Win It, It Means Your Defeat And Disgrace Forever." BIN LADEN: "Finally, I would like to tell you that the war is for you or for us to win. If we win it, it means your defeat and disgrace forever as the wind blows in this direction with God's help." (Bin Laden Threatens New Operations, Offers 'Long-Term Truce,' Posted On Al-Jazirah Net, 1/19/06)

The Terrorists On Their Absolute Hostility Towards America

Hezbollah Leader Nasrallah: "Death To America." NASRALLAH: "Let the entire world hear me. Our hostility to the Great Satan is absolute. … I conclude my speech with the slogan that will continue to reverberate on all occasions so that nobody will think that we have weakened. Regardless of how the world has changed after 11 September, Death to America will remain our reverberating and powerful slogan: Death to America." (Hezbollah Leader Nasrallah Supports Intifadah, Vows 'Death to America,' Aired On Beirut Al-Manar Television, 9/27/02)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "We Will Soon Experience A World Without The United States And Zionism." AHMADINEJAD: "Undoubtedly, I say that this slogan and goal is achievable, and with the support and power of God, we will soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism and will breathe in the brilliant time of Islamic sovereignty over today's world." (Iran's President Warns Muslims Of 'Conspiracies Of World Imperialism,' Available At: www.sharifnews.com, Accessed 10/26/05)

  • President Ahmadinejad: "Your Doomed Destiny Will Be Annihilation, Misfortune And Abjectness." AHMADINEJAD: "Open your eyes and see the fate of Pharaoh. … Open your eyes and see what happened to the Portuguese Empire. See the final fate of the British Empire. … I am telling you [major powers], if you do not abandon the path of falsehood and return to the path of justice, your doomed destiny will be annihilation, misfortune and abjectness." (President Ahmadinejad Says Iran To Respond To Nuclear Proposals By 'End Of Mordad,' Aired On Islamic Republic Of Iran News Network Television (IRINN), 6/21/06)
  • President Ahmadinejad: "The Anger Of Muslims May Reach An Explosion Point Soon … [And] The Waves Of The Blast Will Not Remain Within The Boundaries Of Our Region." AHMADINEJAD: "The anger of Muslims may reach an explosion point soon. If such a day comes, they [Western governments] should know that the waves of the blast will not remain within the boundaries of our region and will engulf the corrupt powers that support this fake regime too." (Iran: President Reaffirms Warning Of Explosion Of Muslim Anger In Tabriz Address, Aired On Tehran Islamic Republic Of Iran News Network Television (IRINN), 7/11/06)
  • President Ahmadinejad: "If You Would Like To Have Good Relations With The Iranian Nation … Bow Down Before The Greatness Of The Iranian Nation And Surrender." AHMADINEJAD: "And you, for your part, if you would like to have good relations with the Iranian nation in the future, recognize the Iranian nation's right. Recognize the Iranian nation's greatness. And bow down before the greatness of the Iranian nation and surrender. If you don't accept [to do this], the Iranian nation will later force you to surrender and bow down." (Iran: Ahmadinejad Says US, UK 'Resorted To Tricks' 'To Postpone' Cease-Fire, Aired On Tehran Islamic Republic Of Iran News Network Television (IRINN), 8/15/06)


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