The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
September 5, 2006

In Their Own Words: What the Terrorists Believe, What They Hope to Accomplish, and How They Intend to Accomplish It

The Terrorists On September 11

Osama Bin Laden: The 9/11 Attacks Were "An Unparalleled And Magnificent Feat Of Valor, Unmatched By Any In Humankind." BIN LADEN: "On the blessed Tuesday 11 September 2001 … they launched their attacks with their planes in an unparalleled and magnificent feat of valor, unmatched by any in humankind before them. … Yet with the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York, there occurred an even bigger destruction: that of the great American Dream and legend of Democracy." (Translation Of Purported Bin Laden Audio Message, Posted On Islamist Site, 2/14/03)

The Terrorists On Establishing A Caliphate Ruled By Their Hateful Ideology

Osama Bin Laden: The 9/11 Attacks Were "A Great Step Towards The Unity Of Muslims And Establishing The Righteous [Caliphate]." BIN LADEN: "These attacks took off the skin of the American wolf and they have been left standing in their filthy, naked reality. Thus the whole World awoke from its sleep and the Muslims realized the importance of the belief of loving and hating for the sake of Allah; the ties of brotherhood between the Muslims have become stronger, which is a very good sign and a great step towards the unity of Muslims and establishing the Righteous Islamic Khilafah insha-Allah." (Translation Of Purported Bin Laden Audio Message, Posted On Islamist Site, 2/14/03)

Ayman al-Zawahiri: "The Whole World Is An Open Field For Us." ZAWAHIRI: "The war with Israel is not about a treaty, a cease-fire agreement, Sykes-Picot borders, national zeal, or disputed borders. It is rather a jihad for the sake of God until the religion of God is established. It is jihad for the liberation of Palestine, all Palestine, as well as every land that was a home for Islam, from Andalusia to Iraq. The whole world is an open field for us." (Al-Zawahiri's 'Full' Message On War In Lebanon, Gaza Strip, Posted On Jihadist Website, 7/28/06)

The Terrorists On Killing Infidels

Osama Bin Laden: "Death Is Better Than Living On This Earth With The Unbelievers Amongst Us." BIN LADEN: "O young people of Islam: Follow the orders of Almighty God and His messenger and kill those people. Follow the example of Muhammad Bin-Musallamah and his companions. Death is better than living on this earth with the unbelievers amongst us, making a mockery of our religion and prophet, God's peace and blessings upon him. Fear God, try to please Him, and do not consult with anyone regarding the killing of those unbelievers." (Translation Of Bin Laden’s 52-Minute Audiotape, Posted On Jihadist Website, 4/27/06)

Al-Qaeda Charter: "There Will Be Continuing Enmity Until Everyone Believes In Allah. We Will Not Meet [The Enemy] Halfway And There Will Be No Room For Dialogue With Them." (Al Qaeda Charter, Released By The White House Press Office, 9/5/06)

Al-Qaeda Training Manual: "Religious Scholars Have Permitted Beating … [And] The Killing Of A Hostage." "Guidelines for Beating and Killing Hostages: Religious scholars have permitted beating. … In this tradition, we find permission to interrogate the hostage for the purpose of obtaining information. It is permitted to strike the nonbeliever who has no covenant until he reveals the news, information, and secrets of his people. The religious scholars have also permitted the killing of a hostage if he insists on withholding information from Moslems." (Al-Qaeda Training Manual, Available At:, Accessed 9/5/06)

Al Anbar Plan: The Al-Qaeda Governing Structure Should Include An "Execution Unit" Responsible For "Sorting Out, Arrest, Murder, And Destruction." (Al Anbar Plan, Released By The White House Press Office, 9/5/06)

The Terrorists On Their "Bleed-Until-Bankruptcy-Plan"

Osama Bin Laden: "So We Are Continuing This Policy In Bleeding America To The Point Of Bankruptcy." ('Full Transcript' Of Bin Laden's Message, Posted On Al-Jazirah Site, 11/1/04)

The Terrorists On Their Propaganda Strategy

Osama Bin Laden: Al-Qaeda Intends To Launch "A Media Campaign ... To Create A Wedge Between The American People And Their Government." (Letter From Osama Bin Laden To Mullah Omar, Released By The White House Press Office, 9/5/06)

The Terrorists On Their Belief That America Is Weak

Osama Bin Laden: America's "Combat Strategy Is Heavily Dependent On The Psychological Aspect Of War … Which Hides The Cowardice And Lack Of Fighting Spirit Of The American Soldier." BIN LADEN: "It has been made clear during our defending and fighting against the American enemy that this enemy's combat strategy is heavily dependent on the psychological aspect of war due to its large and efficient media apparatus and of course its indiscriminate aerial bombing which hides the cowardice and lack of fighting spirit of the American soldier. … Likewise, let me remind you of the defeat of the American forces in Beirut in 1982, soon after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, when the Lebanese resistance was personified by the truck laden with explosives that struck the main military base of the US Marines in Beirut, killing 242 soldiers – towards Hell was their destination and what an evil destination that is." (Translation Of Purported Bin Laden Audio Message, Posted On Islamist Site, 2/14/03)

Ayman al-Zawahiri: "There Is No Hope In Victory." ZAWAHIRI: "This is the fumbling that precedes the defeat. Bush and Blair are hiding the true disaster they are facing in Iraq and Afghanistan. They know better than others that there is no hope in victory. The Vietnam specter is closing every outlet." (Al-Qaeda's Al-Zawahiri Predicts Failure of US 'Crusade' Against Muslim States, Posted On Jihadist Websites, 12/7/05)

The Terrorists On The Importance Of Iraq

Osama Bin Laden: Baghdad Is "The Capital Of The Caliphate." (Text Of Bin Laden's Audio Message To Muslims In Iraq, Posted On Jihadist Websites, 12/28/04)

Ayman al-Zawahiri: We Must "Establish An Islamic Authority … Over As Much Territory As You Can To Spread Its Power In Iraq … [And] Extend The Jihad Wave To The Secular Countries Neighboring Iraq." ZAWAHIRI: "So we must think for a long time about our next steps and how we want to attain it, and it is my humble opinion that the Jihad in Iraq requires several incremental goals: The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq. The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority or amirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level of a caliphate – over as much territory as you can to spread its power in Iraq … The third stage: Extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq. The fourth stage: It may coincide with what came before: the clash with Israel, because Israel was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity." (Complete Text Of Al-Zawahiri Letter To Al-Zarqawi, 7/9/05, Available At:, Accessed 9/5/06)

Bin Laden: "The War Is For You Or For Us To Win. If We Win It, It Means Your Defeat And Disgrace Forever." BIN LADEN: "Finally, I would like to tell you that the war is for you or for us to win. If we win it, it means your defeat and disgrace forever as the wind blows in this direction with God's help." (Bin Laden Threatens New Operations, Offers 'Long-Term Truce,' Posted On Al-Jazirah Net, 1/19/06)

The Terrorists On Their Absolute Hostility Towards America

Hezbollah Leader Nasrallah: "Death To America." NASRALLAH: "Let the entire world hear me. Our hostility to the Great Satan is absolute. … I conclude my speech with the slogan that will continue to reverberate on all occasions so that nobody will think that we have weakened. Regardless of how the world has changed after 11 September, Death to America will remain our reverberating and powerful slogan: Death to America." (Hezbollah Leader Nasrallah Supports Intifadah, Vows 'Death to America,' Aired On Beirut Al-Manar Television, 9/27/02)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "We Will Soon Experience A World Without The United States And Zionism." AHMADINEJAD: "Undoubtedly, I say that this slogan and goal is achievable, and with the support and power of God, we will soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism and will breathe in the brilliant time of Islamic sovereignty over today's world." (Iran's President Warns Muslims Of 'Conspiracies Of World Imperialism,' Available At:, Accessed 10/26/05)

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