The following is the full text of Osama bin Laden's "Letter to the American People". It first appeared on the internet in Arabic and has since been translated and circulated by some muslims in Britain. At this stage it is unclear when it was written, although it appears to be at least two weeks old. Yesterday it appeared in The Guardian and The Observer. As for its authenticity, The Observer reports:
Although there is no way to confirm the authenticity of the letter beyond all doubt, senior Arab journalists in the Middle Eastern media believe the letter is from bin Laden.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,
to fight (against disbelievers) is given to those (believers) who are
fought against, because they have been wronged and surely, Allah is
Able to give them (believers) victory" (Quran 22:39)
who believe, fight in the Cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve,
fight in the cause of Taghut (anything worshipped other than Allah e.g.
Satan). So fight you against the friends of Satan; ever feeble is
indeed the plot of Satan."(Quran 4:76)
American writers have published articles under the title 'On what basis
are we fighting?' These articles have generated a number of responses,
some of which adhered to the truth and were based on Islamic Law, and
others which have not. Here we wanted to outline the truth - as an
explanation and warning - hoping for Allah's reward, seeking success
and support from Him.
While seeking Allah's help, we form our reply based on two questions directed at the Americans:
Q1 Why are we fighting and opposing you?
Q2 What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?
As for the first question: Why are we fighting and opposing you? The answer is very simple:
Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.
You attacked us in Palestine:
Palestine, which has sunk under military occupation for more than 80
years. The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your
support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than 50 years;
years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion,
destruction and devastation. The creation and continuation of Israel is
one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals.
And of course there is no need to explain and prove the degree of
American support for Israel. The creation of Israel is a crime which
must be erased. Each and every person whose hands have become polluted
in the contribution towards this crime must pay its price, and pay for
It brings us both laughter and tears to see that you have not yet tired
of repeating your fabricated lies that the Jews have a historical right
to Palestine, as it was promised to them in the Torah. Anyone who
disputes with them on this alleged fact is accused of anti-semitism.
This is one of the most fallacious, widely-circulated fabrications in
history. The people of Palestine are pure Arabs and original Semites.
It is the Muslims who are the inheritors of Moses (peace be upon him)
and the inheritors of the real Torah that has not been changed. Muslims
believe in all of the Prophets, including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and
Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all. If the
followers of Moses have been promised a right to Palestine in the
Torah, then the Muslims are the most worthy nation of this.
the Muslims conquered Palestine and drove out the Romans, Palestine and
Jerusalem returned to Islam, the religion of all the Prophets peace be
upon them. Therefore, the call to a historical right to Palestine
cannot be raised against the Islamic Ummah that believes in all the
Prophets of Allah (peace and blessings be upon them) - and we make no
distinction between them.
The blood pouring out of Palestine must be equally revenged. You must
know that the Palestinians do not cry alone; their women are not
widowed alone; their sons are not orphaned alone.
You attacked us in Somalia; you supported the Russian atrocities
against us in Chechnya, the Indian oppression against us in Kashmir,
and the Jewish aggression against us in Lebanon.
Under your supervision, consent and orders, the governments of our
countries which act as your agents, attack us on a daily basis;
These governments prevent our people from establishing the Islamic Shariah, using violence and lies to do so.
These governments give us a taste of humiliation, and places us in a large prison of fear and subdual.
These governments steal our Ummah's wealth and sell them to you at a paltry price.
These governments have surrendered to the Jews, and handed them most of
Palestine, acknowledging the existence of their state over the
dismembered limbs of their own people.
The removal of these governments is an obligation upon us, and a
necessary step to free the Ummah, to make the Shariah the supreme law
and to regain Palestine. And our fight against these governments is not
separate from out fight against you.
You steal our wealth and oil at paltry prices because of your
international influence and military threats. This theft is indeed the
biggest theft ever witnessed by mankind in the history of the world.
Your forces occupy our countries; you spread your military bases
throughout them; you corrupt our lands, and you besiege our sanctities,
to protect the security of the Jews and to ensure the continuity of
your pillage of our treasures.
You have starved the Muslims of Iraq, where children die every day. It
is a wonder that more than 1.5 million Iraqi children have died as a
result of your sanctions, and you did not show concern. Yet when 3000
of your people died, the entire world rises and has not yet sat down.
You have supported the Jews in their idea that Jerusalem is their
eternal capital, and agreed to move your embassy there. With your help
and under your protection, the Israelis are planning to destroy the
Al-Aqsa mosque. Under the protection of your weapons, Sharon entered
the Al-Aqsa mosque, to pollute it as a preparation to capture and
These tragedies and calamities are only a few examples of your
oppression and aggression against us. It is commanded by our religion
and intellect that the oppressed have a right to return the aggression.
Do not await anything from us but Jihad, resistance and revenge. Is it
in any way rational to expect that after America has attacked us for
more than half a century, that we will then leave her to live in
security and peace?!!
You may then dispute that all the above does not justify aggression
against civilians, for crimes they did not commit and offenses in which
they did not partake:
This argument contradicts your continuous repetition that America is
the land of freedom, and its leaders in this world. Therefore, the
American people are the ones who choose their government by way of
their own free will; a choice which stems from their agreement to its
policies. Thus the American people have chosen, consented to, and
affirmed their support for the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians,
the occupation and usurpation of their land, and its continuous
killing, torture, punishment and expulsion of the Palestinians. The
American people have the ability and choice to refuse the policies of
their Government and even to change it if they want.
The American people are the ones who pay the taxes which fund the
planes that bomb us in Afghanistan, the tanks that strike and destroy
our homes in Palestine, the armies which occupy our lands in the
Arabian Gulf, and the fleets which ensure the blockade of Iraq. These
tax dollars are given to Israel for it to continue to attack us and
penetrate our lands. So the American people are the ones who fund the
attacks against us, and they are the ones who oversee the expenditure
of these monies in the way they wish, through their elected candidates.
Also the American army is part of the American people. It is this very
same people who are shamelessly helping the Jews fight against us.
The American people are the ones who employ both their men and their women in the American Forces which attack us.
This is why the American people cannot be not innocent of all the crimes committed by the Americans and Jews against us.
Allah, the Almighty, legislated the permission and the option to take
revenge. Thus, if we are attacked, then we have the right to attack
back. Whoever has destroyed our villages and towns, then we have the
right to destroy their villages and towns. Whoever has stolen our
wealth, then we have the right to destroy their economy. And whoever
has killed our civilians, then we have the right to kill theirs.
The American Government and press still refuses to answer the question:
Why did they attack us in New York and Washington?
Sharon is a man of peace in the eyes of Bush, then we are also men of
peace!!! America does not understand the language of manners and
principles, so we are addressing it using the language it understands.
(Q2) As for the second question that we want to answer: What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?
The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.
The religion of the Unification of God; of freedom from associating
partners with Him, and rejection of this; of complete love of Him, the
Exalted; of complete submission to His Laws; and of the discarding of
all the opinions, orders, theories and religions which contradict with
the religion He sent down to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Islam is the religion of all the prophets, and makes no distinction
between them - peace be upon them all.
is to this religion that we call you; the seal of all the previous
religions. It is the religion of Unification of God, sincerity, the
best of manners, righteousness, mercy, honour, purity, and piety. It is
the religion of showing kindness to others, establishing justice
between them, granting them their rights, and defending the oppressed
and the persecuted. It is the religion of enjoining the good and
forbidding the evil with the hand, tongue and heart. It is the religion
of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah's Word and religion reign
Supreme. And it is the religion of unity and agreement on the obedience
to Allah, and total equality between all people, without regarding
their colour, sex, or language.
It is the religion whose book - the Quran - will remained preserved and
unchanged, after the other Divine books and messages have been changed.
The Quran is the miracle until the Day of Judgment. Allah has
challenged anyone to bring a book like the Quran or even ten verses
The second thing we call you to, is to stop your oppression, lies, immorality and debauchery that has spread among you.
We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honour, and purity;
to reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants,
gambling's, and trading with interest.
call you to all of this that you may be freed from that which you have
become caught up in; that you may be freed from the deceptive lies that
you are a great nation, that your leaders spread amongst you to conceal
from you the despicable state to which you have reached.
It is saddening to tell you that you are the worst civilization witnessed by the history of mankind:
You are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah in its Constitution and Laws, choose to invent your own laws as you will
and desire. You separate religion from your policies, contradicting the
pure nature which affirms Absolute Authority to the Lord and your
Creator. You flee from the embarrassing question posed to you: How is
it possible for Allah the Almighty to create His creation, grant them
power over all the creatures and land, grant them all the amenities of
life, and then deny them that which they are most in need of: knowledge
of the laws which govern their lives?
You are the nation that permits Usury, which has been forbidden by all
the religions. Yet you build your economy and investments on Usury. As
a result of this, in all its different forms and guises, the Jews have
taken control of your economy, through which they have then taken
control of your media, and now control all aspects of your life making
you their servants and achieving their aims at your expense; precisely
what Benjamin Franklin warned you against.
You are a nation that permits the production, trading and usage of
intoxicants. You also permit drugs, and only forbid the trade of them,
even though your nation is the largest consumer of them.
You are a nation that permits acts of immorality, and you consider them
to be pillars of personal freedom. You have continued to sink down this
abyss from level to level until incest has spread amongst you, in the
face of which neither your sense of honour nor your laws object.
can forget your President Clinton's immoral acts committed in the
official Oval office? After that you did not even bring him to account,
other than that he 'made a mistake', after which everything passed with
no punishment. Is there a worse kind of event for which your name will
go down in history and remembered by nations?
You are a nation that permits gambling in its all forms. The companies
practice this as well, resulting in the investments becoming active and
the criminals becoming rich.
You are a nation that exploits women like consumer products or
advertising tools calling upon customers to purchase them. You use
women to serve passengers, visitors, and strangers to increase your
profit margins. You then rant that you support the liberation of women.
You are a nation that practices the trade of sex in all its forms,
directly and indirectly. Giant corporations and establishments are
established on this, under the name of art, entertainment, tourism and
freedom, and other deceptive names you attribute to it.
And because of all this, you have been described in history as a nation
that spreads diseases that were unknown to man in the past. Go ahead
and boast to the nations of man, that you brought them AIDS as a
Satanic American Invention.
You have destroyed nature with your industrial waste and gases more
than any other nation in history. Despite this, you refuse to sign the
Kyoto agreement so that you can secure the profit of your greedy
companies and industries.
Your law is the law of the rich and wealthy people, who hold sway in
their political parties, and fund their election campaigns with their
gifts. Behind them stand the Jews, who control your policies, media and
That which you are singled out for in the history of mankind, is that
you have used your force to destroy mankind more than any other nation
in history; not to defend principles and values, but to hasten to
secure your interests and profits. You who dropped a nuclear bomb on
Japan, even though Japan was ready to negotiate an end to the war. How
many acts of oppression, tyranny and injustice have you carried out, O
callers to freedom?
Let us not forget one of your major characteristics: your duality in
both manners and values; your hypocrisy in manners and principles.
All manners, principles and values have two scales: one for you and one
for the others.
freedom and democracy that you call to is for yourselves and for white
race only; as for the rest of the world, you impose upon them your
monstrous, destructive policies and Governments, which you call the
'American friends'. Yet you prevent them from establishing democracies.
When the Islamic party in Algeria wanted to practice democracy and they
won the election, you unleashed your agents in the Algerian army onto
them, and to attack them with tanks and guns, to imprison them and
torture them - a new lesson from the 'American book of democracy'!!!
policy on prohibiting and forcibly removing weapons of mass destruction
to ensure world peace: it only applies to those countries which you do
not permit to possess such weapons. As for the countries you consent
to, such as Israel, then they are allowed to keep and use such weapons
to defend their security. Anyone else who you suspect might be
manufacturing or keeping these kinds of weapons, you call them
criminals and you take military action against them.
are the last ones to respect the resolutions and policies of
International Law, yet you claim to want to selectively punish anyone
else who does the same. Israel has for more than 50 years been pushing
UN resolutions and rules against the wall with the full support of
for the war criminals which you censure and form criminal courts for -
you shamelessly ask that your own are granted immunity!! However,
history will not forget the war crimes that you committed against the
Muslims and the rest of the world; those you have killed in Japan,
Afghanistan, Somalia, Lebanon and Iraq will remain a shame that you
will never be able to escape. It will suffice to remind you of your
latest war crimes in Afghanistan, in which densely populated innocent
civilian villages were destroyed, bombs were dropped on mosques causing
the roof of the mosque to come crashing down on the heads of the
Muslims praying inside. You are the ones who broke the agreement with
the Mujahideen when they left Qunduz, bombing them in Jangi fort, and
killing more than 1,000 of your prisoners through suffocation and
thirst. Allah alone knows how many people have died by torture at the
hands of you and your agents. Your planes remain in the Afghan skies,
looking for anyone remotely suspicious.
have claimed to be the vanguards of Human Rights, and your Ministry of
Foreign affairs issues annual reports containing statistics of those
countries that violate any Human Rights. However, all these things
vanished when the Mujahideen hit you, and you then implemented the
methods of the same documented governments that you used to curse. In
America, you captured thousands the Muslims and Arabs, took them into
custody with neither reason, court trial, nor even disclosing their
names. You issued newer, harsher laws.
happens in Guatanamo is a historical embarrassment to America and its
values, and it screams into your faces - you hypocrites, "What is the
value of your signature on any agreement or treaty?"
What we call you to thirdly is to take an honest stance with yourselves
- and I doubt you will do so - to discover that you are a nation
without principles or manners, and that the values and principles to
you are something which you merely demand from others, not that which
you yourself must adhere to.
We also advise you to stop supporting Israel, and to end your support
of the Indians in Kashmir, the Russians against the Chechens and to
also cease supporting the Manila Government against the Muslims in
We also advise you to pack your luggage and get out of our lands. We
desire for your goodness, guidance, and righteousness, so do not force
us to send you back as cargo in coffins.
Sixthly, we call upon you to end your support of the corrupt leaders in
our countries. Do not interfere in our politics and method of
education. Leave us alone, or else expect us in New York and
We also call you to deal with us and interact with us on the basis of
mutual interests and benefits, rather than the policies of sub dual,
theft and occupation, and not to continue your policy of supporting the
Jews because this will result in more disasters for you.
you fail to respond to all these conditions, then prepare for fight
with the Islamic Nation. The Nation of Monotheism, that puts complete
trust on Allah and fears none other than Him. The Nation which is
addressed by its Quran with the words: "Do you fear them? Allah has
more right that you should fear Him if you are believers. Fight against
them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and
give you victory over them and heal the breasts of believing people.
And remove the anger of their (believers') hearts. Allah accepts the
repentance of whom He wills. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise."
The Nation of honour and respect:
honour, power and glory belong to Allah, and to His Messenger
(Muhammad- peace be upon him) and to the believers." (Quran 63:8)
do not become weak (against your enemy), nor be sad, and you will
be superior (in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers" (Quran
The Nation of Martyrdom; the Nation that desires death more than you desire life:
not of those who are killed in the way of Allah as dead. Nay, they are
alive with their Lord, and they are being provided for. They rejoice in
what Allah has bestowed upon them from His bounty and rejoice for the
sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind (not
yet martyred) that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve.
They rejoice in a grace and a bounty from Allah, and that Allah will
not waste the reward of the believers." (Quran 3:169-171)
The Nation of victory and success that Allah has promised:
is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him) with
guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it victorious over
all other religions even though the Polytheists hate it." (Quran 61:9)
has decreed that 'Verily it is I and My Messengers who shall be
victorious.' Verily Allah is All-Powerful, All-Mighty." (Quran 58:21)
Islamic Nation that was able to dismiss and destroy the previous evil
Empires like yourself; the Nation that rejects your attacks, wishes to
remove your evils, and is prepared to fight you. You are well aware
that the Islamic Nation, from the very core of its soul, despises your
haughtiness and arrogance.
the Americans refuse to listen to our advice and the goodness, guidance
and righteousness that we call them to, then be aware that you will
lose this Crusade Bush began, just like the other previous Crusades in
which you were humiliated by the hands of the Mujahideen, fleeing to
your home in great silence and disgrace. If the Americans do not
respond, then their fate will be that of the Soviets who fled from
Afghanistan to deal with their military defeat, political breakup,
ideological downfall, and economic bankruptcy.
is our message to the Americans, as an answer to theirs. Do they now
know why we fight them and over which form of ignorance, by the
permission of Allah, we shall be victorious?