Osama bin Laden's Declaration of Jihad Against Americans (1996)
Milestone Documents in World History: Exploring the Primary Sources That Shaped the World, Vol. 4
The Declaration of Jihad on the Americans Occupying the Country of the Two Sacred Places, issued in August 1996, was Osama bin Laden’s first call for jihad against the United States. Also known as the “Ladenese Epistle”, it can be taken to represent al Qaeda’s declaration of war on Washington. In the context of debates among Muslim militants, it called for adjusting strategy so that instead of fighting local battles, the would wage a global-scale jihad against the Western superpower in response to its assaults on Muslims. The declaration also addresses issues specific to Saudi Arabia, asserting that American forces on Saudi soil constitute a military occupation and that Muslims should expel them.
Commins, David. “Osama bin Laden's Declaration of Jihad Against Americans (1996).” In Milestone Documents in World History: Exploring the Primary Sources That Shaped the World, edited by Brian Bonhomme and Cathleen Boivin, Vol. 4, 1809-1819. Dallas: Schlager Group, 2010.
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