1,160. 5/15/1998

“In the first interview (actually more of a monologue) with Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir in mid-May [1998], bin Laden stated that his goals were to expel the U.S. military presence from Saudi Arabia and ‘liberate’ the Haram al Sharif in Jerusalem [Israel]–a thirty-five-acre complex that includes the al Aqsa mosque (one of Islam’s most sacred sites) but which sits above the Wailing Wall (one of Judaism’s most sacred sites). He also planned to liberate Palestine. Sketching out a megalomanic vision, bin Laden declared that jihad to liberate ‘all the holy places of Islam’ was ‘obligatory upon every Muslim’ and warned that anyone ‘refuting the call to join jihad anywhere in the world is an infidel.’ “ [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Roy Gutman, How We Missed the Story, Pages 128-129

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