“On March 12, 1998, a conference of about forty Afghan ulema, or clergy, convened to examine the question of what to do about the American military presence in the Gulf. This was highly significant for bin Laden. Although he may be well read in the Koran, even his stoutest defenders would have to acknowledge that bin Laden is not a religious scholar and does not have the authority to deliver a fatwa on his own. The Afghan clerics concluded: ‘The Union of Afghanistan’s scholars…declares Jihad according to Islamic law against America and its followers.’ At the end of April a similar fatwa was issued by a group of Pakistani clerics based in Karachi [Pakistan].”

 – Peter Bergen, Holy War, Inc., Page 102