1,115. 2/23/1998

In bin Laden’s ‘World Islamic Front Statement Urging Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders,’ signed on February, 23, 1998, he wrote: ” ‘for over seven years, the United States has been occupying the most sacred of the Islamic lands, 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 with which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples. …their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest Arab state in the region, and their attempts to fragment all the states of the region, such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan, into paper statelets, whose disunity and weakness guarantees Israel’s survival and perpetuates the brutal crusader occupation of the peninsula. …We…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 them of their possessions wherever and whenever they find them.’ ”

 – Gilles Kepel and Jean-Pierre Milelli, eds., Al Qaeda In Its Own Words, Pages 53-55

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