938. 8/23/1996

“In his August [23] 1996 declaration of war against the United States, bin Laden approvingly quoted a hadith, a saying attributed to the Prophet: ‘The martyr has a guarantee from God… [He] marries him to seventy-two of the pure virgins of paradise.’ Al-Qaeda took the idea of martyrdom, which had traditionally been death in battle, and applied it to suicide operations against civilian targets, a serious leap of faith since suicide is a grave sin in Islam punishable by eternal torment in hell.”

 – Peter Bergen, The Longest War, Pages 30-31

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