In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, al-Qaeda has become the most infamous terrorist organization in history. While their actions are deplorable, it remains a populist and idealist movement—and one that continues to spread. Despite heavy media coverage, most people are unaware of the group's ultimate goals. Sampling from actual al-Qaeda texts, this is al-Qaeda in its own words, rather than another interpretation (which often emphasizes the inflammatory religious rhetoric) offered by the Bush administration and other factions of the Western world. Introductions and commentary provide the historical context necessary to understand fully the interconnection between the religious, social, and political issues that led to the emergence of Osama bin Laden and his jihad against the West. These primary sources enable readers to discern the fundamental convictions underlying the group's demands, and help answer the question, "What does al Qaeda want?"
About the Author
Robert O. Marlin IV is a Ph.D. candidate in Borderlands Studies at the University of Houston, where he specializes in twentieth-century Latin American, Texan, and Southwestern history. Marlin has been widely published and writes on subjects that include the death penalty, Texas-Mexico border concerns, and parole reform. His interest in editing this book on al-Qaeda stemps from a commitment to supplying primary documents to scholars and others interested in the topic. Marlin works at the University of Houston Libraries and lives in Houston, Texas.
Read an Excerpt
"The history, culture, and body of beliefs from which Bin Laden has shaped and spread his message are largely unknown to many Americans."
- from The 9/11 Commission Report
Table of Contents
|1||Declaration of Jihad, August 23, 1996||1|
|2||Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, February 23, 1998||18|
|3||World's Most Wanted Terrorist: An Interview with Osama bin Laden, January 2, 1999||22|
|4||Bin Laden's Warning, October 7, 2001||31|
|5||Osama bin Laden Rails Against the United States and the United Nations, November 3, 2001||33|
|6||Osama bin Laden Claims to Possess Nuclear Weapons, November 9, 2001||39|
|7||"What Happened to America Was Natural," May 2002||44|
|8||"We Will Target the Nodes of Your Economy," October 5, 2002||48|
|9||"America Must Leave the Lands of Islam," October 8, 2002||49|
|10||Bin Laden Warns U.S. and Allies: "As You Kill, So Shall Ye Be Killed," November 12, 2002||52|
|11||Bin Laden's "Letter to America," November 24, 2002||56|
|12||Transcript of bin Laden Video, February 12, 2003||74|
|13||Text of al-Zarqawi Message Threatening More Attacks, April 6, 2004||78|
|Suggested Further Readings||95|
|About the Editor||101|