Book Commemorates September 11 'Raid'
GMP20031027000226 Internet http://www.cybcity.com/newss/index.htm in Arabic 01 Aug 03 in Arabic 01 Sep 02
[The book is published by Majallat al-Ansar posted on . It consists of four essays by Sayf al-Din al-Ansari, Abu Ubayd al-Qirshi, Abu Ayman al-Hilali, and Abu Sa'd al-Amili. ]
[FBIS Translated Text]
What happened to the United States came as no surprise. All of these devastating operations are only part of the harvest that the United States has sown throughout the world. The United States was struck once, yet the United States has struck other countries on numerous occasions. The US people suffered once, yet other peoples have suffered--and continue to suffer--many times from the criminal acts of its Zionist government. Why should the United States not suffer some of what it has inflicted on others?
It also came as no surprise that behind this blessed raid(1) stood the international jihad movement embodied by al-Qa'ida. This organization has been working to this end for a long time. Its previous experience fighting the United States confirms that it is serious about going to whatever lengths necessary. The direct struggle with the United States began with the Al-Khubar explosions on the Arabian Peninsula. They were followed by the attacks on the US embassies in Tanzania and Nairobi and the incident with the destroyer Cole. All of these events prove the seriousness of al-Qa'ida's strategic intentions. It is determined to fight the United States and send it the way of the Soviet Union. Only the likes of al-Qa'ida dare to take on the United States, which inspires dread the world over. The most important factor in this is faith, which gives Muslims hope in their war with the enemy, no matter how arrogant he is, and spurs them on to break down the barriers of fear. Al-Qa! 'ida can operate globally thanks to the individual capabilities of its members and the structure of its organization.
We will not discuss the perpetrators' identity. The mujahidin put an end to this discussion immediately after the raid. Instead, on the one-year anniversary of the raid, we have chosen to discuss its intellectual, strategic, political, and educational ramifications in the first issue of our new project, "Writers of Al-Ansar." This project aims to provide comprehensive treatment of Islamic issues, using an Islamic vision to put events in their proper context to help Muslims to understand and interpret correctly the events of the struggle.
Everyone recognizes that the raid was an event of worldwide importance. As such, it deserves study, and especially from an Islamic vantage point. Our enemies have already made every effort to muddy the waters. Their intent is to present the event in a tragic light, although it targeted a criminal state that is hostile to the Islamic community. The truth, however, is too great for poisoned pens and resentful shouts to harm it. The raid's positive significance is obvious to all. It represented a qualitative shift in the clash between the Islamic community and its Jewish and crusader enemies.
This book is an attempt to provide a serious interpretation of the event. Each of the writers examines the 11 September raid from a particular angle and supplies a unique view. Readers of varying interests will find here an overview of the event that shook the world.
The Raid on New York and Washington A generic description
Perhaps one of the most striking characteristics of the jihad movement across the spectrum of its diverse groups is its realistic vision of change. It knows that it confronts a human reality with diverse components, and it divides that reality into two basic sections--societies and regimes. The jihad movement approaches each of the components of reality in the appropriate fashion. It confronts deviant societies, and even unbelieving societies, with a call to embrace the truth by mending belief and behavior. It confronts tyrannical regimes with jihad to end their material power through appropriate methods. The jihad movement does not limit itself to theorizing in the face of regimes supported by material power, nor does it use material coercion on the consciences of individuals.
This is why the movement has become enemy number one for the tyrannical regimes. Its mission to spread the faith makes it a movement for reform in society and its mission to fight jihad makes it a movement to destroy the regimes that crush people. Perhaps it is this seriousness about causing change that evokes the vengeful wrath of the tyrants against the groups that make up the victorious party, for they cannot be domesticated or contained.
The US state leads the regimes confronting the jihad movement, which is trying to demolish their tyrannical power. The United States is a hostile state and no one is safe from its evil, especially the Islamic community. Suffice it to say that the United States was the greatest supporter of the establishment of the Jewish state on Palestinian territory, let alone a series of other attacks.
The goals of the world jihad movement in its war with the United States have been clear from the beginning. They are so just that every reasonable person must respect them and be proud of them, for they express an acute awareness of hostile plans and a positive engagement with Islamic issues. These goals are focused on four main points:
A halt to all forms of support for the Jewish state that has usurped Palestinian land; ending the embargo on all Islamic peoples, and first among them the Iraqi people; withdrawal from all Muslim lands, and first among them the land of the two holy places; a halt to support for the tyrants whose rule oppresses Muslim peoples.
The raid on New York and Washington came in the course of the war to achieve these goals. For all its fury and fallout, it came to deliver a practical message to all people, and to the United States in particular--the Islamic community will not surrender to humiliation. It will not submit to oppression. It will not give up its means of response. The community's vanguard is capable of striking with an iron fist. It will be better for the United States if it responds to the community's just demands and withdraws from the war before it perishes at their hands.
First: The Raid and the Decisive Struggle
Our discussion of the raid begins with the question of determinism. We would like to acquaint ourselves with the attested [Islamic] traditions that define the relationship of the two sides [in the struggle]. We examine the issues that are firmly linked with the struggle because this helps us to understand the movement of life. This gives us the tools to interpret the events of the struggle correctly. We know that the recognition of what actually exists is the true precondition for determining what should be. In other words, defining the correct method of interacting with the movement of life depends on an understanding of life, first of all, in order to understand what God created. The Most High said, "Is it not His to create and to govern?" [54:7] Note that "create" comes before "govern."
Rather than rushing to present abridged answers--no matter how good or noble their goal--I would like to note the position of authoritative Islamic sources: Such questions must be answered without recourse to personal evaluations that fail to rely completely on the texts of the revelation. The issue is an important one. It touches on the home truths of human existence. Only the Creator has a firm grasp of the matter: "Should He not know, He that created? And He is the One that understands the finest mysteries (and) is well-acquainted (with them)." [67:14] Thus, one must look to God. "And none, (O man!) can tell thee (the Truth) like the one who is acquainted with all things." [35:14]
The revelation helps us to understand life's truths. Its texts provide a program for living as God wished by making the tenets [of the faith] laws to order actions. They also came to give believers an all-encompassing view of life as God created it, informing them of the truths that govern life. First comes the legislative aspect, which determines government. The second aspect imparts information; it deals with creation. Both of them come from God as part of the revelation: "The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfillment in truth and in justice" [6:115] The "truth" refers to the news that the words of God convey and the "justice" refers to the words of God in their legislative and governing capacity. It is a great error to limit the Koran to its legislative functions, for in doing so we diminish its purpose and fail to benefit fully from its message.
The texts of the revelation and the movement of life show that, as God created, the relationship between the two camps is one of struggle. In the broad sense, this struggle goes beyond war. It encompasses all varieties of push and pull between the believers and the infidels. It can take the form of intellectual struggle embodied in peaceful dialogue--"His companion said to him, in the course of the argument with him: "Dost thou deny Him Who created thee out of the dust, then out of a sperm-drop, then fashioned thee into a man?" [18:37]; or amicable debate--"and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious" [16:125]; or conflict and rivalry between the two sides--"they became two factions quarrelling with each other" [27:45]; or open warfare between the two camps--"Nor will they cease fighting you" [2:217]. Whatever forms it takes, struggle is struggle. No sooner does it die down in one form then it begins in another!
The clash continues because of the deep-seated hostility between the two camps: "for the Unbelievers are unto you open enemies" [4:101]. This hostility is not a random state of affairs that results from personal considerations or temporary stands that depend on earthly calculations of profit and loss. It is an attitude toward Muslims that is firmly established in the souls of the infidels. It is automatically countered by hostility from Muslims toward the infidels: "Thou wilt not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who resist Allah and His Messenger" [58:22].
In order to understand the real reasons for the conflict between the two camps, we must recall the nature of the relationship between truth and falsehood. The truth must move to assert itself, and it can only do so by negating falsehood. The two contradict each other; each can exist only be negating the other: "And say: 'Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish.'" [17:81] If the truth fails to move, falsehood will bestir itself, for it cannot stand the existence of a rival by its side. This replicates the nature of the relationship between the believers and the infidels: "This because those who reject Allah follow vanities, while those who believe follow the Truth from their Lord" [47:3].
The hostility between the two camps and the unchanging relationship between truth and falsehood are the main variables in the struggle. When we state that this is the nature of the relation, all we are doing is presenting reality as it is and as God created it--without rosy dreams and delusions. We must confront life as it is, without any attempt to change the fateful truths. Such attempts lead to the proliferation of falsehood and the spread of corruption: "And did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief" [2:251].
The raids on New York and Washington came in the context of this struggle that permeates human existence. They are one of the forms and one of the manifestations of this fateful truth. The community of Muslims responds in this fashion to the law, for Islam calls for the necessity of fighting jihad against the enemy. It scorns capitulation or subjugation to his will.
After Europe endured the crushing miseries of war between its mosaic of peoples, certain Western thinkers arrived at the idea of world peace. This suggests that this is a Western idea that resulted naturally from European life. Certain Arab intellectuals who are capable only of copying and following imported this idea and popularized it in Arab and Islamic intellectual circles. It has not yet gained a foothold in the real world, however. Instead, it has remained a theoretical construct that has not prevented war or established peace.
All of the institutions that have been founded to advance this goal were merely an obedient tool in the hands of powerful countries, which use them as another means of imposing their political agenda. The League of Nations failed to achieve any of the goals it was founded to achieve. The United Nations is nothing but a tool to domesticate Muslims and train them to submit gradually to the goals of the Zionist and crusader project. "The modern age we live in confirms this truth to us. Suffice it to say that imperialism grew strong only through the treachery of international institutions."(2) This means that world peace as it is conceived of in the West is an "idealistic" idea that political leaders exploit to lull their people into a stupor. Strong countries repeat the idea to rob others of their will to fight jihad.
Most of the governments oppressing the Islamic community have participated in this deception. They popularized this myth through their official media with made-to-order intellectual products until "peace" became the only strategic option. They abolished all alternatives so that they are no longer taken into consideration. They told people that any option other than peace is a form of recklessness, or even barbarism unworthy of civilized men. This well-planned brainwashing operation aims to undo the idea of the enemy and make the Islamic community easy prey.
But the blessed raid and its aftermath was the event that pulled back the curtain to reveal to everyone that the West has its own vision of peace. It fits in only with its ideology and serves only its interests. More precisely, Western countries mean by "peace" capitulation to the Zionist will and prostration before the power of the crusaders so that the oppressed countries continue down the road of humiliating subjugation.
Naturally, Islam does not reject the idea of world peace or go in the opposite direction. It is a faith that wants to spread peace and strengthen security for all people. But Islam is a religion of content, not mendacious slogans, a faith of realistic truths, not fleeting wishes. This is why it calls for a true and realistic peace. It does not turn talk of peace into a drug that saps the rage of the oppressed. Instead, it takes a comprehensive view of peace. It grants individuals who do not fight against it, and groups that do not stand in the way of its message, their right to freedom of conviction. It guarantees them the principle of justice in rights and obligations(3).
Most importantly, Islam calls for a peace that does not forget that some will reject and obstruct the peace. It is a basic condition of life that people retain their differences. This is why Islam calls for peace without taming people or overturning the truths in their minds. It does not present the enemy as a friend and ally. In short, it calls for peace but does not rule out the option of war when war is justified by the Sharia.
The raid on New York and Washington is part of the war that Islam approves and considers natural. It does not contradict the principle of its call for world peace because it is not a war for war's sake with no purpose beyond a lust for killing. It is not a war waged for economic reasons or the exploitation of natural wealth, as is the case with the Zionists and crusaders. It is, instead, a military operation in the context of a declared war with open fronts between the world jihad movement (al-Qa'ida--"the base") and the United States. It was a natural response to the repeated attacks that the United States has made on the Islamic community.
Second: The Raid and Islamic Principles of War
Some people see fit to raise the issue of Islamic principles of warfare. They claim that the raid does not observe those principles and that Sharia errors occurred. Some "modern" legal scholars see the raid as a violation of the Sharia. This has helped to confuse ordinary Muslims, for they say, "We are not against jihad, but jihad has its principles."
We leave aside a legal discussion, which would compel us to differentiate between the conditions of validity for these principles--what is obligatory, and is not part of the conditions of validity; what is desirable, and does not rise to the level of legal obligation. Everyone knows that the groups in the traditionalist mujahid movement are more committed than anyone else to Sharia in their actions. After all, their actions can cost them their dearest possession after their faith--their souls.
Two assertions stand out among the objections to the raid. First, that the raid is a form of aggression against others. And second, that the raid harmed the innocent. Everyone who has examined the event's aftermath knows that these expressions of sympathy did not aim to apply God's laws to this case. Their primary aim was to win the affection of the United States and to improve the image of US Islam in the eyes of the West, proving to others that they are patriotic to the core--Americans first and only then Muslims, God willing.
The fact is that the United States is part of the realm of war and has concluded no agreement with Islam. This has Sharia ramifications that are well-known in the jurisprudence of jihad, and they settle the question definitively. They place the raid atop the list of lawful deeds that evoke no doubts from an Islamic vantage point. Muslim scholars are agreed that that realm of war that does not pay tribute to Islam is open to all forms of harm, as the prophet practiced with combatants when he seized subjects (of the Aqil tribe, for example), blocked caravans (of the Quraysh tribe, for example), assassinated leaders (such as Ka'b Bin Al-Ashraf), burned land (of the Al-Nadhir tribe, for example), and destroyed fortresses (in Al Ta'if, for example)(4).
We prefer, however, to avoid a long discussion with those whose understanding of the Islamic vision of jihad remains incomplete. In order to simplify matters, we will use language that everyone understands. The raid came as a response to the vile aggression that the United States perpetrates against the Islamic community. This is a right guaranteed not only by divine law, but by earthly law as well.
The United States helped the Jews to occupy Palestine and displace its people. To this day, it continues to help them with the money and weapons they use to inflict daily suffering on the Palestinian people. More than a third of Palestinians have perished as a result of ongoing Zionist aggression for more than half a century. The United States has also provided [the Zionists with] unlimited political support in international organizations and rejected and crushed all efforts to find a serious, just solution to the Palestinian issue.
The United States killed Muslims in Iraq, using all varieties of internationally banned weapons against them. The United States also engineered the genocide of the Iraqi people through the imposition of an unjust embargo, a slow killing operation that was intended to destroy Iraqi civilization.
The United States imposed an embargo on Afghanistan that killed more than 500,000 people. The United States has killed Muslims in the Philippines, Indonesia, Kosovo, Somalia, Libya and Sudan. Its hands are dripping with the blood of all Muslim peoples, demonstrating that it has a concerted plan to target the identity of the Muslim community and destroy its cultural moorings.
A response was natural and necessary: "Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you?" [9:13] Responding to aggression is part of jihad in Islam. The blessed raid fits into this context. This is why no honest, knowledgeable person doubts that it was an undiluted act of jihad.
Despite the assertions of the Zionist enemy's bought-off media, the raid did not target the innocent. It targeted institutions that are directly subordinate to the enemy country. The Pentagon houses only the makers of mankind's destruction in general, and the engineers of Muslim murder in particular. Where are the innocents? The World Trade Center is the backbone of the US power that imposes its mandate on the world. US power uses it to impose its arrogance on Muslims. It also teems with intelligence operatives, nests of spies, and companies that provide direct and unlimited support to the Zionist enemy. They are directly responsible for starving and impoverishing people and exploiting the natural wealth of the oppressed.
Yet some claim that some of the raid's victims were women, old people, and children whose blood is sacrosanct even if they belong to the combatant nation. Naturally, we do not deny this. But we stress in this regard that they do not fall outside of one of the special cases in which they can be killed if they are among the combatants. It has been established legally that the prohibition on spilling the blood of sinless infidels is not absolute. It provides for exceptions, and even one exception is sufficient to remove the difficulty. I list the following:
The first case: It is permitted to kill blameless infidels on the combatant side in the course of "equal treatment," especially when targeting the "innocent" is part of the enemy's military strategy(5). If the enemy targets Muslim women, children, and old people, then it is permissible for Muslims to respond with similar treatment. The Most High said, "If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress ye likewise against him." [2:194]
The second case: It is permitted to kill blameless infidels on the combatant side if they help the combatants in battle in any fashion, either in word or in deed. The prophet ordered the killing of Durayd Bin al-Simmah when he went out with the tribe of Hawazin, though he was 120 years old at the time.
The third case: It is permitted to kill blameless infidels on the combatant side in the case of an attack where it is not possible to distinguish the blameless from the combatants. They perish as a result, not an aim. The prophet was asked about the women and children among the polytheists who plot and do harm. He said, "They are of them" (Ahmad).
The fourth case: It is permitted to kill blameless infidels on the combatant side if there is a need to strike the enemy's fortresses. They are killed as a result, not an aim, for sensible reasons that make it difficult to avoid such damage. The cases we have enumerated are sufficient to show that the non-combatant victims of the raid undoubtedly fall into one of these categories.
Even if some of the victims were Muslims, there is no cause for a hue and cry. The compelling assumption is that the targets that were struck--the Pentagon and the World Trade Center--housed only infidels. Sharia principles dictate that a compelling assumption is binding on a legally competent individual. The basic principles of the faith establish this. Some scholars, however--primary among them Al-Shafi'i--assert that it is permissible to burn, drown, and destroy the belligerents' land even if there is compelling reason to assume that Muslims could die as a result because an absolute refusal to do battle for fear of harming Muslims would halt jihad against the enemy in an instant.
In any case, I do not want to get into a legal discussion, especially since religious scholars have given us ample material to respond to certain "modern" legal scholars who draw their knowledge of Sharia from the fatwa column in Al-Sharq al-Awsat(6). I did not intend to make fine legal distinctions the topic of this article. I intended only to inform the reader that the prattle of satellite TV scholars and jurists of "verbal jihad" cannot take away from the legal validity of jihad, for it rests on a strong basis of both theory and practice.
In general, mujahidin do not target women, children, or old people for death. If some of them were killed in the raid of victorious Tuesday, this was as a result, not an aim, and for sensible reasons that made it very difficult to avoid. It is impossible to fight jihad without this. I write this so that everyone will know that our war is with the infidel regimes that attack the rights of Muslims. I dispute the hostile media, which tries to convince people that the mujahidin are only trying to target women and children!
Third: The Raid and the Mobilization
The groups that make up the Islamic movement agree that the community needs to play a more active role in the project of Islamic change. It must take its place in the struggle with the enemy who threatens its existence and identity and prevents it from performing the mission it was brought forth to perform. The Islamic movement is not a substitute for the Islamic community; it is the vanguard that goes ahead of it. The ultimate goals of the Islamic change project--the caliphate--are too large for any group, no matter how capable, to achieve in isolation from the community.
The problem that confronts us is the community's negative situation at the present stage. We see clear signs of a tendency toward isolationism and withdrawal among Muslims. The important question in this regard is: How can we bring the community up to a level that will enable it to perform its role? How can we activate it so that it embraces action for change and becomes an effective and influential element on the battlefield and responds positively to the needs of the vanguard?
Before turning to the answer, which involves numerous programmatic details, we would like to direct our attention toward the importance of seeking out the hidden reasons for the ailment--negativism--that has crept into the body of the community. If we diagnose the reasons for the illness, it will be easier for us to treat it and reach our goal, especially when we distinguish between the subjective and objective causes. We need to focus first on healing our souls (subjectively) without blaming others as though we want them to solve our problems. The Most High said: "...never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)." [13:11]
The general causes of negativism are many and diverse. They are the result of long-standing, numerous problems. What matters most is that despite their number and diversity, two basic factors are needed to treat them. The jihad movement believes that the blessed raid and its consequences were a step toward those two factors.
For a person to take action, he needs two things. The first of them is a strong will. The second of them is sufficient ability. Without will, there can be no action, and without sufficient ability, there will be smoke but no fire. One must also note the important correspondence between the type of action, level of will, and required ability. The fact that psychologists stress, however, is a clear one--the stronger the will, the more room for action, and the greater a person's activity and positive energy in life. Will spurs a person to activate and employ all possible mechanisms, no matter how "ordinary" they are, leaving the individual resolved to move forward and make use of his ability. But when his will is weak, a person does not exploit his abilities, no matter how great. He fails to use his visible endowments, let alone those that are hidden. Instead, he may flee responsibility and make constant attempts to justify himself, procrastinate, and make excuses.
Weakness of will is the most serious ailment afflicting our Islamic community. As a community, we do not lack ability. Our power stands at 1 billion Muslims, most of whom are still in the prime of youth. We enjoy an excellent geographical location. Experts agree unanimously that it is of great strategic importance. We possess tremendous natural resources that are more than sufficient to meet our needs. Even the issue of technical backwardness and lagging scientific development is a sham. There are abundant Islamic intellects that possess great expertise, but they are oppressed and exiled. As a community, we cannot complain of weak abilities. We can only complain of the weakness that has afflicted our will.
What is certain is that the weakness that has struck the Islamic will did not come out of a void. It came about as the result of numerous factors, the most influential of which is the state of dread and fear that present circumstances have inspired. This has been accompanied by concepts and ideas intended to awaken terror in Muslims. As they built up, they came to form a great weight on the will, binding it in thick chains. These are the first obstacle to movement, the basic barrier to action.
If we want to get moving and are truly serious about the project of Islamic change, the first step is the liberation of Islamic will. It must be taken out of the cage of ideas and concepts that current conditions inspire. This can only be done by breaking down the barrier of fear. But this task undoubtedly requires more than intellectual exertions and theoretical lessons. In addition to cultural mobilization, it requires the sort of practical lessons that provide tangible proof through observed reality that most of these reigning concepts and ideas are merely delusions and illusions that emerge from a weak-willed mind. Defeatism has popularized them under the pretext of realism. The truth is that falsehood is always less than one fears, no matter how inflated it may be: "falsehood is ever bound to vanish." [18:81]
The blessed raid came to achieve this goal--to break the barrier of fear. It came to give Muslims tangible proof: This the United States that everyone fears has been trampled by the mujahidin. We recall that they numbered only 19. They were not a great army, yet they were free men! God is great! A small group destroyed symbols meant to last for eternity, and they did so with an operation that surprised everyone. They made the terror that the United States inspires a thing of the past. Each of you should ask: Where is the security empire? Why did it not predict the raid? Why didn't it prevent it? Why couldn't it stop it? The answer is that the United States is human--"for man was created weak." [4:28] And the attackers were mujahidin. There you have it. After 11 September everything is possible. What is impossible is for the United States to continue.
The fact is that the mujahidin have taught these lessons on many occasions in their long jihad. They taught them in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union, in Bosnia-Herzegovina against the Serbs. They continue to teach them daily in Chechnya against the Russians and they are providing a skillful demonstration yet again in Afghanistan with the United States and its allies. But few have heard of these lessons. And fewer still have grasped their meaning. World media policy is constantly moving to prevent a broad swath of the community from tasting the fruits of victory or benefiting from the lesson.
But the media could hide nothing about the blessed raid. This time, the mujahidin decided to teach the lesson live on the air to break the United States' hold over everyone. By breaking the United States' arrogance, they broke the chains on the Islamic will. They did what some thought was impossible, yet they made it possible. By the grace of God, they did what they wanted. They taught the Islamic community that it is capable when it has will and that its real problem is not a lack of numbers or preparation, but as the prophet said, "You are many, but you are like the froth carried along by the stream, and great is your weakness." [Ahmad]
Al-Qa'ida planned, acted, and executed, and the martyrs went off to their Lord. The others withdrew, God willing, and no evil befell them. The world changed entirely in two hours. The defeated continue to ask themselves to this day, "Could al-Qa'ida really have done this? Or was it just a Jewish deception?" This question did not result from a shortage of information. If that were the case, they could be excused for asking. The tragedy is that our leaders' minds have long ago fallen prey to a psychology of weakness.
The solution is not to cry over the past, to wail for the sympathy of others, or even to escalate the rhetoric, for words are only words. None of these approaches can cure the illness. They may even have the opposite effect. The solution is serious, continuous work in a spirit of challenge to break the barrier of fear, restore self-confidence, and free the Islamic will from the fetters that have robbed it of its ability to act.
Our Islamic community has been subjected to a dangerous process of narcosis. As a result, it has lost the vigilance that comes from faith and fallen into a deep slumber. The most dangerous consequence of this is that most Muslims can no longer distinguish between their enemies and their friends. The fallout from choosing the peace option and normalization [of relations with Israel] has caused a great confusion of ideas. The resultant situation poses a genuine threat to our very identity.
When the Al-Aqsa intifadah began, one of its most important services to the Islamic community was that it reawakened an awareness of the enemy. Though the enemy exists and is hacking away at our body, the feeling of ease and security inspired by the negotiating table dulled the sense of the enemy's existence, especially when the general trend among Arab governments--including even the country of the two holy places!--was full normalization with the Jewish enemy.
One of the most important pieces of established wisdom about God's guarantee to the mujahid faction is that he maintains the Islamic community's sense of vigilance. The struggle and its challenges serve as a reminder that the enemy is still there, stripping away the thin façade of deception and distortion. This acts as an antidote to the ill of ease that results from a life of security.
The truth is that the war against the community has not let up for a single day. It was merely a covert war fought in a single direction. The quisling rulers acted as the enemies' trustees. Their peoples were always the target in the war, as was their faith, their culture, their natural wealth. They were targeted through starvation to condemn them to a slow death, through impoverishment to plunge them into a vortex of social problems. They are targeted openly in Palestine, Iraq, Kashmir, and the Philippines. They suffer privations the enemy has not visited on any community since the age of imperialism.
The blessed raid came to move this war from the shadows out into the open, to make the community aware of the enemy. It revealed the perils that surround us in a way that everyone can understand. It let everyone feel the extent of the present danger so that everyone kept repeating: "How deceived we were!" The skillfully executed attacks succeeded in laying bare the enemy's soul, and we heard unembarrassed talk of a new crusade with all the historical baggage the phrase entails. It became clear to everyone that this is a campaign against Muslims more than it is a war against the mujahidin. Neither charitable foundations nor religious school curricula escaped unscathed. Islam itself is the target, unless it is American (against its will).
The raid showed just how fragile is the supposed coexistence of Muslims and crusaders. As soon as the event took place, all of the West's vaunted values collapsed. What emerged were feelings of hatred and racist practices against everything Islamic, revealing that the crusaders' worldwide policy of connivance aimed only to contain and absorb Muslim abilities.
The blessed raid also sparked tension between the community and its traditional enemies, thus helping to restore the true Jewish and crusader enemy in the community's conscience after it had been all but erased by subjugation to the peace policy of lambs. The challenge it offered up served to awaken an awareness of the enemy, and to rouse Muslims from the torpor of peace. For at the same moment, others are conducting a well-planned operation to encircle us. The greatest danger this poses is slow strangulation that kills the body without provoking the masses.
The maintenance of the community's identity gives rise to a state of tension with the enemy who threatens the community's existence. We must not act with confused emotion, but rather with carefully considered movements on the field of battle, presenting an ongoing challenge. This is what moves the issue forward in thought and conscience, generating the necessary vigilance.
Yes, local projects may require at certain stages a "slow-cooked" approach that avoids confrontation. This is because the local movement is subject to specific conditions and particular goals that impose minute political calculations. The world jihad movement, on the other hand, moves in open conditions and pursues general goals. It seeks primarily to make use of strategic precepts and views the community as a whole, acting as a vanguard force to confront great dangers.
Fourth: The Raid and the Community's Issues
The world jihad movement today as represented by al-Qa'ida is a vanguard movement that has succeeded in carving out a place for itself in modern thought. As a movement, it has all the prerequisites for action. As a group, it is close to the community, cutting across borders and nationalities. It embodies the idea that there is no difference between an Arab and a non-Arab. A belief in monotheism is the identity card of the Muslim community. This is why al-Qa'ida cares about the concerns of all. It is not limited by the imaginary borders that colonialism imposed.
Its involvement in the community's concerns is practical and effective. It does not limit itself to the rhetoric of condemnatory statements and protest positions. These evaporate quickly in the light of day, especially if they are not tied to forceful action on the ground that makes others recognize your presence on the field. Al-Qa'ida's involvement with the community's issues is what liberated Afghanistan from the Soviet Union, liberated Bosnia from the Serbs, expelled the United States from Somalia, restrained the Russians in Chechnya, and is today once again teaching the United States and its allies in Afghanistan what pride and dignity really mean. Through this approach, al-Qa'ida is trying to restrain the fury of the unbelievers: "Then fight in Allah's cause - thou art held responsible only for thyself - and rouse the Believers. It may be that Allah will restrain the fury of the Unbelievers..." [4:84] Both Islamic law and actual events have shown that the policy of! begging for help and making a show of weeping at the enemy's doorstep will not end the injustice or restore anyone's rights.
The story of the relationship between the United States and the Zionist state is a long one. It began with the advent of Jewish immigration to the United States in 1654 until the number of Jews in the United States reached 4.2 million in 1924. Today, they number more than 5 million. Implementing a vile plan, they have seized control of most commercial markets. They have infiltrated intellectual centers such as universities, institutes, and research centers. They are deeply involved in the media. This has helped them to extend their influence to politics and decision-making. We know that the real rulers of the United States are the Zionist movement that the Jews founded.
The US administration is a Zionist administration. For a long time it has provided the real support for the Jewish state in Palestine. For example, as soon as President Wilson heard about the Balfour Declaration, he announced, "I believe that the allied nations have decided to establish the Jewish state in Palestine with complete support from our government and our people." We do not have space to detail the role Zionism has played in the United States, which has been marked by its love for Zionist terror. Nixon expressed this unambiguously when he wrote, "Our commitment to the maintenance of Israel is profound. We are not official allies. We are bound together by something stronger than a scrap of paper--a moral commitment that no president in the past has ever broken. Every president in the future will faithfully observe it."(7)
The bond is a strong one. Its strength derives from more than mutual interests, for it is a part of the conscience and mindset of the US ruling elite. Carter said, "They are unique ties because they are rooted in conscience, in morals, and in the beliefs of the American people itself."(8) The state of the Jews would not exist were it not for the United States' absolute support.
This is surely what makes the Palestinian issue so vast and complex. Its solution requires a marshalling of all the Islamic community's efforts for positive, palpable involvement that goes beyond verbal consolation. It must rise to the challenges at hand. The blessed raid was part of the work to this end. It is part of the effort to topple the state that sponsors Zionist terror and provides limitless support to the Jewish state. Without toppling the United States--or at least weakening it so that it is distracted--the Palestinian issue cannot be resolved. Israel is rooted in the conscience of the Zionist administration that rules the United States.
We know that the Islamic community is a chosen community. God chose it and made it the best of communities. He singled it out for special stature. The Most High said, "Ye are the best of Peoples, evolved for mankind" [3:111]. The community must be well aware of this fact, which must always be present in its thoughts and conscience. It was brought forth to be in the vanguard, to lead. The Most High said: "Thus have We made of you an Ummat [community] justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations" [2:143].
The Islamic community must not accept subjugation. It cannot move in an orbit set by another. It cannot submit to the dictates of other nations, for it was brought forth to be led and to lead. This is the duty that confirms the status God conferred upon it and the goal that it was brought forth to achieve. This does not mean that we can soar above the exigencies of reality. It is, instead, a reminder of the goal that continues to stand before the community and of the truth that must remain alive in our thoughts and consciences, for it is the raw material of momentum.
The blessed raid's demonstration of how an earth-shaking event is created did a great deal to pull the community out of its life "in the shadow of" and "under the influence of." It set down the first stone to pave the way for a transition from being acted upon to acting. It put things back in their proper places. Its true effect can only be seen from this vantage point. Its global message brought the truth to people. We saw an upsurge of interest in Islam after the raid, and the reason is that true guidance had come to many people. When the voice of Islam reached those who would not have heard it but for the raid, this outweighed in God's eyes all the peripheral "problems" that the authors of stagnant projects go on about.
Fifth: The Raid and the Long Term
The raid on New York and Washington was a huge event by all measures. The jihad movement succeeded in putting the United States under fire in a skillful operation that struck at the core of US arrogance, destroyed its mendacious braggadocio, and gave it a taste of the bitterness of humiliation. The operation's planners insisted on striking the enemy in his home. The blow hit close to the military, intelligence, and security agencies so that everyone would know that this beast is not as great as people thought and that the mujahidin are greater than this beast that people fear. It represented a qualitative turning point. Among its most important aspects:
The mujahidin differ from others in that they have a correct understanding of fate and a positive interaction with the Sharia. At a time when some people are crying over the factors that led to the fateful fall in the United States, you find the mujahidin making real efforts to topple this state and seal its fate with their own hands. They share a belief in what the law obligates them to do and what fate has already decreed (9).
The most powerful economy in the world collapsed along with the World Trade Center because it suffered a blow to its very heart. It incurred billions of dollars in losses from the attack itself, let alone the cost of rescue efforts and the clean-up that lasted for six months. The experts agree that the fallout from the raid left the US economy with chronic ailments, and it is having difficulty recovering despite all attempts at treatment.
In targeting the headquarters of the war department and destroying a large part of the building, the raid put an end to the dread of the United States that held the world in its grip. It opened the door wide to "dare" to take on the United States. The barrier of fear fell. The United States' power was of no avail against the attack.
By triggering the collapse of the US economy and nullifying the dread of the United States, the raid on New York marked the beginning of the countdown for the most criminal state modern history has ever known and signified the beginning of the end for the US empire.
Everyone without exception agrees that the raid had no parallels in modern history. Intellectuals feel that the way it was carried out conveyed many messages, written in red by the authors so that they could not be erased from the pages of history.
First: The skillful execution of the raid tells the entire world that the jihad movement is capable of action. It can produce events that have life-altering consequences and remake the map of the world. This is a clear indication that the mujahidin's ability is a constant in the equation of the struggle between the community and its enemies at home and abroad.
Second: The skillful execution of the raid encourages everyone to throw out the distorted image that the enemies tried to paint of the mujahidin as a group of simpletons. The entire world realized that this image is false. It was spread by a hostile media apparatus to achieve vile aims. The most important of those filthy goals was to create a psychological barrier between the Islamic community and its mujahid vanguard so that the community remains in a state of capitulation and subjugation. The jihad movement revealed its exceptional abilities when it destroyed what was known as the Soviet Union. With the Tuesday raid it confirmed this without any room for doubt. It proved that it has what it takes and that its ability to lead deserves the community's trust.
Third: The skillful execution of the raid announced a new generation of mujahidin. Though it follows the same principles as its forbears, it stands out for its ability to make use of the means at its disposal. It does not hesitate to put to use all the varied means the law allows to renew and advance the movement. In doing so, it relies on the great fund of expertise it acquired from its earlier experiences. This undoubtedly gives it more room to maneuver and opens up new horizons in the struggle with the enemy. We are certain that the Tuesday raid was only the first part of the battle and that the lesson will be continued.
Fourth: The skillful execution of the raid sent a message to the enemy that the mujahidin are capable of responding in kind and striking the enemy where he lives and in ways he cannot imagine. The victorious Tuesday raid warns a new generation of the strikes that await it. The world has learned, especially since the international crusade began, that the jihad movement exists. It is vital and flexible. It adapts easily to changing conditions, no matter how exceptional they are, and cowardly, underhanded threats will not shake its resolve.
The raid on New York and Washington was a great event. Its significance is too great for the hate-filled voices and hired pens. It rewrote history and opened windows of hope for the community. It pointed to the horizons of a reawakening, especially because it came at a time when the dominant mood was one of prostration.
Naturally, this is only a first attempt to interpret the event that came to answer the question, "Where is the action?" and recall the truth of the verse, "to see how ye would behave!" [10:14] It is as though the martyrs were saying:
What we left behind speaks for us. After us, look at what was left behind
God have mercy on the innocent martyrs of the raid. May God take heed of their deeds and grant victory to our mujahid brothers everywhere.
Written on the first anniversary of the victorious Tuesday raid.
Praise be to God, who bestows success.
The 11 September Raid The Impossible Becomes Possible
Abu Ubayd al-Qirshi
A year has passed since the blessed raid of 11 September, the first jihad raid in the modern age to bring the battle to the infidels in their homes. Words fail in the face of this great effort to revive the hopes of millions in the Islamic community in a better future under an Islamic caliphate predicated on justice and dignity. Many changes have ensued since this achievement last year. Winds of change have swept over Muslims. God has lifted up some nations and laid others low. Among those God lifted up were the mujahidin, and primary among them the 19 men who carried out the blessed raid, and those who defend Islam the world over, fighting the tyrant of our age--the United States.
The raid strengthened the faith of Muslims in God, who is strong and great. No one imagined in his wildest dreams that the United States, the superpower with its unrivaled economic and military might, would suffer a blow to its heart that would leave it in a political, economic, security, and military crisis.
This is why, one year after 11 September, we must look anew at the event's background, lessons, and aftermath so that it can shine as a light to all in their striving to restore Islam's lost pride.
The jihad against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan provided an unparalleled opportunity to hone the ideas of jihad and put them into practice on the ground, especially since this jihad followed lean decades of a declining Islamic presence on all levels and the tyranny of ideologies imported from East and West. Secularism and Westernization held sway throughout the Islamic world. Yes, the Islamic world witnessed a jihad against British, French, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch colonialism. Unfortunately, Islamist elements were at that time unable to have an impact on the blinded masses. Moreover, colonialism's helpers encouraged them, sometimes covertly and sometimes overtly, to be obedient and subservient to colonialism and do its bidding.
In any case, the first Afghan jihad gave some faithful preachers an opportunity to awaken the ardor of Muslims. By 1984, practical work had begun to create the institutions of the Arab jihad in Afghanistan such as the Bayt al-Ansar [Home of Helpers] that Usama Bin Ladin founded and the Office of Services founded by Shaykh Abdallah Azzam. Bayt al-Ansar was founded in Peshawar as a temporary location to receive those arriving to fight the jihad before they went on for training and jihad. The Office of Services was established to improve media relations, collect donations, and urge Muslims, and especially Arabs, to fight jihad through personal effort and financial support.
By 1986, Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin had decided to broaden the sphere of jihad operations, setting up camps and supply lines. Shaykh Usama was able to establish six camps. His construction experience allowed him to move them around under wartime conditions. Usama's reputation began to spread among the Arab mujahidin, and large numbers of them soon began to flock to the Bayt al-Ansar and the camps. The Arab mujahidin began to take part in numerous clashes with the Soviets and their agents. Soon they were involved in pitched battles, the most famous of which was the battle of Jaji in late 1986. In that battle, the Arab mujahidin defeated one of the Russians' best-trained and best-armed units, killing a large number of Russian commandos.
A few years later, the mujahidin movement became a global phenomenon. More reinforcements than could be absorbed arrived in Afghanistan and to aid the mujahidin in other parts of God's earth like Kashmir, the Philippines, Tajikistan, and so forth. As soon as Iraq invaded Kuwait and the Saudi regime asked the filthy infidels to defend their land, it became clear to the leaders of the mujahidin that the great jihad would be with the United States, especially after US colonialism set down roots in the heart of the Muslim world. They already knew that if the United States sets up a base in a country, it will not leave unless forced to do so.
US intervention in Somalia gave the mujahidin an opportunity to clash with their new enemies. A small group of Afghanistan veterans undertook a number of skillful operations against the Americans in Somalia. The United States was forced to withdraw after these operations. In Yemen, a number of Americans were killed in one of Adan's hotels while en route to Somalia. In both cases, the mujahidin came away convinced of the weakness and cowardice of US soldiers. If not for technological superiority and advanced logistical tools, the United States would not have endured on this earth.
Young people committed to jihad then began a string of impressive operations against the US presence on the Arabian Peninsula, beginning with the explosion in Riyadh and followed by the explosion in Al-Khubar in June 1996 that killed 20 US soldiers and wounded hundreds. Shortly after the Al-Khubar explosion, Shaykh Usama issued his first statement entitled "Declaration of jihad to expel the infidels from the Arabian Peninsula." It was the first personal statement to appear under his name. At the end of 1997, Shaykh Usama obtained a fatwa from some 40 religious scholars in Afghanistan and Pakistan in support of his declaration to expel the infidel forces from the Arabian Peninsula.
In a parallel development, the leaders of a number of Islamic groups, and especially the Egyptian jihad group [Jama'at al-Jihad], gathered together and arrived in delegations from Pakistan, Kashmir, and Bangladesh as Shaykh Usama's guests. This meeting bore fruit in the announcement of the world Islamic front in February 1998. It called for the killing of Americans and Jews everywhere and at all times. Along with Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin, the declaration was signed by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of the Egyptian jihad group, and Rifa'i Taha, a representative of the Egyptian jihad group, as well as the head of one of the Kashmir factions and one of the well-known Pakistani leaders. A short while after the declaration of the world Islamic front, Bin Ladin announced that he would strike within weeks. The Americans were in a state of anticipation in the Arab world and the Gulf, and even in the Horn of Africa. Even as they were in a state of complete mobilization, the blow cam! e from a direction they did not expect--their embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Two trucks filled with explosives blew up the embassies on 7 August 1998.
With these two operations, jihadist elements proved that they had the logistical, technical, and human ability to carry out specialized, complex missions, and that they could use the element of surprise to great effect. They also succeeded in coordinating the two operations and causing a great amount of damage. In response, the Americans undertook two famous strikes against Sudan and Afghanistan. Dozens of cruise missiles rained down on Sudan and Afghanistan to strike two specific targets. But this US strike was a total failure, both in its selection of targets and its execution.
The martyrdom operation against the destroyer Cole in the harbor of Adan in October 2000 made the Americans and their lackeys in the region even angrier. Jihadist elements succeeded in inflicting murderous damage on the Cole, which was equipped with the latest military technology. Its displacement was 8,600 tons, it carried a crew of 350 men, and it cost more than $1 billion. The mujahid managed to put a hole in it with a diameter between 6 and 12 meters, causing serious internal damage, killing 17 US sailors, and wounding more than 30 others. The weapon consisted of a boat outfitted with a tractor engine and filled with explosives. The operation cost no more than $10,000. It revealed the Americans' weakness in the face of an inventive, skillfully executed strike at a weak spot. Resistance to US arrogance is possible with limited means as long as there is a will. The US administration tried various media methods to prevent Shaykh Bin Ladin's popularity from growing. Desp! ite this, Shaykh Bin Ladin became a symbolic figure throughout the Arab world. Nothing proves this more clearly than the appearance of posters with his name in the Palestinian intifada for the first time after the Cole operation.
From the beginning, al-Qa'ida had a penetrating strategic vision. This is why it tried to establish relations with all the jihad movements all over the world. These ties required significant time and effort to build trust and establish cooperation on a firm footing.
The organization also conducted a profound study of the Islamic and jihad experience, leading it to focus from the beginning on organization and security to prevent any form of infiltration. This benefited it greatly in directing the struggle with the United States from the early 1990s on. One notes with surprise that Western intelligence agencies estimate the number of trained mujahidin to emerge from al-Qa'ida's camps in 1989-2001 at 10,000-110,000, an enormous spread. This shows that these are not estimates, but guesses.
a.. Preparing the mujahidin
We can be sure that al-Qa'ida placed special emphasis on forming the mujahid vanguard that is the backbone of the jihad operation. This is what has produced such stunning results on all levels. The average mujahid from al-Qa'ida is better trained and prepared for his mission than any other fighter.
On the theoretical level, al-Qa'ida spared no effort to develop the various military theories needed to advance jihad capability. The complete jihad encyclopedia(10) that the organization prepared for all of the mujahidin during the first Afghan jihad covered all the details of armed combat. It set a major precedent. It consists of some 7,000 pages (10 volumes) and is considered an unparalleled primer for the mujahid on the hardships of jihad. It discusses military tactics, security, intelligence, light weapons, first aid, explosives, hand grenades, armor, weapons manufacturing, topography, and so forth.
After the first Afghan jihad, the Islamic community still faced tremendous challenges on various battlefields: Palestine, Central Asia, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Kashmir, the Philippines, and so forth. Al-Qa'ida was the standard bearer of the world jihad movement. It provided a new theoretical basis to improve the training and combat skills of the mujahidin. They published a separate section on specialforces operations. It includes chapters on preparing identity documents, setting up military camps, living quarters, concealing communications and movement, buying and delivering weapons, member security, security planning, and so forth.
The training camps provided the best possible jihad preparation for fighting tyranny. They split the training course into three levels--basic, advanced, and special. Training was provided to tens of thousands of mujahidin to gain God's favor, aid His faith, and help the wretched of the earth. No organizational tie to al-Qa'ida was required. Only a small number of them with exceptional faith and mental, psychological, and physical ability were approached and asked to join al-Qa'ida. The purpose went beyond preventing infiltration. No organization, no matter what its capabilities, has succeeded in infiltrating al-Qa'ida. No one can join simply because he wants to. The leadership extends membership on the basis of a great deal of accurate information. This is what has allowed al-Qa'ida to recruit the cream of the jihad elite, which is positively reflected in the organization's jihad operations.
This is why, when the heroes of September carried out their brilliant operation, it did not come as a surprise. Al-Qa'ida had a vast backlog of information and experience. History records that not one of those unique individuals retreated from his purpose or flinched at the journey to certain death. The investigation that US intelligence conducted shows that most of the people who carried out the operation did not undergo training at an al-Qa'ida camp. But their strong preparation of faith steeped them in self-effacement, skill, and sacrifice. The effective, mature guidance of the group leaders--who received the necessary training in Afghanistan according to some reports--enabled them to make full use of the abilities latent in each of the individuals selected for this crucial mission in the history of the Islamic community.
Some army leaders say, "Money is the nerve of war." This has become truer as time passes and life becomes incomparably more complex and costly. The business of jihad is no exception. Each organized jihad operation that bears fruit requires generous financing. It usually requires months or even years of preparation and careful work to ensure that the enemy suspects nothing. Al-Qa'ida realized this early. As a result, over the years it developed a complex financial network to provide funds for its needs. This has led several respected experts to state that neither the CIA nor Britain's MI6 has ever encountered an international financial network as complex as the one al-Qa'ida constructed. Making matters even more difficult for hostile intelligence services, the network is divided into numerous parts that are usually connected to each other only by the thinnest of threads.
According to reports by strategic institutes, al-Qa'ida's requirements to conduct training and operations inside and outside of Afghanistan are probably about $50 million annually. If this estimate is correct, then it's hardly odd that the organization includes a few financial specialists and pays great attention to training in finances and business, putting significant effort into its transnational investments.
Despite this, the mujahidin of the 11 September raid proved the extent of their asceticism. They acted carefully with the organization's funds, especially in terms of their own personal needs. They only went to economical hotels and restaurants. They only used cheap cars. They returned the money they had left over to the organization, an act of unparalleled loyalty and self-effacement in a world of material globalization and money-worshipping. But as soon as it was necessary to spend money for the sake of the operation, the mujahidin purchased first-class tickets to be closer to the cockpit. This shows the supreme effectiveness and prudence of these heroes.
There are also specialists who do not feel that the organization's financial capabilities are as great as the reports suggest. The operations that targeted the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar al-Salam did not require extensive financing. The operation that was to have struck the Los Angeles airport, and another that was to have hit Zionist and US hotels in Jordan, were financed by armed and unarmed acts carried out by the mujahidin themselves. The operation against the destroyer Cole cost less than $10,000. This demonstrates that al-Qa'ida shows restraint when conditions exist for a successful operation. The organization spends the right amount in the right place without overspending or underspending.
Al-Qa'ida clearly puts a great deal of planning into the details of each operation it carries out. All researchers have admitted that one of the factors in the organization's strength is the enormous effort it makes to plan and prepare all its operations. In its drive to become more efficient, al-Qa'ida divides each operation into three stages: information gathering, logistical preparation, and execution. Each group is individually responsible for the stage it is charged with carrying out. The information gathering stage is considered extremely sensitive, which is why al-Qa'ida treats it with the care and patience it requires. This was clear in the raids on New York and Washington, which required a year and a half of planning and preparation.
Lessons about al-Qa'ida
By following Sharia and universal traditions, al-Qa'ida succeeded in threatening the greatest power in the world, despite its vast capabilities. One of the most important universal traditions that al-Qa'ida followed in its material and military preparation was its focus on building a strong organization structure that has not been weakened by successive strikes and a global hunt. The complex network, decentralized mentality, and concept of a jihad league are all factors that contributed to al-Qa'ida's success in absorbing and minimizing all of the blows it suffered. Its secrecy and security precautions in all places and at all times are an important factor worthy of emulation by other Islamic movements.
Al-Qa'ida follows a clear strategy. The choice to target the United States from the beginning was a smart strategic choice for the global jihad movement. The struggle with the United States' hangers-on in the Islamic region has shown that these hangers-on cannot keep their tyrannical regimes going for a single minute without US help. This is why we must strike the head. When it falls, it will bring down the rest. The choice to target the United States is understood and accepted throughout the Islamic community because everybody knows the crimes the United States has committed against Islam and Muslims. This is what ensures popular sympathy and support.
From the beginning, the organization's leaders prepared for all possibilities, and especially the worst ones, readying appropriate alternatives. In the war in Afghanistan, they wisely withdrew fighting formations, removed equipment and stockpiled it in the mountains, and prepared for a long guerilla war. Abroad, jihad cells spread out in various countries, each preparing to carry out its mission according to a plan with no room for improvisation or confusion. The success of this jihad planning put fear in the hearts of Americans everywhere. Warnings of impending jihad attacks have taken a murderous toll on the nerves of the US masses, who do not understand why their vast military apparatus has failed to stop these attacks.
With this raid, al-Qa'ida established a model of a proud Islamic mentality. This outlook does not view anything as impossible. By embracing the principle of initiative and action over reaction, preparing the next move before finishing the current move, and avoiding reactions that might upset the plan, al-Qa'ida set an example for other Islamic movements.
The basic characteristics of the al-Qa'ida mujahidin emerged from Islamic jihad training that combined discipline and obedience to commanders with absolute trust in God, a willingness to die in God's path, patience, and generosity of spirit. These qualities will undoubtedly lead to victory, God willing.
Al-Qa'ida embodies Islamic unity. Blood from all the countries of the Islamic community has mixed together in the jihad that al-Qa'ida leads with no distinction between Arab and non-Arab. In and of itself, this is a step on the road to Islamic unity and the destruction of the idolatrous colonialist treaties that have torn the body of the Islamic community apart.
"Remember God and He will remember you." The mujahidin of al-Qa'ida have put this saying of the prophet into action and seen the real effects it can have. No matter how much the United States bombed the mountains in its hysteria, using every type of internationally banned bomb it has--incendiary, poison, smart, stupid--it could not weaken the mujahidin. Praise be to God, Who preserves and Who knows.
Lessons About the United States
For the first time since the Soviet Union was at the height of its power, the United States felt a direct threat to its existence--and not merely its interests. The surprising aspect this time is that the threat didn't come from a powerful state or a great alliance, but from an organization that does not possess the same prerequisites of power as well-established states. Despite this, the United States was forced to mobilize its international alliances, including NATO. The latter activated article five of its treaty, which states that if one member-state is attacked then all member-states have been targeted. The United States also relied on its traditional allies (the Zionist entity, Japan, Korea, Australia, and so forth) for help in eliminating al-Qa'ida. It also turned to traditionally hostile powers such as Russia and China, asking them to do what they could to help the United States. One can only marvel at the spiritual power that aids the mujahidin in the path of Go! d. The United States mobilized a vast army that it does not even need, a force capable of destroying everything that moves on the face of the earth. Yet the United States has been unable to harm the mujahidin. One year after it was hit where it is most vulnerable, the United States has not yet slaked its thirst [for vengeance]. It is still looking for real or imagined victories against enemies that may not matter to convince itself and its allies that it is still a superpower.
As soon as the first real crisis hit the United States in the form of the September attacks, the United States embraced the opposite of all the principles it espouses: such as respect for freedoms and human rights. The detention camp at Guantanamo, which the United States wanted to use to terrorize Muslims, was a shameful stain on US "democracy." The unjust arrests that affected thousands of members of the Muslim community in the United States, and which violated the detainees' most basic civil rights, forever sullied the rosy image that the United States painted of itself. The US model for justice became arrest without a specific charge, a refusal to disclose the names of detainees, pressure and torture, claims without proof, widespread monitoring of telephone conversation and e-mail, the disclosure of individual bank accounts, and secret military courts that try cases by presidential order and do not allow defendants to appeal their sentences (including death sentences! ).
The raid of 11 September was a clear failure on the part of the US intelligence agencies that used to strike fear into the hearts of so many people. The United States' satellite-based Echelon surveillance system (which includes 120 spy satellites and cost billions of dollars) and its 13 spy agencies with their enormous budgets could not stop 19 mujahidin armed with knives who used the enemy's own weapons against his economic and military installations.
In terms of strategy, al-Qa'ida used the 11 September raid to destroy the United States' strategic and defensive foundation, which not even the former Soviet Union, or any other state, had been able to harm. This foundation consists of: the early warning system and the principle of preventive attacks and deterrence. The raid also stretched US capabilities substantially, forcing the country to deploy its forces in numerous theaters without achieving victory in any one of them. The raid also showed that the United States suffers from a strategic crisis in the post-Cold War period. It no longer has a clear, comprehensive strategy or a single goal, as was the case during the Cold War. As a result, it treats everything on a case-by-case basis with an open-ended strategy that rests more on experimentation than on a future-oriented vision. One of the reasons for this is that it faces an amorphous, faith-driven enemy that is difficult to strike or infiltrate. It comes together i! n disturbing forms that cannot be observed.
Militarily, the 11 September raid is a great threat to the United States' current military standing. The asymmetric strategy that al-Qa'ida is pursuing entails the use of means and methods that the defender cannot use, recognize, or avoid. They rendered the United States' tremendous military superiority useless and reduced the effectiveness of US military deterrence internationally. The proliferation of the "martyrdom bomb" and its expansion beyond Palestine to US targets has thrown off US calculations and caused the United States' sense of security to evaporate.
In the media, the United States has failed to market its crusade. The US propaganda machine has been unable to defeat feelings of hatred toward the United States. It has not even managed to dispel the doubts within the United States. The immensity of the Western propaganda apparatus did not prevent its defeat at the hands of Shaykh Usama. The cameras of CNN and other Western media dinosaurs undertook the task of filming the raid and sowing fear in its aftermath. It didn't cost al-Qa'ida a cent. Moreover, the "terror" tapes that CNN showed later demonstrated the mujahidin's increased capabilities and endeared them to the Islamic community. Al-Jazirah's exclusive videotape of Shaykh Usama and other leaders brought the network worldwide notoriety and carried the voices of the mujahidin to the Islamic community and the entire world at no cost. By way of contrast, one should note that many revolutionary organizations in the past took hostages merely for the sake of airing the! ir message. Today, the international media is in a race for scoops on the latest statements by the mujahidin. The mujahidin have also put the Internet to work, using it effectively to deliver their voices and points of view to hundreds of thousands of Muslims.
The 11 September raid marked the beginning of the collapse of the US empire. These strikes proved that the foundation of US power is fragile. The economy, which is the most important part of the foundation, is based on usury, fraud, and consumerist avarice. When these ebb, the economy suffers. The raid had an enormous psychological effect on the US population, changing consumption habits and causing losses in such sectors as air travel, tourism, and insurance. It gave rise to fears about the health of the US economy. Suffice it to say that the US economy's losses in the airline transportation sector alone after the attacks reached $100 billion and led to the loss of some 100,000 jobs. All told, total losses came to $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of Americans lost their jobs. The horror of the attack marked the beginning of the US collapse.
The attacks' effect on international relations was the equivalent of a geopolitical earthquake. This earthquake took the following forms:
The United States used it to gain entrance to the region of its past struggle with the Soviet Union, and especially the independent republics of the Soviet Union. Its bases there indicate that it is gearing up for a long-term presence in the region. This factor will give rise to increased friction with Russia and China in the foreseeable future.
The US-European alliance became shaky, especially after the United States defined its real goal of "interference in the internal affairs of countries in the third world" with the aim of rearranging their features or remaking the region in accordance with the United States's strategic interests.
Cracks appeared in the United States' alliance with Saudi Arabia, and to a lesser extent with Egypt. The Saudi regime is no longer the United States' pet. Rather, leading figures in the regime are described in the US media as linked to corruption, embezzlers of their people's money, and supporters of "extremism." This would appear to be the prelude to seizing direct control of government in Saudi Arabia now that the checkbook diplomacy that Saudi rulers used to follow is no longer enough to satisfy the masters of the White House.
The United States seized control of most of the world's seaways under the pretext of hunting for Shaykh Bin Ladin and preventing his flight. This led the United States to strengthen its naval bases and increase the amount of equipment and ammunition stored there. This move will cost Washington a great deal militarily and financially, especially in light of the United States' ongoing economic decline.
The raid pushed the United States toward martial law. For the first time in the history of the United States, a military command was formed to supervise internal security. A general heads it. A secret government was also formed. It works in two locations, taking over vital administrative functions in case the United States suffers a sudden military attack. No constitutionally mandated institution monitors it. The Bush administration set up this scenario with no Congressional input at all. It refused point-blank to provide any information about its plans for this government. This measure confirms the move toward a totalitarian military government. It is a crushing defeat for US values. President Bush's efforts to combat leaks have lowered a thick curtain of secrecy on government, hindering transparency and accountability before the legislative branch. The result is that no official was held responsible for what happened on 11 September.
The Taliban were a stumbling block for the United States' ambition to seize control of Caspian oil. With the removal of the Taliban government (temporarily, God willing) and the establishment of a quisling government in Afghanistan, the stage is set for the construction of oil and gas pipelines to connect the Caspian with Turkey and Europe. This means that demand for Arab oil will decrease once Caspian oil becomes available on the market. The official support of Gulf nations for the crusader campaign was a grievous error. Its consequences for the Gulf's economy will emerge after a violent, external shock that will end growth for the GDP of the Gulf nations.
The raid coincided with a rising tide of popular hostility toward the United States, once the model for the free world and a model of democratic values. This issue brought together Islamic popular forces with other forces in the world opposed to the United States. Opposition to globalization/Americanization began to spread. This became clear in the many demonstrations that the United States itself witnessed, as well as Europe and South Africa. There is a genuine popular rejection on all levels (intellectuals, environmentalists, pacifists) to US policy. The cries and shouts that greeted the speech by the US Secretary of Sstate during the Earth Summit on 4 September 2002 were only an example of popular global awareness of the United States' unjust policies.
Interest in Islam increased throughout all of last year. Islamic books circulated, and especially copies of the Holy Koran. This shows that the light of jihad and sacrifice for the faith have more power to convince others of the truth that Muslims possess than millions of books and sermons.
The 11 September raid was indisputably a crucial operation in the history of the Islamic community. The community was languishing in a state of humiliation after the possible (the implementation of Islamic law, the liberation of Palestine, etc.) had became impossible because of the treachery of Arab quisling regimes. The raid made the impossible possible.
(1) Throughout the text, the authors use the term "ghazwah"--literally, raid- to refer to the 11 September attacks. The word is associated with much of the fighting that accompanied the early history of Islam, and its use is a conscious attempt to evoke that history and place the 11 September attacks in the context of that history. We have retained the authors' usage in the translation.
(2) Dr. Muhammad Yusuf Musa. Humankind's Need for Islam [Al-Islam wa-hajah al-insaniyah ilayhi], p. 271.
(3) Naturally, these generalizations must be linked to the tenets of Islamic jurisprudence and Sharia.
(4) The basic principle is that the United States is a belligerent. This is true even if one argues that it only became a belligerent as a result of the aid it has given the Jews in Palestine since 1947.
(5) See: "Tyrant of the Age" by Abu Ubayd al-Qarshi, Al-Ansar, No. 14.
(6) Those who want more legal detail and scholarly study of the matter should refer to The Truth of the Crusader War [Haqiqat-al-Harb al-Salibiyah] by Salah-al-Din Al-Ayyubi.
(7) Victory Without War, p. 291. For more, see his book, Seize the Moment.
(8) Evangelical Fundamentalism, p. 85.
(9) See the author's article "Allah will punish them by your hands" [9:14].
(10) Certain Arab and Asian agencies have managed to obtain scattered parts of the encyclopedia since 1997, but the Belgian security forces were the first to find a complete copy. They did not, however, have the material resources to translate it. The CIA did not obtain a complete copy until the quisling Jordanian security services provided them with one.
"An Interpretation of the Battle between the Faruq of the Age (Usama) and the United States." Center for Islamic Studies and Research
"Annual Report on Strategic International Changes Caused by the 11 September Attacks in the United States and World Weapons Production and Sales," Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, June 2002.
Justice and the US War on Terror, Al-Bayan, UAE, 3 April 2002.
Rohan Gunaratna, "Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror," Hurst & Company, London, 2002.
Rohan Gunaratna, "The Lifeblood of Terrorist Organizations: Evolving Terrorist Financing Strategies" in Alex Schmid (ed.) Countering Terrorism Through International Cooperation, Rome, International Scientific and Professional Advisory Council of the UN and the UN Terrorism Prevention Branch, 2001.
Victoria Grifith, Peter Speigl, and Hugo Williamson, "How the Hijackers Went Unnoticed," Financial Times, November 29, 2001.
Walden Bello, "Washington: Triumphant or Overextended?" Focus Web, July 22, 2002.
Steven Simon and Daniel Benjamin, "The Terror," Survival, Volume 43, Number 4, January 2002.
David Cole, "Trading Liberty for Security after 11 September," Foreign Policy in Focus, September 2002.
The Real Story of the Raids on New York and Washington
Abu Ayman al-Hilali
The martyrdom attack/raid on New York and Washington that al-Qa'ida mujahidin carried out under the leadership of Usama Bin Ladin--God preserve him and grant him victory--on 11 September 2001 targeted symbols of the United States' hegemony and economic, political, and military might: the Defense Department and the World Trade Center. This came as a violent shock to the United States' government and people, and to all the world's countries, not to mention politicians, intellectuals, and military men... [ellipses as published]
The shock sowed terror, fear, and insecurity in the souls of Americans. They have become easy prey for the mujahidin and they will be a target for similar attacks unless the United States renounces its tyranny, arrogance, oppression of the exploited peoples, and complicity in Zionist terror against our Palestinian brothers. The United States the superpower proved weak and incapable of defending its institutions and vital interests, let alone its citizens. The fearsome CIA and FBI failed utterly to forestall or even predict this great historic event, which threw the United States into such doubt and confusion that the cowardly Bush and his Vice President Cheney fled the capital to hide in fear for their lives. Despite tyranny and arrogance, the weak superpower was stripped of its power. The capitals of money and politics--New York and Washington--resembled ghost towns.
The US regime's first response clearly reflected the terrible shock and confusion that befell the United States' leaders. Bush the coward said that Tuesday, "The United States has suffered a national tragedy because of terrorist attacks. This is a difficult moment for the American people." He said, "I have ordered that all the resources of the federal government be used to help the victims and their families and to conduct thorough investigations to pursue and capture those who committed these acts." He said, "Terror against our nation will not continue." The next day, Wednesday, he said after a meeting with his national security team in the White House, "The premeditated and murderous attacks that were carried out against our country were more than acts of terror. They were acts of war." A fundamental change took place in US foreign and domestic policy, as well as in the country's rhetoric. It began to sense the precariousness of its position. It sensed that another cha! llenger had appeared--after the fall of the Soviet Union--on the international arena. Someone was vying with it for political and global influence to redraw the political and international map. This time, the enemy refused to accept the world's unjust political terms--the subjugation of peoples, groups, and governments to the Zionist-US system through a strategy of globalization. The strategy's key elements are as follows:
This was all reflected in the secret meeting held on 16 September 2001, five days after the blessed raid. The heads of intelligence agencies from Europe and the Middle East met with the CIA director to set up a plan for future coordination between security agencies in various countries to entrap terrorists.
The raids on New York and Washington send a clear and eloquent message to all the pioneers of change and reform. They are a direct call to rise up and rebel against the worn-out intellectual and political leadership that must be sent into retirement. This is a rare historical moment, a point of fundamental change in the course of the struggle. It must be seized and used.
Analysts agree that the raids marked a historic turning point in international relations and the global political arena. They sparked a sea change in the policy of the United States, the global leader, as well as fundamental change in the geopolitics of Central Asia, the Arab world, and Islamic countries. They ignited a far-ranging intellectual and political debate that continues to this day over sensitive issues in the world's political future--Palestine, the freedom of oppressed peoples, justice, natural resources such as oil, independence, Islamic law, the refusal to submit to US tyranny and its tools like the Security Council and the United Nations...[ellipses as published] This came about with the appearance of a new political actor, albeit an obscure one. The little that was known came from the guesses of the US-Zionist enemy and the dossiers of quisling regimes and their mercenary thinkers, politicians, and media. It strove to break through the intellectual and po! litical stagnation of traditional political movements. As everyone knows, the actor was al-Qa'ida, the Taliban movement, and jihad movements in general.
The great event of the blessed raid posed a number of questions to analysts and observers of global politics about the raid's history and consequences--its political purpose, its international repercussions, its importance for the new world order, the Palestinian issue, the concept of political cooperation, help for the oppressed, the future of Islamic movements, and other issues. The various political interpretations that emerged were still beholden to the standard conception of global politics. They repeated the same defeatist theories that have been eclipsed by great political developments such as the Al-Aqsa intifadah, the intifadah in the Arab and Islamic streets, the Zionist-US attack, martyrdom operations, the blessed raid, and jihad in Chechnya, Kashmir, and Afghanistan.
We present the following clarifications in accordance with the Sharia and our political responsibility to explain matters and answer the questions posed by the blessed raid.
First: The General Political Situation before the 11 September Raid
We will focus on the basic political facts of two global hot spots--Palestine and Afghanistan. They stand in direct relation to the Zionist-US enemy. They are the crux of the struggle between the Islamic community and the Zionist-crusader enemy, the dividing line between the Islamic camp and the enemy's camp. The facts are as follows:
The Zionists defiled the Al-Aqsa Mosque under the direction of the pig Sharon and the Al-Aqsa intifadah began.
The Zionists continue to murder the Palestinian people, and especially children, women, and the elderly. This was crowned by the murder of the child Muhammad al-Durrah, whose death was captured on film as a living testimony to Zionist brutality.
The Palestinian response was harsh. It has inflicted tremendous losses on the Zionist enemy's military, economy, and media image since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa intifadah, especially after the intifadah became an armed uprising and began to use mortars and martyrdom operations. The crowning operation took place at a club in Tel Aviv. It was carried out by the Al-Qassam Brigades and killed 21 Zionists, wounding 120 of them according to Zionist sources.
Awareness of the Palestinian issue is on the increase. This has translated into solidarity with the Palestinians on the part of Arab and Islamic peoples through demonstrations. Al-Qa'ida blew up the destroyer Cole on 12 October 2000 in Adan harbor, killing 17 Americans. Another attack targeted the British Embassy in Sanaa, filling the enemy with fear at the internationalization of the Palestinian-Zionist conflict and threatening his interests and presence in the region.
Imam Bin Ladin broadcast a tape on Al-Jazirah in which he calls on the community to aid the Palestinian people, urges his followers to slaughter the enemy, and swears allegiance to the Mullah Omar, commander of the faithful.
The security of the Zionist-US enemy has undergone a dangerous decline, sparking feelings of insecurity and instability. This has translated into the flight of the children of Zion from Palestine and the closure of most of the US enemy's consulates and embassies in the Middle East and Africa.
The Zionists experience feelings of futility, regret, and disappointment over Sharon's illusory promises of security. Golad Shenanini [as transliterated] expressed this clearly when he said, "We're very disappointed because we entertained a number of illusions. And we're angry because overanxious leaders promised us a second and a third time that they would end the wars so that the children of Zion could live in peace on their land. They promised that no external danger would threaten us. But this is an illusion and there's no basis for security."(1)
The children of Zion were condemned for racism at the Durban Conference and the United States was unable to stop the condemnation. The United States withdrew from the conference in an attempt to thwart it and express its solidarity with the children of Zion.
The Zionists and Americans continue to commit crimes against our Palestinian brothers and put pressure on the quisling Arafat. The United States will ignore him until he eliminates the intifadah and arrests all who resist. He has agreed to carry out this filthy task.
Senator Mitchell was dispatched to study the facts. Months later, he produced a report that placed some of the blame on the Zionists. They rejected it even though they knew that it would aid their purpose of ending the intifadah.
US CIA Director George Tenet, a Jew(2) and a specialist on HAMAS and Islamic Jihad, also visited the region. He arrived on 6 June 2001, a date of great political significance to the Zionists, for it marks the anniversary of the June 1967 disaster. His purpose was to end the intifadah and eliminate the mujahidin by arresting members of the resistance. Naturally, this took place with the consent of certain quisling Arab countries that he visited such as Jordan and Egypt. Some Arab newspapers reported this, as well as the Zionist enemy's radio on 13 June 2001. The BBC also reported it on 16 June 2001. The motivating factor was fear of the intifadah's repercussions for the Arab and Islamic region. This came out in the Tenet report to Congress on the threats of 2001(3).
B. In Afghanistan
The mujahid Taliban implemented Islamic law in Afghanistan. For the first time in the history of Afghanistan, people began to feel secure for their lives, money, and honor. This came as a clear challenge to the Satanic culture headed by the United States and the children of Zion and brought with it the danger of the "Taliban" model's spread to neighboring Asian countries and the rest of the world.
The establishment of a youthful, independent Islamic state in the Islamic regions of Central Asia angered the enemies, the resentful, and the recalcitrant heretics. A number of them were inspired to wage a fierce campaign against the Islamic Emirate, which stood accused of implementing Islamic law, aiding Islamic issues, readying an army (which they termed sheltering terrorists), ignoring human rights, failing to observe international law, and banning music and alcoholic beverages...[ellipses as published] The main participants in this rabid attack were the United States, the European Union, the children of Zion, Russia, India, the Islamic Republics, the United Nations, most nations in the Islamic Organization, and secularists in general.
The countries of the Shanghai Organization, which includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, China, and Tajikistan, met to change its mission and goals from an economic and political alliance that confronts US hegemony to an organization that combats extremism and terror in Central Asia.
Iran, India, and Russia cooperated to support the Northern Alliance against the Islamic Emirate.
The Islamic Emirate fell victim to a complete embargo for allegedly sheltering terrorists and failing to cooperate with the United States by handing over Usama Bin Ladin. They put up barriers by land and by sea to kill the mujahid Afghan people through starvation and oppression. After this, they claim that the Taliban are the killers and oppressors.
This embargo killed more than 70,000 Afghans, including children, women, and the elderly. The Islamic Emirate lost billions of dollars that could have gone to solve the Afghan people's problems.
The Emirate began to destroy idols, mainly those of Buddha. This sparked worldwide condemnation. Certain preachers and religious scholars visited the Emirate to pressure it to go back on its decision. Thankfully, their visits redounded to the benefit of Islam and the Islamic Emirate in particular. They saw the truth of the Taliban up close and realized that the enemy's claims were propaganda. Some of them presented a pure, shining image of the Emirate in the media. The mufti of Egypt, Dr. Nasr Farid Wasil, is a living example with his testimony to the falsity of the enemy's propaganda. Their attempts backfired. The Taliban emerged victorious and the enemies were defeated because the Islamic community realized the truth before the war--if they failed in their duty to aid the Islamic Emirate, it would be an argument against them on Judgment Day.
The Emirate imprisoned a number of missionaries and tried Afghan apostates who renounced Islam for Christianity.
Ahmad Shah Mas'ud, leader of the Northern Alliance, was assassinated two days before the blessed raid. This is very significant, and we see the blessings of his assassination in the current situation in Afghanistan.
Second: The Decisive Need for the Raid
The battle with the US-Zionist enemy has begun. Striking evidence can be found in Islamic countries. The advocates of globalization/Americanization are not content with their own blatant corruption and atheism. They want to impose it by force on all humanity, including those who have accepted God's law and implemented it on their land like the Taliban movement. They follow in the footsteps of Pharaoh. The verse in the Koran reads: "Fir'aun [Pharaoh] said: 'I but point out to you that which I see (myself); nor do I guide you but to the Path of Right!'" [40:29] This is what the infidel United States does with its definition of terrorism, peace, and justice. With its policies, it sets itself up as a rival to God in His magnificence, greatness, rule, and law.
The United States is the enemy of God's faith and Muslims. It is fighting against them. The situation in Afghanistan and Palestine before the raid is the best evidence. The United States would have launched a military attack against the Islamic Emirate even if al-Qa'ida had not carried out the raid because the US economic and media attack had not achieved the desired results. Pakistan's former foreign minister explained this to the BBC on 19 September 2001, "Highly placed officials in the US Government reported in mid-July that the United States would take military measures against Afghanistan by mid-October. They reported this plan during a meeting of the Afghanistan Support Group held under UN sponsorship in Berlin. The broader goal of the operation was to have been the removal of the Taliban and the installation of a transitional government composed of Afghan moderates. Washington was going to conduct operations from its bases in Tajikistan, where there are a number o! f US advisors. Uzbekistan and Russia were also going to participate. The target date was before the first snowfall in Afghanistan."(4)
The former head of Pakistan's intelligence service said at a news conference that the United States wanted to achieve two goals by striking Afghanistan:
The mujahidin needed and expected the raid, or any other attack on US interests. It confirmed the seriousness of their political intentions and capabilities. It came as a profound reflection of their understanding of the hostility and confrontation on earth--the opposite of the wait-and-see mentality of Arab and Islamic policy, which contents itself with mere words and leaves the initiative to the enemy. The obsession with analysis means that it is always reacting.
Al-Qa'ida took the enemy by surprise with the raids on New York and Washington. Roles were reversed, and the enemy was thrown into confusion by the event. He was left looking for explanations, a prisoner of his reactions. The mujahidin were in motion, moving the battle along, a powerful factor in their favor.
This is the secret of the United States' fear of al-Qa'ida. Al-Qa'ida has hit on the correct method for fighting and defeating the United States, God willing.
Third: The Raid's Significance
The 11 September raids mark a historic turning point in international relations. The significant aspects of this event include:
Fourth: The Political and Strategic Revolution
The raids on New York and Washington and the clearly delineated struggle they produced between two poles on the political and international arena--the Islamic pole, led by Imam Bin Ladin and commander of the faithful Mullah Omar, and the Zionist-crusader pole, led by the United States--set off a fundamental revolution in political and strategic thinking. This affects traditional political ideas as much as it affects the practices of Western analysts and their hangers-on in the region.
Before the 11 September raid, the global political arena focused on sham democracy in international law and convention-based constitutions on the local level. In point of fact, these merely reinforced the dominant status quo. We find that the participants in the "democratic game" are nothing more than decoration and decor with no real influence on political and strategic decision-making. The best example is US-Zionist policy in the Security Council and the United Nations. The United Nations acts as the executive branch of US policy. The same applies to the despotic quisling regimes and their policies toward their people and political and cultural elites.
This miserable political state of affairs clearly reflects the dangerous decline of political elites, the crushing failure they have suffered through their glorification of democracy, and the political impotence that has resulted from a reliance on such mythical concepts as civil society, political participation, and development. These ideas serve only to perpetuate the status quo. In fact, they are intended to be nothing more than a narcotic to some and a soporific to others.
The blessed raid heralds a policy of renewal that removes the constraints that affect traditional, failed, backward political activity. It removes it from the political and strategic dead end where it has ended up. At the same time, it puts in place new political ideas in response to globalization/Americanization. They are capable, God willing, of confronting the octopus of US hegemony.
Every objective political thinker must note the historic fact that al-Qa'ida under the leadership of Imam Bin Ladin rescued the oppressed and downtrodden from the state of impotence, stagnation, confusion, and contradiction that had gripped them as various political bodies slowed, sickened, and died yet remained unburied. Al-Qa'ida laid the foundation for a new political line and new political concepts for the global arena--political participation, political realism, political initiative, political growth...[ellipses as published] It also set up new mechanisms that will be clarified and refined in the future, such as political and cultural guerilla war.
Fifth: Political Participation
The goal of political participation, generally speaking, is to change the terms of political decision-making by widening society's role in the process. This requires immersion in political reality, compassion for people's suffering and problems, and practical cooperation on the ground. One must go beyond the delegation of authority, shouts, and playing on emotions as practiced by officialdom (parliament, the government, political parties).
Political participation assumes many forms, from the meeting of people's basic needs (food, work, medical care) to such advanced functions as the establishment of God's rule and the punishment of tyrants. It is also influenced by political reality--for example, political participation in an oppressive quisling regime differs from participation under an Islamic government.
In light of globalization/Americanization, everyone agrees that the Arab and Islamic countries have submitted to US-Zionist hegemony. They remain colonies. Under these conditions, political participation aims to liberate Arab and Islamic countries, primarily Palestine. This requires a group to work for change by creating a political force for liberation, a vanguard for change that works on the ground (instead of limiting itself to rhetoric) and begins to organize people so that everyone participates in jihad against the imperialists and their stooges to free the country.
This applies to al-Qa'ida's blessed raid, as well as to Imam Bin Ladin's appeal to the community asking for its participation.
Like all jihad movements, al-Qa'ida is based on doctrine, ideas, education, politics, and military action. Its project is a civilization. It aims to liberate global political thought and the current political reality from the fetters of globalization-fueled US hegemony. Al-Qa'ida intends to implement its political program through a strategy of jihad. It has chosen the military option: "Through jihad and martyrdom-seeking operations we establish and preserve our faith, obtain our freedom, dignity, and pride." Naturally, this does not negate the obligation to spread the faith, educate, relieve the aggrieved, and practice compassion for the downtrodden and deprived.
They did not accept the role of decoration they were assigned by sham global democracy and the United States' criminal policy. Their political actions came as a shock to the dominant political and cultural logic, which fears the deconstruction of the failed, deceptive projects they have been based on the worship of neoliberalism and democracy.
The United States is the leader of the free world and the symbol of the liberal democracy that some madmen still worship. It has not practiced this, however, in its battle with the Taliban and al-Qa'ida. Despite the United States' tremendous media arsenal and its hegemony over most, if not all, of the media, it fears one man who was a spokesman for the Taliban. He is the mujahid Abd-al-Salam Da'if, may God set him free. The same holds true for al-Qa'ida's website.
Al-Qa'ida is an effective player on the global political arena. The raids on New York and Washington fit into this context because they aimed to change the United States' policy and reshape the US people using a language they understand--a surgical operation, a raid.
The enemy conducted such a policy of surgery on Japan and Germany. It is conducting it now on the Arab and Islamic peoples, and with some success.
Al-Qa'ida succeeded with the blessed raid. The United States made a number of political, military, and security decisions that represented a break with the past. The morale of its people also fell. Martyrdom operations caused the same thing to happen to the people of Zion.
The concept of political participation in general refers to acts of will that shape public policy--activities that one chooses to perform with the aim of influencing the public's political choices. This is how it has entered the international lexicon of sociology: "Acts of free will that individuals in a particular society undertake in order to choose their rulers and take part in shaping policy either directly or indirectly." (5)
The various forms and types of jihad are the true and ideal means of political participation in light of globalization/Americanization because real political participation consists of material action and tangible behavior, not just intentions and feelings. A strike against the economy affects politics. This is what happened to the Soviet Union in the past and to the Arab mercenaries. The same law applies to our enemy the United States.
Sixth: Political Realism
With the 11 September raid, al-Qa'ida illustrated the concept of "political realism" in action and on the ground. It made a direct and effective effort to rejuvenate the concept, unlike the demagogues who practice trickery and illusion.
As everyone knows, political realism entails an awareness of reality without excessive optimism or pessimism, a knowledge of one's capabilities, the use of realistic methods, and an unwavering commitment to one's goals. There can be no excuses about weak resources or ability. Instead, one must strive to make the best possible use of one's abilities no matter how weak or humble they may be.
This is what al-Qa'ida's mujahidin did. They stuck to their stated goal of striking the US enemy's institutions. They used realistic tools at their disposal like airplanes. God indicated in the divine verse: "And if they had wished to go forth they would assuredly have made ready some equipment, but Allah was averse to their being sent forth and held them back and (it was said unto them ) : Sit ye with the sedentary!" [9:46] The conditions of the political and military confrontation, or what can be termed the "equation of attack," require two basic conditions: will (and there is no will without belief) and preparation (moral/faith-based and material).
Seventh: The Liberation of Palestine
The school of "political trickery" tried to raise doubts about the timing of the blessed raid, as well as its political usefulness, accusing Imam Bin Ladin of recklessly endangering the Palestinian cause.
This defeatist stance is a clear expression of this faction's intellectual impoverishment on both the strategic and the political level. This is mainly a result of what can be termed the "political unconscious" that still dominates its behavior, relations, and positions. The intellectual bankruptcy of its political reasoning has many aspects. Its limited number of ideas all orbit around the same dominant concept--preserve the system. This has paralyzed their will and stupefied their political and social senses, leading them to give up on political life.
Despite its shameless laments, this school has not offered anyone a comprehensive program or even a basic concept of the means and mechanisms for liberating Palestine. It continues to hem and haw, contenting itself with flaccid, empty slogans. It has not managed to move from the stage of slogans to the stage of serious thought for a strategy and a program to liberate Palestine.
The blessed raid performed a good service for the Palestinian cause. It conveyed the seriousness of the al-Qa'ida mujahidin. They did not merely wait and watch, which is what the school of trickery does best. The difference between the two can be summed up as follows:
Suppose that a man had a painful accident and began to bleed. People gather around him repeating loudly, "This man is dying!" But no one takes the initiative to help him. Does this save the man from death? This is how the school of trickery deals with the Palestinian issue. At best, it screams and shouts in the street or on TV, condemning--as they put it--Zionist crimes. And they leave the Palestinians to die.
But what if a passerby took action and did everything he could to save the man? Would this change the dying man's prospects? This is what Imam Bin Ladin and his forces are doing.
The blessed raid benefits the Palestinian cause in a number of ways:
It brought the Palestinian issue back into an Islamic context by establishing a connection between the raid and what is happening in Palestine. This is what caused Bush to raise the issue of a Palestinian state. Naturally, we do not deny the role of jihad and martyrdom operations within Palestine.
It lured the United States into Afghanistan and the Philippines, causing it to open numerous new fronts that will exhaust it and reduce the pressure on our Palestinian brothers. This harms Zionist interests on the strategic level.
It spurred the mujahidin from Arab and Islamic countries to strike US and Zionist interests everywhere. This harms US interests and could lead it to rethink its policies.
It exposed the real defenders of the Zionist entity.
The longer the war in Afghanistan lasts, the longer the state of emergency lasts in the United States. This puts tremendous pressure on the United States, and it may retreat.
The stupid suggestions on satellite networks that the Afghan Arabs or the jihadist movement should, in general, fight jihad against the Zionists in Palestine are a reflection of political naivete or collaboration with the enemy. The reasons are as follows:
They lack strategic political thinking skills. They do not understand the scope of the struggle in Palestine and the elements involved in it.
They are the real defenders of the Zionist entity. They are harming the Palestinian cause and preventing their mujahid brothers from carrying out jihad operations against the enemy. The best example is Ghassan Bin Jiddu, who moderates the monthly program "Open Dialogue" on Al-Jazirah. He is a Shia Zionist American because his programs and comments serve three interests--his political reporting provides excessive and obvious support for Iranian positions; he condemns martyrdom operations against the Zionists; and he condemned the blessed raid against the Americans. On 31 August 2002, he prefaced his program with vile remarks that had nothing to do with journalism. An American would have been embarrassed to say such things. The context was intended to terrorize and control participants. He augmented this with a hysterical attack on a participant who described what was happening in Afghanistan as resistance against the US occupier that takes the pressure off the Palestinian! s. Bin Jiddu acted like Bush's official spokesman. He even defended the despotic quisling regimes in a response to Isam Al-Aryan on the crisis of freedom.
The following questions help to get us closer to the truth:
Who defends the children of Zion? The United States. Who defends the United States? The quisling regimes. And who defends the quisling regimes? The school of trickery.
Who prevents the mujahidin from slipping into Palestine? The quisling regimes. Who defends the quisling regimes? The school of trickery.
Who prevents people from cooperating with the mujahidin? The school of trickery denounces their actions and their opposition to the quisling regimes.
We use this occasion to voice a challenge. We say to the school of trickery: Can you offer the mujahidin logistical support in the form of money or refuge? Can you help the mujahidin get into Palestine? Or, as usual, do you continue to support regime policy?
So who really defends the children of Zion? Who really serves the Palestinian cause?
Eighth: The Downtrodden Begin To Rise Up
By the grace of God, the 11 September raid destroyed the superpower myth, the myth of an invulnerable continent guarded by two great oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific.
The power and significance of the raid on the US enemy lay not only in the loss of life and property, but also in the political message that the raid sent to the freedom-loving downtrodden who yearn for freedom, dignity, and pride. It threw US policy into confusion and chaos, the repercussions of which are still being felt. It was unexpected and unimaginable. It struck a sudden blow at the pagan god of the age--the United States--from an unexpected direction. The United States had intended to provide its citizens with total security through a missile shield to ward off any possible attack from what it called "rogue states." But the blow struck at its heart and came from people the enemy saw as lacking ideas, will, or ability.
They are the free men of this earth, the representatives of the oppressed, the real lovers of freedom, the followers of Imam Bin Ladin. Their stupid intelligence services knew nothing of him. US citizens had experienced nothing like him since their civil war in the mid-19th century.
The blessed raid was the main political turning point in modern history. It put US power on the scales. It will not be restored no matter how hard the United States tries. This is the conclusion the well-known US historian Paul Kennedy came to when he said that the real beginning of the 21st century came with the murderous strikes, which formed a dividing line in human history. No matter how hard the United States tries to regain its balance and impose its hegemony, it will not return to what it was before the collapse of its symbols--the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.
The raids on New York and Washington cut the United States down to size. The passages in the [Islamic] tradition on strength, weakness, and the vicissitudes of fate apply here to the United States. The United States' slaves deified it, thinking it capable of everything. The divine verse says, "The likeness of the life of the Present is as the rain which We send down from the skies: by its mingling arises the produce of the earth, which provides food for men and animals: (it grows) till the earth is clad with its golden ornaments and is decked out (in beauty): the people to whom it belongs think they have all powers of disposal over it: there reaches it Our command by night or by day, and We make it like a harvest clean-mown, as if it had not flourished only the day before! thus do We explain the Signs in detail for those who reflect." [10:24] This marked the beginning of the decline and stagnation. Weakness was apparent to everyone in the United States' political hysteri! a. As students of politics and history know, stagnation is usually hard to spot. Its results take time to appear. It is, God willing, an indication that the downtrodden are beginning to rise up. God said the following about this in the Koran: "And We wished to be gracious to those who were being depressed on the land, to make them leaders (in faith) and make them heirs" [28:5].
We must work to raise people's awareness of US-Zionist tyranny and the policies they pursue to maintain their tyranny and enslavement. We must reach as many people as possible so that we can finally change the balance of power with real operations on the ground.
You can feel the effects of this rising consciousness in what people say and in the popular marches condemning US-Zionist terror, in the demonstrations opposing globalization/Americanization, and in the operations that target their symbols. The downtrodden, oppressed, and destitute are united in their fight against US-Zionist tyranny.
The wretched of the earth are unhappy with the policy of US-Zionist hegemony that tries to enslave people. Their dissatisfaction is rising. Revelation, history, and the blessed raid tell us that in the end the downtrodden will rise up to confront tyranny. The fear that is the foundation for continuing tyranny and oppression will pass away in as the dissatisfaction grows. As the enslavement grows worse, so will the unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and desire for liberation. The unhappier a person is, the greater his desire to challenge and change reality.
We take this opportunity to inform our mujahid brothers in Palestine, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Kashmir, and the Philippines, as well as right-thinking scholars, that a decisive defeat awaits US tyranny. The installation of Bush in the United States, and of his faithful scion Sharon over the children of Zion, is a great good for the community. Our Lord was correct when He said, "Fighting is prescribed upon you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not." [2:216]
Has the United States achieved its stated goals? Has it eliminated al-Qa'ida and the Taliban? Has it succeeded in capturing Imam Bin Ladin and the commander of the faithful, Mullah Omar? Has it discovered their whereabouts? Or is the United States in a state of confusion? Has it achieved peace and security for the Afghan people? Who rules Afghanistan today? The Taliban or Karzai? Or has the United States changed its views and goals? Is the attack on civilians in Afghanistan, the barbaric treatment of the Guantanamo detainees, its turning on its allies--from the quisling Saudi ruler to the quisling Arafat to the Egyptian quisling--a sign of the political confusion that afflicts it and an attempt to deflect attention from its crushing defeat in Afghanistan, the Philippines, and Palestine? Does changing the quisling Egyptian for the quisling Sudani fit into this context? Have the old quislings outlived their usefulness? Does the warmongering over Iraq come from a reluctance! to reveal the truth to the stupid US people? Is this a policy of flight into the future? Or is this part of a calculated strategy?
The United States lost the battle in Afghanistan. It has achieved nothing worth noting beyond the murder of innocent civilians. The real rulers of Afghanistan are the Taliban and al-Qa'ida. We find sufficient proof of this in the fact that the head of this fabricated state is guarded and defended by Americans. They do not trust the mujahid people--or even mercenaries--because they know well that vengeance awaits the traitors. This is the fate that befell Karzai's deputy. The United States, Karzai, and the international alliance are part of a historical and political farce...[ellipses as published]
The Taliban, al-Qa'ida, and all of the jihad movements have become more dangerous than before. They now possess strategic political consciousness based on the magnanimous teachings of Islam, a precise awareness of the enemy's plans and tactics, the history of the community's struggle, and serious preparation for the confrontation. This is the opposite of the quisling Arab countries. As everyone knows, they entered the First World War on the British side and fought against the Ottoman caliphate. Britain rewarded them with imperialism--it gave Palestine to the Zionists, transferred the Arab's natural wealth to the West, and oppressed the Islamic peoples. The same holds true for their alliance with the United States against Iraq. They were rewarded for the Madrid Conference and the Oslo agreements. They are the allies of the United States and the children of Zion against the mujahidin in Palestine and Afghanistan, and we see their reward in the current straits of the quisli! ng Arafat, the Egyptian quisling, the Saudi quisling...[ellipses as published]
Has the time come to benefit from history, or are our hearts locked up?(6)
(1) Ma'arev, 23 May 2001.
(2) See the newspaper Al-Bayan, UAE, 15 June 2001, Political Dossier.
(3) See the State Department's Arabic-language site: http://usinfo.state.gov/arabic
(4) See Al-Watan, Hamid al-Ali, 22 September 2001.
(5) McCloskey, H. Political Participation, p. 253.
(6) The final phrase is a reference to a verse in the Koran: "Do they not then earnestly seek to understand the Koran, or are their hearts locked up by them?" [47:24]
Learning Lessons From the Raids on New York and Washington
Abu Sa'd Al-Amili
Praise to the Lord God, who said, "Let not the Unbelievers think that they can get the better (of the godly): they will never frustrate (them)." [8:59] I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, the one and the everlasting, the magnificent and the proud, who does what He will. I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Prophet, who says, "God gathered together for me the earth and I saw the whole of it. The domain of my community is what was gathered together for me" [Muslim]. He said, "This will extend as far as the day and the night, and God will leave no house among either the settled peoples or the nomads but that he bring His faith into it--pride to the proud or lowliness to the lowly. God strengthens the proud with Islam and lays low the infidels" [related by Ahmad and Al-Tabarani]. Blessings upon his family, his companions, and his followers in charity until the Day of Judgment.
There can be no doubt that the times bring with them vicissitudes, for the truth has its supporters and falsehood has its allies. No matter how high falsehood's banner flies, or how bright its star shines, the supporters of the truth will bring it to naught: "And say: "Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish." [17:81]; "Nay, We hurl the Truth against falsehood, and it knocks out its brain, and behold, falsehood doth perish!" [21:18]
The traditions establish that God sometimes sets up His enemies over the supporters of the truth by a stroke of fate. This happens when the supporters of truth lag behind in power and ability and stray from the true path. Their enemies gain the material advantage and they emerge victorious over the supporters of the truth.
Yet at the same time, we cannot say that these periods are entirely evil, for they can bring great good to the supporters of the truth. It brings them face to face with falsehood that they might taste its brutality and humiliation. This then spurs them on to overcome the defeat and restore the natural, lawful state of affairs: "And never will Allah grant to the Unbelievers a way (to triumph) over the Believers." [4:141]
The Islamic community has gone through dark times. It has strayed far from the way of its Lord and its enemies have held sway over it. Yet no sooner has it sought to put things right then they have returned to their rightful state: "Ye are the best of Peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah." [3:110] The community's most recent series of missteps took place after the toppling of the Ottoman caliphate in the first quarter of the last century, when the forces of unbelief and apostasy gained control over the centers of power. They divided the Islamic community into fragmented parts. They set up borders and barriers to isolate the peoples and prevent them from returning to their religion so that they might remedy their affairs. Despite all this, groups espousing the truth emerged from under the weight of humiliation and disparagement. Scattered here and there, these groups gave whatever they could, swam against ! the current, and opposed all man-made customs and laws. They revived the duty of jihad in people's souls and restored hope in a return to the quest to end subjugation, humiliation, and abasement. They have achieved what they worked for and what God willed for them according to His judgment, destiny, and wisdom inasmuch as they serve His faith and His way.
Al-Qa'ida spearheaded this caravan of change. It was the living conscience of the community, the beating heart of resistance to all that is negative, an attempt to raise up the community to restore its pioneering role and status.
Al-Qa'ida--the base of the jihad--brings together the jihad experience of the past decades, both within our countries and in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya. It includes groups of the victorious from all places, firstly, to help Muslims on this earth: "but if they seek your aid in religion, it is your duty to help them, except against a people with whom ye have a treaty of mutual alliance." [8:72]; and secondly, to perform the obligation of jihad: "Go ye forth, (whether equipped) lightly or heavily, and strive and struggle, with your goods and your persons, in the Cause of Allah" [9:41]; and thirdly, to perform the duty of preparation: "Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war" [8:60].
This organization represents a rare and valuable blend that came together at God's behest and beneath His eyes, as though God had prepared it for these times and what will follow them: "...[ellipses as published] and (this) in order that thou mayest be reared under Mine eye...[ellipses as published] Then didst thou come hither as ordained, O Musa!" [20:39-40] Moses was reared under Pharaoh's arms, though Pharaoh met his end at Moses' hand by God's will and decree some years later. God's prophet Moses was not raised by Pharaoh's hand but by the hand of God and beneath His eyes. He was raised not in Pharaoh's castle: "And I have prepared thee for Myself (for service)." [20:40]. God the Most High put Pharaoh and his realm to His use to rear Moses in body, in mind, and even in knowledge as a means of making what was fated come to pass. These are the qualities that every leader needs, let alone an awaited prophet. The key ingredients of spirit and faith Moses received outside! the palace and far from Pharaoh's pollution and corruption. "Truly Fir'awn elated himself in the land and broke up its people into sections, depressing a small group among them: their sons he slew, but he kept alive their females: for he was indeed a maker of mischief." [28:4] This is what his successor, the United States, has done along with its Hamans and their armies in this age. They have spread every form of corruption on earth and combated and throttled every attempt at reform.
Moses received his upbringing in the faith under God's watchful eye in a pure, unblemished atmosphere: "Verily I am thy Lord! therefore (in My presence) put off thy shoes: thou art in the sacred valley Tuwa. I have chosen thee: listen, then to the inspiration (sent to thee)." [20:12-13]
We see that the truth of this verse is repeated today. The mujahidin of al-Qa'ida were brought up and gained military and security experience under the nose of the crusader and apostate forces during the Afghan jihad against communist forces. They at times received material and logistical support from them. The crusaders and apostates were like a man who digs his own grave and destroys his own home. God sent down on the pharaoh of this age--the United States--and its allies great signs consisting of many and varied woes(1).
These woes continue on every level. The most recent were the fires, floods, and storms that God sent down to distract pharaoh/America. What is to come is greater, more terrible, and bitterer still.
We now mark the anniversary of the great jihad strike at the United States' heart, or what is properly called in Islamic terminology the raid on New York and Washington. New York represented a profound economic raid and victory, while Washington represented a military and political victory.
Before the blessed raid, the United States thought of itself as a divinity and overlord because people submitted to it and obeyed it: "I am your Lord, most high." [79:24]; "no god do I know for you but myself" [28:38] It thought that it would continue to rule over all and sundry until the end of time, especially after the political and economic collapse of communism cleared the way for it to spread its gospel without heed or constraint. Despite the presence of a few Islamic movements here and there in certain countries, the United States considered them mere soap bubbles that would soon vanish in the absence of effective leadership to gather together the scattered remnants of their forces. We find proof of this in the United States' failure to pay sufficient attention to the jihad groups that helped to destroy the communist system. It viewed them as a group of mercenaries who came to take their share of the booty from this devastating war. After helping to eliminate the ! communist system, they would set out in search of new opportunities to slake their thirst. They did, in fact, set out for new lands like the Balkans, and especially Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Kosovo, Somalia, and the Caucasus (Dagestan and Chechnya). This became another Afghanistan. Last but not least, jihad groups have begun to battle the apostate regimes in our occupied countries(2).
It never occurred to the Americans and their allies that the day would come when these fighting groups would unite in a tight-knit organization to continue the adventure of jihad, let alone confront and threaten their presence as is happening today.
Many varied lessons have been learned from this raid. There is, however, unanimous agreement that this raid succeeded in influencing the course of events on all levels. This applies to politics, the economy, the military, and society, both in enemy entities and within the community itself. The beginning of the third millennium bears the fingerprints of jihad. These surprise attacks will be, by God's power, the beginning of the end for the enemies of God and the end of the setbacks, humiliations, and debasement for God's servants and his allies, the mujahidin.
The earthquake was powerful, and the fissures and cracks it caused run deep and wide. It would be difficult to mend them and restore the status quo. The blow came as a surprise to everyone. This is the essence of the Prophet's wisdom and the soundest application of his advice: "War is deception." He also said, "Today we raid them; they will not raid us."
I pause on some of the instructive aspects of the blessed raid, for the beloved brothers can cover the remaining topics of faith, strategy, and politics.
We begin by noting the most important differences between the raid and the other raids--more accurately, battles--that jihad groups fought against the forces of unbelief and apostasy. We then discuss the chief qualities of the men who carried out the raid. We then turn to the profound effect the raid had on people's souls in and around the struggle. Finally, we ask, what are the duties these groups must perform for the struggle to take its natural course as ordained by the tradition? The remainder of the article will focus on these issues.
First: The Main Characteristics of the Raid
The raid was purely religious in nature. The mujahidin's stated aims were to strike the enemy in order to expel him from the Arabian Peninsula in keeping with the prophet's order: "Expel the polytheists from the Arabian Peninsula." This slogan had been forgotten, but it calls for the unification of all the scattered Muslims and mujahidin to restore the caliphate and reunite the community. The enemy surely realized this. He confirmed the religious nature of the raid when he declared a crusade against the mujahidin in particular and against the community in general.
The raid was complete. It covered all of the crucial areas. It was not military or traditional, as in previous battles, for it extended to culture, the media, and the economy as well. War has become more complex, requiring soldiers of exceptional ability and skill, not to mention the faith and commitment to jihad that set them apart from the enemy. The raid aroused the feelings of the mujahidin and their supporters, hardening their resolve to sharpen their skills and seek out the enemy's weak spots. This was missing in the past, when the mujahidin suffered from dejection, fear, and a feeling of inferiority.
The battle has become more complex and varied, stretching the enemy's forces thin. This is why they are weak in confronting the mujahidin, let alone eliminating them, as they dreamed of doing before the war. Each time the mujahidin succeed in broadening the field of battle, they succeed in weakening the enemy and confusing him, drawing nearer to victory and turning the enemy's methods against him.
The raid took place on enemy soil. All of the previous battles occurred far from the United States. Losses to the United States' military and economic infrastructure were minimal or non-existent, and US security in general did not suffer. Now things have changed. The United States has become the main battleground. War scorches the United States' economic and military institutions, as well as its people. This is something new for Americans. They cannot stand it for a moment, let alone years. In and of itself, this is the greatest victory over them and the greatest danger to their future.
The raid came as a surprise and its continuation is a mystery. "For they (the mujahidin) watch you from a position where ye (the enemies of God) cannot see them..." [7:27]
This is the true, profound meaning of the prophet's utterance: "War is deception." He also said, "Today we raid them; they will not raid us." The raid must take the enemy at unawares. This is what the tradition has preserved of our prophet's teachings on war. It is a strong point that tips the scales in war and confuses the enemy.
The mujahidin took the enemy by surprise twice in this blessed raid. The first surprise was when they struck the enemy on his own soil even as he expected the blow to come abroad. The second surprise was the surprise itself. Despite the enemy's boasts after the fact that he knew, he had done nothing to prepare himself. Everyone knows that this is a lie to make excuses for his impotence and his intelligence agencies' inability to defend him.
The continuation remains a mystery because the enemy--despite his numbers, ammunition, and material resources--has been unable to get at the real strength of the mujahidin, let alone learn their exact numbers or location. Eliminating them will be more difficult still. They are fighting people they cannot see, and they cannot parry their blows. This is the tip of the spear for the mujahid groups, a new weapon in war. This is the riddle that continues to baffle the enemy and tip the scales in the mujahidin's favor on the battlefield, God willing.
The war goes on. The enemy continues to bleed on all levels, especially economically, which is his strong point and backbone. All current indicators show that the mujahidin need only a short time to administer the coup de grace to the enemy by destroying what remains of his economy. This is what he is still proud of and what he uses as a magic wand to tame the disobedient or to lure them into his orbit. The first signs of collapse are on the horizon. Every day we hear of new scandals in the enemy's economic institutions. The list of bankrupt companies is growing longer. Each day, the United States draws nearer the abyss.(3)
Surprises will continue to gladden the hearts of the believers and sadden the enemies of God, with sudden strikes and covert planning and execution.
Second: The Qualities of Those Behind the Raid
We begin by noting that the blessed raid managed to provide the community with the rare examples it needed to emerge from the state of oppression, torpor, and servility it had been in for decades. These men--the leadership and the base--have today become a model for the community to emulate. They bring together young and old in the hopes of imitating them as the highest possible ideal. How could they not do so, when they distinguished themselves through the following:
These heroes sacrificed everything they had to aid their faith. From the first day they joined the forces of truth, they knew that this oath of allegiance would demand a great deal of them (4). They gave up everything except what pleases God. They embraced faith, and in doing so opposed all [man-made] customs and laws. They sacrificed many material bounties and human ties, and when they heard the call of jihad, they gave up everything else to prepare themselves for the blessed jihad wherever jihad is fought and there are mujahidin. They traveled from country to country, seeking martyrdom and nothing else. Finally, they reached the end of the line, where God selected them to join the band of martyrs--"He may take to Himself from your ranks martyr-witnesses (to Truth)." [3:140]--as an offering for the community to bring it out of abasement and oppression. They gave themselves up cheaply in this sacred raid, knowing that there would be after it no return to this fleeting ea! rth. Instead, they advanced and entered the gardens of eternity, God willing. This was the last link in the chain of great sacrifices in the journey of faith, exile, and jihad.
One of the most important qualities that distinguishes the jihad organization from ordinary Islamic groups is that the movements of its members must be exact and calculated. Nothing must be wasted.
We saw what a profound role this played in the practice of the heroes who gave their lives in the raid, as well as those who are waiting within the organization to cause the enemy more pain, suffering, and harm.
They would not have accomplished what they accomplished and they would have not gained the high martyrdom they gained--to be with their Lord--were it not for their discipline and obedience to their leadership.
Many people claim to fight jihad and want to inflict harm on the enemy. But few of these people have sufficient courage to overcome the material and moral obstacles to carry out their claims. A Muslim may want to join a jihad group or organization, especially one on the level of al-Qa'ida, but when he gets the opportunity, he finds himself reviewing his calculations and connections with this world. At the last moment, he pulls out. He cannot overcome the first barrier. If he does manage to overcome it, he finds himself facing a second barrier--the barrier of exile. In most cases, he must leave his job, his profession, his family, and his tribe to join the ranks of the mujahidin. Very, very few people have the courage needed to overcome this second barrier.
If he overcomes this successfully, he will find himself facing a third barrier--joining the battle in deed and in act, rather than in word. This is the highest summit of Islam. When they overcome these three barriers--and the heroes of the raid overcame them successfully--they find themselves facing the last barrier. They must offer their souls to their Creator and place their lives in His hands. They race to their Maker, crying, "We have hurried to Your side, our Lord, that You might be pleased." Then they have risen up to the summit of jihad, which is martyrdom in the path of God to aid His faith and inflict harm on His enemies. They were only able to overcome these obstacles with unique courage. This is the power of the divine that overcomes all barriers.
4. Balance of Theory and Practice
One of the accusations the tyrants level at the mujahidin--an accusation echoed by some cowardly defeatists among Muslim preachers--is that the mujahidin are ignorant of Islamic law and that they follow their leaders out of emotion, compulsion, or other factors. This is an old accusation that dogged the prophets and their followers: "nor do we see that any follow thee but the meanest among us, in judgment immature" [11:27]; "And keep thy soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face; and let not thine eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this Life; nor obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds." [18:28]
The young people in jihad groups, including the heroes of the blessed raid, have not escaped this accusation. They were, however, beyond reproach. They knew the basic principles of the faith, the principles of unbelief and apostasy. They put their knowledge into practice in accordance with God's law and the practice of His prophet, the prophet's companions, and the righteous forbears. Their theory and practice were in harmony as they carried out the orders of their Lord. They did not act out of ignorance, fanaticism, vengeance, or flight from this life, as the enemies would have it, as well as the cowardly preachers of false change.(5)
Jihad brought forth these unique examples, who remind us of the companions of the prophet. The unique generation of the Koran says what it does and does what it says. It obeys the law of piety. It is disciplined. It shows great courage in carrying out these orders. It sacrifices everything of value it possesses to please God and God alone.
Third: The Raid's Influence on the Souls of Men
Before we discuss the raid's influence, we need to enumerate the groups that were influenced, both positively and negatively, by the raid. I would like to note that this is the crux of the matter, for it cuts to the heart of the struggle between truth and falsehood. Because of its centrality to the struggle, it can tip the scales in one direction or the other: "He it is that hath strengthened thee with His aid and with (the company of) the Believers" [8:62] We cannot deny the enormous, and possibly decisive, role of the human factor in this battle. This is what we will try to show in what follows, God willing, for we are focusing on the instructional aspect of the raids on New York and Washington. This will give many people a chance to review their stance or hold fast to their beliefs. In the future, the new crusade will progress against the Islamic community in general and the mujahidin in particular.
We can classify these groups in terms of their importance and their connection to the struggle:
Some supporters stand alongside the mujahidin in the trenches with their souls, their money, and everything they have. They have linked their fate to the mujahidin and to jihad. They no longer have any earthly possessions or positions to lose or to fear for. They are an indispensable part of the jihad community. They obey its commands and prohibitions. They let the interests of jihad be their guide. These are the thousands of young people who have traveled to the land of jihad and joined the ranks of the mujahidin. Some of them are participating directly in battle. Others are still in training. Others have spread out in the cities waiting to play their role in the war at the right time and place. They are always ready to do their part.
This group is highly disciplined and organized. They are the long arm of the jihad community. The enemy calls them "sleeper cells." In reality, they are cells of wakefulness and awareness. This is why the enemy cannot and will not discover them until they carry out their missions with God's protection.
Another category of supporter has not yet arrived at the battlefield. Some of them are practicing voluntary jihad in enemy territory, others are practicing compulsory jihad and carrying out their duty to render assistance on Muslim lands occupied by the crusader infidels such as Afghanistan, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. They face obstacles and borders that prevent them from carrying out these missions. They are present everywhere, especially in Islamic countries ruled by apostate regimes. They long to worship God through jihad, yet they lack the necessary training and are waiting to obtain it. We find that they do many things to help the mujahidin, either through preaching, economic activity, or security. At the same time, they try to prepare themselves for compulsory jihad in their countries under apostate occupation. They are well aware that there is no difference between the crusader infidels and the apostate rulers--jihad is necessary against all of them. They are ! two sides of the same coin. They realize that it is a nearer and more pressing priority to fight the apostate than the infidel.
The raid against New York taught them that they are the second line, always ready to confront the crusaders. The raid left them with a feeling of pride and power mixed with a feeling of care and caution. They saw the enemies prostrate, in flight, powerless to pursue the mujahidin or stop their movements. This made them work harder and place greater faith in God to keep on and inflict harm on the enemy. It is as though they were saying, "When the Believers saw the Confederate forces they said: "This is what Allah and His Messenger had promised us, and Allah and His Messenger told us what was true." And it only added to their faith and their zeal in obedience." [33:22]
They are the hidden forces, eminently capable of changing the course of events. They are patient, waiting for orders and the chance to carry out the missions entrusted to them. They make do with the smallest rations and the humblest ammunition. They are a new type of soldier. The enemy has not encountered the likes of them before and does not know how to identify them, let alone eliminate them. If they should fall into the enemy's hands, he will not be able to extract anything from them and God will sow grief in their hearts.
In their fealty unto death, effort, generosity, and sacrifice, they remind us of the supporters of the prophet at Al-Aqabah and Badr, on the day of Al-Ridwan's oath, the day of the Al-Ahzab raid, and other immortal occasions. With such supporters we can triumph and push back the enemy. Jihad has no meaning without supporters, both overt and covert.
The Hypocrites and Defeatists
Throughout history, the battlefield has never been free of them. They were the chief support for the camp of falsehood even during the age of prophets and messengers. Their presence was a virtually indispensable part of the struggle, a basic prop in falsehood's foundation. Without them, falsehood can do little against truth. This is why the allies of the truth cannot ignore this group. They must replenish their arsenal to deal with them and keep them under control.
This group is famous for its prattle and its calls for struggle and fight in times of ease: "He said: "Is it not possible, if ye were commanded to fight, that ye will not fight?" They said: "How could we refuse to fight in the cause of Allah, seeing that we were turned out of our homes and our families?" But when they were commanded to fight, they turned back, except a small band among them. But Allah has full knowledge of those who do wrong." [2:246] Would that they had merely fled the battle, but they went farther than this. They lambasted the mujahidin and accused them in the terms their enemies had contrived in order to misrepresent them and drive people away from them. They did this to continue their chatter far from the field of action and deeds.
Before the blessed raid on New York, these hypocrites and defeatists still had a fig leaf to cover up their shame. They filled the world with their clamorous sermons and strange legal rulings. People sought them out for solutions to their problems--chiefly to maintain worldly positions and possessions. But after the blessed raid, all of these fig leaves fell away and the imposters' shame was revealed. They foamed and frothed, using their legal rulings and rhetoric to denounce the blessed jihad operations, describing them as barbarous, un-Islamic acts whose perpetrators were merciless beasts. They offered the most sincere condolences to the enemy. Overcome by pity for the "innocents," some of them went nearly so far as to call the dead martyrs.
They are driven by jealousy and hatred for the virtuous, sincere mujahid preachers because this jihad exposes them and reveals the truth of who they are to people. They are nothing but cowards who capitulate under pressure. They accept crumbs and operate within the limited realm of freedom that the apostate regimes grant them. Their faith is partial and distorted. They accept the rulers' whims and policies, doing nothing to awaken Muslims' zeal or to direct them to their obligation to spread the word, guard public morals, and fight jihad.
This group is not content merely to shirk jihad and abandon the mujahidin. They seek to dissuade people and spread lies and biased propaganda to prevent people from fighting jihad or aiding the mujahidin (6). This is why they are dangerous. The allies of the truth must pay attention to their vile, despicable role and deal with them decisively. This is absolutely necessary. It would not be wise to leave these vile individuals any chance to play their dangerous role in security or isolation. They must be countered harshly to cut them down to size and expose them publicly so that their actions backfire.
The Middle of the Road: "Those who would have listened to them"
These are the ones who follow the middle path between the supporters of the truth and the hypocrites and defeatists. They always need someone to remind them of their obligations to their faith. If you leave them unattended for even a short time, you will find that they have changed course, broken ranks, and joined the defeatists: "some among you who would have listened to them" [9:47] You find them repeating their doubts without understanding or awareness. They stray from pious practice even as they spread the word and struggle with falsehood.
It is as if they were saying what the tribe of Israel said to Moses: "They said: "We have had (nothing but) trouble, both before and after thou camest to us." [7:129] Their positions are similar. It is as though they drank from the same spring and were predisposed to grumbling and complaining of the burdens in God's path. They want God to grant them paradise on earth and in the afterlife without their doing anything in the path of God.
Before the blessed raid, these people experienced some trouble with the apostate tyrants and the infidel crusaders, whether inside our occupied countries or in the lands of unbelief. This trouble consisted of repeated constraints on activities that set them apart from the enemies, especially in terms of outward conduct. After the raid, this trouble increased and the constraints multiplied to touch on some of their worldly interests. This angered them, and they blamed the pious mujahidin as the sole direct cause of their problems.
"We had trouble before the raid and we have more trouble and greater constraints after the raid. We are losing many gains, and numerous doors are shutting in our faces. May God withhold his blessing from the raid and whoever was behind it." These are the curses this group repeats as the trials and ordeals continue. This will only get worse as the war goes on between the mujahidin and their enemies--the alliance of crusaders, Jews, and apostates.
This group will continue to be unhappy with the state of affairs until something changes inside it and it decides to move to a higher level of commitment and responsibility. The middle-of-the-road group, "those who would have listened," will not go away and we cannot eliminate it completely. But we can direct their attention to statements of the truth so that "those who would have listened" join the ranks of the mujahidin, if only to offer help and support instead of adopting a hostile, defeatist position.
Statements by the mujahidin in al-Qa'ida and those who support them have had a great influence on many people. They are now able to exert a positive influence and have won for themselves a prominent and respected status, as even their enemies attest. The best proof of this is the great fear that the mujahidin's speeches and statements have caused among the enemy. The enemy has rushed to close all media outlets to the mujahidin and their supporters to block their dangerous influence. The middle-of-the-road group has gradually come to pay more attention to the mujahidin's statements now that it is a prisoner of the tyrants' rhetoric.
This is a fairly large group. They do not belong to any of the aforementioned groups. Their most important characteristic is that they are inclined to join the supporters of the truth. In time of war, they prefer to remain far from the trenches and wait for the outcome. They may applaud and greet the victories of the mujahidin, but they never take part either in word or in deed, because they fear the enemy or they are not entirely convinced that they should confront him. They are content to be spectators. They do not work against falsehood or support the truth. The Koranic verse that applies to them is: "(They are) distracted in mind even in the midst of it, being (sincerely) for neither one group nor for another." [4:143]
As long as the battle leaves them unscathed, they will stick to this neutral position. This is, in a way, good for the mujahidin. It is better than if they were swelling the ranks of falsehood and supporting it, or in the category of "those who would listen...[ellipses as published]"
Their position on the struggle depends on the enemy's attitude toward them. Their position is fluid. The more pressure the enemy puts on them, they closer they get to the enemy and closer they are to joining his camp. They do not play a direct role in the struggle.
On the other hand, each time the mujahidin score a victory or an advance, or draw closer to a final victory, we see them gather around them to express their joy. Many of them join the ranks of Islam and expand Islam's realm, as the verse indicates: "When comes the Help of Allah, and Victory, And thou dost see the People enter Allah's Religion in crowds, Celebrate the Praises of thy Lord, and pray for His Forgiveness: for He is Oft-Returning (in Grace and Mercy)." [110:1-3]
If one examines the struggle between the people of truth and faith led by al-Qa'ida and the Taliban and the people of falsehood and unbelief led by the United States, one finds many examples of people who are considered to be part of Islam or who claim to be part of Islam. We see them waiting on the sidelines, watching the battle without doing anything to aid the truth, though the nature of the battle is clear and the lines have been drawn. You sometimes see them disparaging and distorting the image of the mujahidin, arguing that this is the wrong time to engage the enemy, or that this could impede the task of spreading the word and distort it in the eyes of non-Muslims. If they had adopted a neutral position and remained spectators, it would have been better for them. They would have saved the mujahidin the effort of responding to them and their accusations and engaging in marginal skirmishes that sap the energy we need to combat the enemies' lies and destroy what remai! ns of his pride.
It is as though these spectators were saying, "Our hearts are with you from now on, but our tongues are waiting to see what the battle will bring before they speak. We're sorry, but our hands are tied." The majority of Muslims today are in this position.
Silence and waiting, indifference and torpor, grief and pain--nothing is translated into action. Many of these people have lost even the ability to respond negatively. They no longer have time to observe or wait. You see them spending their time on leisure or chasing after a crust of bread polluted by humiliation and abasement in the shadow of an infidel, apostate regime.
The blessed raid had a great influence on these souls, yet they hid their heads in the sand of indifference. They try to lose themselves in the cares of daily life to escape the need to help and support the mujahidin.
The correct attitude toward these people is to maintain a ray of hope that they will join the ranks of the supporters. We must maintain good relations with them through fruitful cooperation, kind words, hard work, and ongoing sacrifice in the hopes that this will eventually win over their hearts and bring them over to the truth. This is a far better and surer method than declaring war on them.
These are the most important groups on and around the battlefield. Some participate directly in this crusade. Others participate indirectly. Others still are neutral observers awaiting the outcome of the battle. The common denominator between these groups is that they were influenced to varying degrees by the blessed raid. Their circumstances and behavior changed, as did their way of thinking. The raid was like a violent earthquake that caused fundamental changes in their souls, ideas, and behavior. If it is correct to give it a name, then the new war that began successfully in New York and Washington should be called World War Three because of the great changes and widening fissures it has caused in the enemy edifice.
As we bring this study to a close, we must note that the raid awakened the community and opened its eyes to the dangers and ruses that served to subjugate it, exploit it, and corrupt it. Al-Qa'ida under the leadership of Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin and the Taliban under the leadership of the commander of the faithful, Mullah Omar, revived the duty and practice of jihad. They also succeeded in gathering together the scattered mujahidin in tight-knit organizations with a detailed plan to defend the interests of Islam. To this end, they sacrificed property, prestige, and power. Thanks to this blessed raid, Muslims regained their understanding of the Koran and the tradition as though the revelation had been handed down anew. Many neglected legal concepts also returned to take the place of the pre-Islamic ignorance that had intruded on the community. Muslims began to regain something of their pride, even if this came at the price of the pain and cruelty the infidels and apostates ! inflicted. Muslims were feared, and the enemy took them seriously.
A large part of the victory and empowerment God had promised His servants has come to pass. Only a small part remains. But it requires of us--believers, mujahidin, and their supporters--that we hold fast to our faith and its values, that we obey rightly guided leadership, and that we stand strong in the way of jihad and martyrdom. This is the path of salvation and sovereignty, and it will bring defeat upon our enemies. Tomorrow will come soon enough for those with eyes to look: "They see the (Day) indeed as a far-off (event): But We see it (quite) near." [70:6-7]
(1) See our article, "If ye are suffering hardships, they are suffering similar hardships" [4:104] in vol. 5 of Al-Ansar.
(2) One notes the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat in Algeria and the Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines as the best examples of this type of jihad.
(3) See the article "America Draws Nearer the Abyss" on the Neda web site, Center for Islamic Research and Studies.
(4) See our series of articles: "The Third Oath of Aqabah," Al-Ansar, Nos. 9, 10, 11, 12, 14.
(5) We will treat these categories in separate articles, God willing, in forthcoming issues of Al-Ansar.
(6) See the article by Sayf-al-Din al-Ansari, "Thou shouldst have known them by their marks" [47:30], Al-Ansar, No. 12.