1,169. 5/26/1998

In an interview in May 2002, Pakistani journalist and bin Laden biographer Hamid Mir explained: ” ‘The language by [militant Islamist] Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman in his will [featured on a laminated plastic card that was distributed during bin Laden’s press conference of May 26, 1998] is very, very strong. [Up until 1998] bin Laden didn’t issue any fatwa or anything against the ordinary Americans. He’s against American troops, American government, but [Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader] Dr. [Ayman al-] Zawahiri he is against every American, because he is directly affected. His leader [Sheikh Rahman] who is blind is arrested by the American authorities. If you go through that fatwa, this is the basic ideology of the al Qaeda. They say, *Kill Americans in the air, kill Americans in the borders, kill them everywhere, destroy their companies, everything.* So I think what [Sheikh Rahman ruled upon in the fatwa] someone is implementing.’ ”

 – Peter Bergen, The Osama bin Laden I Know, Page 205

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