1,014. 3/22/1997

Journalist Peter Bergen wrote about his interview of Osama bin Laden on March 22, 1997. ” ‘He [bin Laden] told us that he declared war against the United States in particular because of American foreign policies, particularly the fact that U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia seemed to be a permanent military presence in the holy land of Arabia. He also had other reasons that he was declaring war: the sanctions then in place against Iraq, U.S. support for Israel, and the U.S. backing of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, regimes he doesn’t consider sufficiently Islamic. …He sees this as a defensive war responding to a record of humiliation that began after the end of World War I when the Ottoman Empire was carved up by the British and the French. And bin Laden believes that today Muslims are still being humiliated whether it is in Kashmir or Palestine or in Iraq. As far as he’s concerned his war is about humiliation and reclaiming Muslim pride.”

 – Peter Bergen, The Osama bin Laden I Know, Page 182

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