Wednesday, 23 July 2008


The Islamic 'other' in film

By Sukant Chandan*

Docu-dramas, documentary films and feature films are
perhaps some of the most influential media by which we
develop our political perceptions and prejudices. This has
been recognised long ago and put to use on a mass scale
during the Second World War, when films were used to rally
the masses in the Allied countries against Hitlerite
fascism. It was a time when the US made films celebrating
Soviet guerrilla martyr attacks against the Nazi
occupation, such as in the film North Star. The US has ever
since pumped massive amounts of resources into this medium
through the cinema, TV and more recently the internet.

With the emergence of the internet, online video file
sharing and peer-to-peer download services in the last
decade, the grip of the big production houses have
decreased, and people now have relatively more access than
before to a more complex and critical understanding of
politics and culture. Documentary films have also played a
major role in shaping public opinion, and perceptions of
the 'Other'. The Other being non-white people generally,
but today specifically focused on Muslims and Islamists
which, we are told, do not share or are against 'our'

Perhaps the most well-known example of a documentary film
that has shaped public opinion is Michael Moore's
Fahrenheit 9/11. Many other films have had an impact on
political discourses which are defining our time:
Islamophobia, Western initiated war and occupation, or in
the words of the world's self-proclaimed standard bearers
of democracy: "full spectrum dominance" and "shock and

While it is often US-made films that receive most
attention, there have perhaps been more interesting and
nuanced films made in Britain. Such films include White
Girl, Mark of Cain, Britz and several documentaries,
especially on the issue of Palestine.

Michael Moore and Nick Broomfield's films have been
commercial successes. However one is not so sure that they
have been successful in assisting their mass audiences in
understanding Muslims and their struggles for independence
such as in Iraq or Palestine or throughout the Muslim world

Fahrenheit 9/11 is seen by many as an insightful critique
of US government reaction to 9/11, but it fails to give any
insight into US foreign policy in the Middle East, policies
that have led many in the region to view the 9/11 attacks
as a reaction against the oppression of Arabs and Muslims
over generations. Unsurprisingly criticism of the film has
come from the Right, however it is important that people
who oppose Western arrogance do not let Moore off the hook
as Muslims are given no time whatsoever in representing
themselves. Robert Jensen's review of the film has been one
the few critiques from a progressive point of view. He
states: "The sad truth is that Fahrenheit 9/11 is a bad
movie, but not for the reasons it is being attacked in the
dominant culture. It's at times a racist movie. And the
analysis that underlies the film's main political points is
either dangerously incomplete or virtually incoherent."

Jensen argues that there is no fair representation of
Muslims in the film, and the representation of countries
like Morocco are far from respectful, let alone inline with
challenging racism and prejudice. While the film
contributed to the climate of mass opposition in the West
to the Iraq war, it failed to give any understanding of
what Muslims are thinking and doing about their oppression;
rather the only portrayal in the film of Muslims was the
rich Gulf Arabs (the Bin Laden family who are one of the
main construction industrialists in the region) who are in
cahoots with Bush and Co. Jensen spoke about his criticisms
of the film, saying that at the time of writing his review
he was too soft on the movie and explains: "Since the end
of WWII, there has been bipartisan support for US attempts
to dominate the politics of the Middle East. Republican and
Democratic administrations alike have pursued illegal and
immoral policies, using overt and covert violence. This
didn't start with George W Bush and won't end when he's out
of office. Moore's movie failed to offer any coherent
analysis of the historical and political context for Bush's
failed wars, and hence did little to help viewers deepen
their understanding."

Broomfield's recently released Battle for Haditha on the
other hand does feature Iraqi protagonists in the community
where the massacre took place as well as persons involved
in the Iraqi resistance. This film was expected to be a
critical film of the now notorious massacre of 24 men,
women and children by US marines in November 2005. While
the film does show the gung-ho nature of the Marines, it
fails to depict the Iraqis accurately. Iraqis are a proud
people with a long history and tradition of
multi-confessional Iraqi, Arab and Islamic culture which
includes a deep sense of patriotism which they have
defended against colonialism of the past and today against

Battle of Haditha treats the Iraqi resistance in an even
more problematic manner than that of the Iraqi
non-combatants. One of the main resistance fighters is a
drunk and joins the struggle due to financial reasons,
while the Islamist resistance leader, a cleric, is a very
shady and manipulative character who cares nothing about
the Iraqi people. In contrast, despite the animal-like
behaviour of the Marines, they are shown as victims of
their political and military leaders. There is no doubt
that the viewer is supposed to sympathise with the Marines
culminating in one of them leading an Iraqi girl by the
hand into the light, while a few moments ago he just
massacred her entire family. The Western viewer would
rightly never accept such a depiction of a soldier of the
Third Reich in relation to the French or Dutch, and would
never accept the anti-fascist resistance as a fundamentally
suspect movement, so why should the viewer accept such a
portrayal in this instance?

Radical Arab Nationalist Ibrahim Alloush explains in a
critique of the film, "when the humanitarian perspective
becomes a cover for humanizing the invader in Iraq or
Palestine independently of politics, it changes into an
arrogant, orientalist mechanism of reducing the Arab cause
to a form of shallow humanitarian advocacy at best, and
political misguidance based on conflation of henchman and
victim at worst… Undeniably, the movie's message is tricky:
it is in an effort to exonerate the Marines in Iraq and the
non-ideological resistance; present the residents as
aimless barn animals ready for slaughter; and to indict
major politicians in the West and ideologists in the East.
Ultimately, it is a liberal message and stems from lack of
comprehension of the ongoing battle between the occupation
and the resistance on Iraq's soil."

The puzzling thing about Broomfield's 'docu-drama' is the
way in which he depicted the relationship between the Iraqi
civilians and resistance; it seems this was at odds with
reality. The residents of Haditha have said that the
resistance are a part of the community who defend the
people against the occupation forces. For some reason
Broomfield has decided to completely distort the
relationship between the resistance and the people of

In contrast to Moore and Broomfield there are a number of
British-made film productions which positively challenge
the mainstream Islamophobic discourse. In discussion with
The Guardian journalist and film-maker Clancy Chassay on
the subject of his video reports from Gaza, he said of his
short films: "It encourages the viewer to engage with our
shared humanity; a humanity too often denied to these

Indeed it is not a complicated principle to understand, but
the ability to engage in a process to share a common
humanity is beyond many people as a result of the sheer
mass of mainstream media which turns reality on its head.
Chassay's reports cuts through the warped message in much
of the mainstream media that Fatah equals a shared
democratic value with Western democracy, and that Hamas
equals terrorism and repression. Chassay shows that in Gaza
Fatah's armed wing are actively engaged in sending rockets
into Israel, whereas we are led to believe that it is
Hamas' responsibility that any homemade Palestinian rockets
are targeted at Israel. The second round of films from
Chassay shows the impact on Palestinians in Gaza of the
blockade on Gaza by Israel and with which the West is
complicit. These latter films challenges a Western audience
as much as the first set of Chassay's films as they force
the viewer to see beyond the 'terrorists' label, and see
Palestinians as people, albeit a brutally oppressed people.

One of the bravest films to be made is the British film
Britz, a film that raised some uncomfortable home truths
about the ramifications of British foreign and domestic
policies towards Muslims. The film's director Peter
Kosminsky has said that the film was not aimed at Muslim
audiences but at white Western audiences, particularly
those in Britain. Moazzam Begg in his review of the film
following a special preview screening states: "He
[Kosminsky] replied that it was to make people ask more
questions about internal and foreign policy; about spooks
as well as suicide bombers. Indeed, it was to boldly ask
the question whether the effects of personal trauma-in this
case Nasima's best friend who is detained without trial and
then subjected to a control order-coupled with societal
hostility and a sense of political impotence can lead
someone to the path of violent extremism. And if it can,
are we able to understand?"

Britz addressed political taboos head on. In this day and
age it takes confidence and political daring to take up
political themes that should be some of the main political
issues that urgently need addressing. The onus is on
intellectuals, writers, film-makers and those engaged in
progressive political change to radically adjust the
parameters of the debate (or the lack of debate), otherwise
it is left to those in weaker positions to try and raise
these issues but are either ignored or vilified in an
atmosphere reminiscent of McCarthyite totalitarianism.

Another off-limits subject seems to be the Iraqi
resistance. There is only one documentary film that has
reported on the resistance, and that is Steve Connors' and
Molly Bingham's Meeting Resistance. This film was shot
during the small window of time immediately after the
invasion of Iraq in March 2003 when Western filmmakers
could still meet and interview those involved in the
resistance. The film shows people from all walks of life,
young men, professionals, religious clerics, a house wife
and political activists, all part of the resistance who
have nearly an hour and a half on film to discuss their
motivations and the nature of their involvement in the
struggle to free their country.

In conversation with Connors at the British Museum's
screening of Meeting Resistance during the London
Documentary Film Festival, Connors explained how the film
challenges many assumptions and misrepresentations of the
resistance to occupation in Iraq: "Firstly, it pushes back
on the "insurgency" title. To use one word to describe all
the different reasons for violence in Iraq is ridiculous
and - far from simplifying the issues - just creates more

When asked in what ways the film challenges Western
preconceptions of the conflict in Iraq, Connors replied "I
think the film allows the audience to rethink and
re-humanise the resistance faction of the Iraqi political
scene and shows them to be people whose aspirations are not
so dissimilar from our own. Denying a view of Iraqis as
actors in their own history then perpetuates the notion
that we Westerners are the only ones civilized and
sophisticated enough to provide a solution instead of
facing the reality that we are actually the major problem
in Iraq. Unfortunately most Western filmmakers (or
journalists) who have tackled Iraq simply haven't been
sufficiently self aware to look at themselves and the
subject in this way".

Connors is right when he highlights the dearth of
filmmakers that approach the Muslim and Islamic Other in a
human way rather than in way that adopts every Eurocentric
stereotype of Muslims. Nevertheless, despite the flawed
depictions of Muslims and their liberation struggles, and
in the face of the lack of films like Britz and Meeting
Resistance, these and other ground-breaking films are
outstanding examples for others to build upon and
positively influence wider audiences.

*Sukant Chandan is a London-based political analyst. This
article first appeared in Conflict Forum's Cultures of
Resistance magazine, of which Sukant Chandan is a
Co-Editor. He can be contacted at

Monday, 21 July 2008


Haifa Conference for the Right of Return and the the
Secular Democratic State in Palestine

18, July 2008 Initial Report
By Yoav Bar (*)
Anti-Imperialist Camp

Sort of Apology

Friday and Saturday, 20-21 of June, 2008 – after a year of
dreaming and working for it to happen – the Haifa
conference was such a great success that we hardly believed
it was real… But on Saturday night, as we made the 5
minutes drive from elMidan back home to Hallisa, a poor,
mostly Arab, neighborhood in east Haifa, the racist and
un-democratic state of Israel was clearly and vigorously
there – the streets were filled with police and special
“anti riot” units, stopping people and beating them at
random. We spent the next week collecting evidence and
organizing a demonstration against police violence…

All of you who tried to follow the preparations to the
conference, or who are concerned to see the results, might
have been frustrated with the chaotic performance of the
initiating committee. Others have criticized us for
diverting effort from the urgent struggle against the
occupation to pipe dreaming a remote future. One thing
special about the Haifa conference was that it was
initiated and organized by grassroots political activists,
in the middle of an intense period of struggles, without
budget. It was our moment to raise our heads from the
exhausting daily struggle and promise ourselves and the
world that the suffering of the Palestinian people may be
brought to an end and there can be a bright future for
everybody in Palestine after we get rid of the racist
Zionist disorder.

Who was there?

Youth Meetings

As a gathering of political activists, working for the
future, we started with the youth. The proliferation of
independent youth Palestinian movements within the 48
territories is one proof that the new generation is not
satisfied with the traditional political offerings. At the
Midan theatre, on June 20, 17:00, the conference started
with youth meetings – not lecturing to the youth but
activists from different youth movements discussing among
themselves their views of the future. There were two
parallel sessions, one for High School students and the
other for the “Shabab”, university students and young
workers, mostly in their twenties.

The Opening Session

At the opening session, the 300-seat hall of the Midan
theatre was almost full. There were several Arab TV crews,
including Al Jazeera, taking interviews with political
leaders, and reporters from local Arab newspapers. Several
Palestinian flags were on the stage, as well as a sign in
Arabic, Hebrew and English declaring the “Haifa Conference
for the Right of Return and the Secular Democratic State in
Palestine”. Sahar Abdo, the presenter, called Hanan Wakeem
to sing “Mawteni” (My Homeland), and the public stood up to
the song and observed a moment of silence for the martyrs.
Rajaa Zo’abi ‘Omari welcomed the public in the name of the
initiating committee, and outlined the vision of the

The main part of the opening ceremony included political
speeches by the general secretaries of three parties in the
48 territories: Ayman ‘Odeh from the Democratic Front for
Peace and Equality (Hadash - a front that includes the
Communist party), Awad Abed El-Fatah from the National
Democratic Alliance (BALAD) and Muhammad Kana’ane from
Abnaa elBalad, the movement that was the backbone of the
coalition that constituted the Initiating Committee. The
appearance of Muhammad Kana’ane was most significant as (on
28/5) he was newly released from four and a half years in
Israeli prisons, after he was sentenced for political
meetings with Palestinian activists in Jordan.

In the second part of the opening session, there were three
speeches in Hebrew: Yehuda Kupferman from the “Committee
for a secular and democratic state in the whole of
Palestine”, and Dr Uri Davis from “the movement against
Israeli Apartheid in Palestine” – both from the initiating
committee, and Dr Anat Matar, a leading activists in
support of the rights of Palestinian prisoners and for the
rights of Israeli youth to refuse serving in the Israeli

There were also written congratulations to the conference,
mostly from like minded activists in the 67 occupied
territories and the Palestinian diaspora who could not
come. The most significant written participation came from
the Secretary General of the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine, Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, from the
Nafha prison in the Naqab desert.

Who was not there?

Professor Bhim Singh from Kashmir, who had to represent the
international delegation in the opening session, could not
get a visa from the Israeli embassy in India.

A group of Palestinian academics (with foreign passports)
from Bir Zeit University were on the bus from Jerusalem to
Haifa, coming to take part in the conference, as the bus
was intercepted mid-way in Kfar Saba by Israeli security
forces. They were held for several hours and forced to
return to Jerusalem.

The Islamic Movement was invited to take part in the
conference, as partners in the struggle against Israeli
oppression, in accordance to the organizers belief that the
secular democratic state is a framework to defend
everybody’s rights and to ensure full respect to all
religions. They didn’t officially reject the invitation and
the task of building cooperation with them is left for the
follow up committee that was formed in the conference.

Saturday full of Workshops

The real attraction in the conference was the workshops
program, 3 workshops in parallel at each of 3 sessions. In
the 9 workshops there were 41 registered contributors, in
addition to the facilitators, all of them leading activists
and intellectuals. The list of participants’ names, more
than 50 of them, on the invitation was a parade of support
for the conference, and it was probably the main reason
why, while we initially expected the second day of long
discussions to have restricted participation, we came
Saturday morning and found the premises of elMidan full
with festive atmosphere, with many Palestinian activists
from different political movements and parties and from
many civil society organizations. There was a very
significant presence of Jewish activists as well, probably
the widest participation in a Palestinian political event
ever (except, of course, mass demonstration, where
everybody comes but there’s not much interaction). There
was also a significant presence from international
solidarity movements – most of them young activists that
volunteer in different programs to support the Palestinian
people and came on the weekend to Haifa to support the
conference. All in all between 300 and 400 people took part
in different workshops on Saturday, with lively discussion
about many aspects of the problem, the struggle and the

The enthusiastic atmosphere created the conditions for the
most serious discussion that characterized the workshops.
The participants made their best to clarify their
positions, and the public took active part in the
discussion. Many different approaches were proposed, but it
only contributed the confidence that we can do important
things together.

What happened at the conference?

Details of the Proceedings

I will not dare try to give here any short description of
the contents of some 20 hours of discussion in the
workshops and full sessions. About half of it was filmed
and should go online anytime soon. We also requested all
the participants to write down their contributions, and
some of it is already on the conference’s site: There are also written contributions
from many writers that could not make it to the conference.

The full list of participants is on the invitation, and may
be seen on the website. To introduce each of them and write
a little about their experience in struggle or their
writing or other achievements requires a big book - only
the internet can give practical answers to this task.

Palestinian Popular Festival

Some of the more sophisticated writers that attended the
conference promised to write special articles about the
atmosphere that filled elMidan, before going after the
conference political and social contents. It was all
organized on the principle of a Palestinian popular
festival – covering for the lack of budget with the effort
of tens of activists, like the family in a wedding party,
running around all the time to take care for the guests.
Tens of the participants from outside the area were invited
to be guests in the homes of local activists; Lunch was
traditional wedding’s home made food, and after 220 meals
were served the rest was contributed to a local welfare
institution; Simultaneous translation to Hebrew and English
was done by political activists, and in most cases more to
the point than the mechanical translation of many

All Palestinian Gathering

The most important thing about the Haifa conference is its
place as part of an all Palestinian awakening for a new
vision that will pose alternatives to the dead end of the
Imperialist-led fake “peace process”. The problem, the
struggle and the solution are all common to all parts of
the Palestinian people, as was seen throughout the
conference. It was stressed in the workshop on ethnic
cleansing exposing how it is practiced by Zionism from
before 1948 until these days, in the 1948 occupied
territories as well as in Gaza and the West Bank and the
Syrian Golan. It was clear from the concentration on the
right of return of all Palestinian refugees to all the
areas from which they were expelled.

Even though only few Palestinians from the 67 occupied
territories, mostly from Jerusalem, could come to Haifa,
the conference was part of a wider movement: Ajras elAwda,
one of the components of the initiating committee is an
all-Palestinian network. Ajras published a special magazine
on the occasion and distributed it in Palestinian refugee
camps in Syria. Special meetings are now taking place in
Ramallah to promote the same ideas, and in Haifa we
listened to the written participation of Ahmad Katamesh
from Ramallah presenting his view toward the future
democratic state in Palestine. Salame Kelly, a leading
Palestinian activist and Arab Marxist from Syria, sent a
speech on video that had to be part of the opening ceremony
(but we failed to show it due to technical problems).

The Palestinians in the 1948 territories

For a long time Palestinian in the territories who came
under Israeli control in 1948 were a smashed society,
licking the wounds of the 1948 Nakba which included many
massacres and the ethnic cleansing of the majority of the
population. Some tried to pursue a course of struggle for
equal rights within the Israeli context outside of a
Palestinian national perspective, but were always
frustrated by Zionist systematic racism, that defines the
goal of the state as serving the “international Jewish
nation”. In the nineties of the last century, some tried to
pose a perspective of redefining Israel as a state of all
its citizens. The Haifa conference was an opportunity to
examine in historic perspective all these failed attempts
at reforming the racist system, and propose a solution to
the suffering from Israeli Apartheid in the context of a
comprehensive solution to the Palestinian problem.

It was clear from the list of participants that the
discussion of a secular democratic state in Palestine is
not confined to Abnaa elBalad, which always promoted this
solution, or to radical circles around it. Salman Natur and
Hisham Naffa from Hadash, as well as Dr. Mahmoud Muhareb
and Yael Lerer from Balad are just some of the more famous
promoters of the one state solution. But also the speeches
of the secretary generals of Hadash and Balad in the
opening ceremony revealed a lot of soul searching and
internal conflicts in relation to this perspective. It
would not be far-fetched to conclude that there is a
majority of Palestinians within the 1948 territories that
prefer the secular democratic state, while the main
reservation is about the practicality of posing this slogan
at the current stage, but there is also no much illusions
left about any practical solution to the Palestinian
problem as long as the United State and Israel are calling
the shots.

The massive presence in the conference of activists from
the Palestinian civil society is another show of maturity
of the society’s confrontation with the harsh conditions of
Israeli Apartheid. While there is a whole class of people
that dedicate their lives to caring for the daily needs of
the people, from education to health, to workers’ rights,
women’s rights, economic and social development, culture
and much else, almost nobody expects solutions to those
problems outside of a framework of political change. We
didn’t expect the local NGOs to take a clear political
position, and all participants were presenting their
personal views on their own responsibility. Ameer Makhoul
from Ittijah, Union of Palestinian community-based
organizations - an umbrella organization for Palestinian
NGOs - was on the initiating committee from its onset, and
we had the participation of many leading personalities from
NGOs covering most areas of public lives.

Jewish Participation

The numbers are not the only measure, and we still didn’t
process the registration papers, but the participation of
Jewish activists in the conference was very obvious. They
covered a whole rainbow from released political prisoners,
through different trends of the traditional left,
feminists, Oriental Jews (Arab Jews) activists, anarchists,
anti war activists, academics, religious activists for
peace, democrats, cosmopolitans and many more… But the most
significant part was not their presence but the way that
they were integral part of the whole conference, not as a
separate entity trying to negotiate or to come to terms
with a separate Palestinian entity, but as part of a common
gathering trying to figure out a common future and how to
bring it about.

The Concluding Declaration

When we finally arrived to the concluding plenary, we were
not only tired and much beyond the schedule, but it was
also clear that the inputs of the conference are too many
and too important to try to conclude them in one hour’s
discussion. The initiating committee decided to present to
the participants the draft position paper on which we
agreed after long internal discussion, a paper named “The
Jaffa Declaration” in tribute to the city where the
initiating committee was holding its meetings while it was
discussing the document through the first months of the

The Jaffa Declaration

The establishment of the Democratic Secular state in the
whole of Palestine is the positive solution that will
accomplish justice and will bring an end to the struggle on
the Palestinian land as it:

1. Preserve the unity of the Palestinian people and their
historic connection to the Palestinian land. 2. Achieve the
goals of the liberation struggle of all the Palestinian
people: The return of the refugees, freedom, equality and
the right of self determination. 3. Strip the Jewish
presence in Palestine of its colonialist nature, which is
connected to the racist Zionist project, as a tool of
imperialism and global capitalism. 4. Be based on the
principle of separation between religion and the state,
while assuring the freedom of believers in all religions to
practice their religion. 5. Assure full equality in the
rights of all citizens without discrimination on the basis
of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, class or
any other reason.

What Next?

The declaration was read to the public and received general
approval as the base for the concluding statement of the
conference. Several important comments were made by the
public, mostly for additional positions, to be added to the

Many of the participants asked to join the initiating
committee, to form together the follow up committee that
will continue the work for these goals after the
conference. Hundreds of the participants signed up and
requested to be informed of the next steps.

July 18, 2008

(*) The writer is a member of the political bureau of Abnaa
elBalad and was active in the initiating committee of the
Haifa conference

Wednesday, 9 July 2008


Az Zahar: due to western meddling, internal Palestinian
dialogue at
square one


July 5, 2008

Riyadh / PNN – Hamas leader and Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Az Zahar
said that the Palestinian dialogue has "returned to square one."

He told Saudi’s Al Watan that there is no dialogue now "because there
is no capacity among officials in Ramallah to hold a dialogue due to
the US and European veto."

Even the failure of the Palestinian Unity Government, which would
have in many minds ended the Fateh – Hamas split, could not work as
stated by most pundits because the United States refused to deal with

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya recently pointed out that the
European Union has Hamas on its "terrorist" list, as does the US.

Az Zahar said on Saturday that the Berlin conference also revealed
that there is an American and European veto to the internal
Palestinian dialogue. They are requiring that all factions recognize
the conditions of the Quartet. Hamas is just one of the parties that
say no. How could the Palestinian government function as one if there
were no split if the US and others have placed conditions upon it?
That was the problem in the first place when Hamas won the elections
and the US immediately imposed a blockade and openly threatened any
country that dealt with them, including facilitating bank transfers.
There will be no end to the Fateh - Hamas rift, no power sharing,
until the west gets out of the way and stops putting conditions on
the Palestinian and other governments. Members of the US
administration keep arriving and meeting with Abbas and Qureia, but
not with any Hamas officials. How can Hamas and the PA engage in
power sharing when only one is "allowed access" to the outside world?

Az Zahar holds the "western world" responsible for the absence of a
comprehensive internal Palestinian dialogue which President Abbas
asked for and all agreed to. Az Zahar accused the US and EU, in
general, of "openly interfering in issues affecting the essence of
the internal Palestinian position" for the sake of Israel.

As has been repeated time and again since the Fateh – Hamas split
because major just over a year ago and the Gaza Strip went to the
Hamas government and the West Bank went to the Palestinian Authority,
"the only winners are the occupiers." It is in Israel’s best interest
to keep Fateh and Hamas at odds. As several officials were quoted
this week as saying, "The internal discord has severely weakened our
negotiating position."

At the Berlin conference for Palestinian security held last month 40
countries participated and pledged their support.

Thursday, 3 July 2008


Britain tightens ban on Hezbollah
Wed Jul 2, 2008

LONDON (Reuters) - The government has asked parliament to
outlaw Hezbollah's military wing and accused the
Iranian-backed Lebanese group of supporting terrorism in
Iraq and the Palestinian territories, a government
statement said.

"This means that it will be a criminal offence to belong
to, fundraise and encourage support for the military wing
of the organisation," the Home Office said in a statement
on Wednesday.

The ban, which needs parliamentary approval, would replace
one on Hezbollah's "external security organisation". The
statement said it would not affect the group's political,
social and humanitarian activities.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said he was not
surprised by the decision.

"I consider it a natural decision to be issued by a
founding bloc of the Zionist entity," Nasrallah said in a
televised press conference in Beirut.

"Every time a decision is issued against resistance
movements ... we consider this a medal of honour," he

It was not immediately clear how the amended ban would be
implemented. Although the group comprises guerrilla
fighters, members of parliament, social, medical and
reconstruction workers, it is highly centralised and all
members undergo military training.

Hezbollah has never denied helping Palestinian factions but
has rarely revealed how. It has not claimed to aid Iraq
groups, but Nasrallah in May announced that the group was
unequivocally with the "Iraqi resistance".

"Hezbollah's military wing is providing active support to
militants in Iraq who are responsible for attacks both on
coalition forces and on Iraqi civilians, including
providing training in the use of deadly roadside bombs,"
the home office statement said.

"Hezbollah's military wing also provides support to
Palestinian terrorist groups in the Occupied Palestinian
Territories, such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It is
because of this support for terrorism in Iraq and Occupied
Palestinian Territories that the government has taken this

Toby Dodge, an Iraq specialist at the International
Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said the move
may have come at the request of the United States, and
reflected suspicions that Iran was using its ally Hezbollah
as a proxy against U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq.

"The suggestion is the Iranians are using Hezbollah as
sub-contractors in Iraq," he said.

Dodge said the move also reflected London's unease over
both Hezbollah's international role and its actions in
Lebanon, where its fighters humbled the government in May
in clashes that pushed the country to the brink of civil
war. The crisis was later defused by a Qatari-mediated

Britain said it continued to urge Hezbollah to abandon its
status as an armed group and take part in Lebanese
democracy on the same terms as other political parties.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008


Bin Ladin, Palestine and al-Qa'ida's Operational Strategy

Asaf Maliach
Middle Eastern Studies,
Volume 44, Issue 3 May 2008

Al-Qa'ida's desire to strike at both Israel and Jewish/Israeli
targets worldwide is not new; on several occasions, the organization
has even fulfilled its intentions. Among these incidents are the 11
April 2002 suicide attack near the ancient synagogue in Djerba,
Tunisia; the attack on the Paradise hotel in Mombassa, Kenya, on 28
November 2002, and the nearly simultaneous attack on an Arkia
airliner en route from Mombassa to Israel; the series of attacks
against Jewish targets in Casablanca on 16 May 2003; the attacks
against two synagogues in Istanbul on 15 November 2003; the 7
October 2004 attacks on Taba and Ras al Sultan in the Sinai
Peninsula; the 23 July 2005 attacks on Sharm al-Sheikh in the Sinai
Peninsula; and the 19 August 2005 firing of a Katyusha rocket at
Eilat - the rocket was originally designed to target two American
warships docked in the Jordanian Port of Aqaba. Later, further plans
were uncovered to attack four Israeli cruise ships that were due to
arrive in Antalya, Turkey in early August 2005. Nevertheless, these
sporadic attacks have not been seen as part of a coherent platform;
al-Qa'ida seemed to be concentrating on other regions of
confrontation, such as Iraq, while focusing its efforts on striking
American targets worldwide. The Palestinian issue has traditionally
been of low priority for al-Qa'ida, whose position on this subject
has mostly been limited to rhetoric.

Since mid-2005 and particularly following Israel's disengagement
from the Gaza Strip, we have seen evidence, both in word and in
deed, that al-Qa'ida intends to open a new front against Israel, on
its own territory. For example, we have witnessed an influx of al-
Qa'ida members from Egypt to the Gaza Strip, primarily through the
faction of Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi; this trend accelerated
significantly following the disengagement. We have witnessed the
recruitment of Palestinians - from the Fatah, the Islamic Jihad, and
Hamas - for radical Palestinian groups with close ties to al-Qa'ida
which have begun to operate out of the Gaza Strip; among these
groups are Jundallah ('Allah's Army') and Alwiyat al-Jihad fi Ard al-
Ribat ('The Jihad Brigades in the Land of the Outpost'). We have
witnessed the firing of Qassam rockets on the settlements of Neve
Dekalim and Ganei Tal on the eve of Israel's disengagement; we have
witnessed the fortification of al-Qa'ida cells along Israel's
borders, especially in southern Lebanon, Jordan and the Sinai
Peninsula; finally, we have witnessed the firing of Katyusha rockets
from southern Lebanon into Israel on 27 December 2005. Hamas'
victory in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections on 25
January 2006 strengthened al-Qa'ida's assumption that the time was
right to commence activity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.1

This article will survey the Palestinian connection, including that
of Hamas, to worldwide Islamic Jihad. It will then evaluate al-
Qa'ida's increasing motivation to take an active role in the
Palestinian issue, and attempt to answer the question: more than 16
years after first leaving Afghanistan, and following his campaigns
in Afghanistan and Iraq, why is Usama bin Ladin now threatening to
open a front against Israel?

The Palestinian connection to Worldwide Islamic Jihad began as early
as the 1980s, pre-dating even the founding of al-Qa'ida. It began
during the war in Afghanistan, when thousands of Arab and non-Arab
Muslim volunteers, among them Palestinians, arrived in Afghanistan
to aid the Afghan Mujahidin in their struggle against the Soviet
incursion and the pro-Soviet Afghan regime.2 The figure who
coordinated their arrival, training and deployment on the
battlefield was Palestinian Sheikh 'Abdullah 'Azzam, assisted by his
pupil and close friend, Usama bin Ladin.3

'Abdullah 'Azzam was born in 1941 in the West Bank village of Silat
al Harthiyyah, north-west of Jenin; today, this area is controlled
by the Palestinian Authority. Following the Six Day War, 'Azzam fled
with his family to Jordan, and in 1969 joined the ranks of the
Muslim Brotherhood. In 1973 he finished his doctorate on the Roots
of Islamic Law from the religious Al-Azhar University in Cairo with
honours; this would become the source of 'Azzam's claim to religious
authority. In 1981, he began teaching at King 'Abd al-'Aziz
University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Shortly thereafter, he moved to
Pakistan to teach at the International Islamic University in
Islamabad, a move which afforded him access to the Afghan Jihad in
which he was so interested. In 1984, 'Azzam relocated to the border
town of Peshawar, where he founded, together with Usama bin Ladin,
the 'House of Supporters' (Bayt al-Ansar), a guesthouse which in
October 1984 transformed into the 'Office of Services for the
Mujahidin' (Maktab Khadamat al-Mujahidin, MAK). The MAK served as a
centre for both the financial and physical recruitment of Muslims
from around the world for the Afghan Jihad. It was also active in
various other fields, such as education, medicine, information,
military aid and the funding and establishment of training camps.
Branches of the MAK were established in cities all over the world;
the central one, known as the Al-Kifah Refugee Center, Inc., was
located in Brooklyn, New York, and even received economic aid from
the Reagan administration.4

The Palestinian volunteers recruited through the MAK fought
alongside Muslim volunteers of various nationalities, forging deep
social ties with them; many of these volunteers would go on to
comprise the backbone of major Islamic terrorist organizations, and
particularly al-Qa'ida. In addition, some of the Palestinian
volunteers would later take part in other conflict zones, even
joining the ranks of Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, formerly the leader of
al-Qa'ida in Iraq.5

'Abdullah 'Azzam saw Afghanistan as the ideal ground for the
preparation (I'dad) of young Palestinians to eventually take part in
the struggle against Israel. He encouraged them to migrate to
Afghanistan in order to participate in battles and witness 'acts of
courage'. Only in Afghanistan, he claimed, could they overcome their
fear of death and strengthen their Tawakkul (Reliance), an Islamic
term denoting absolute trust in God and placing of one's destiny in
his hands. Only there, he believed, could they develop religiously,
mentally and militarily in order to later serve in the Palestinian
Jihad.6 Indeed, Palestinians and Jordanians of Palestinian origin
arrived in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s, taking part in the
struggle against the Soviets and the Afghan army. Following the end
of the war and the death of 'Azzam, many of them returned to Jordan,
but only a few managed to infiltrate Israel and confront its
military. One of those who managed to do so was Ibrahim 'Abd al-
Hadi, also known as the Engineer. A former member of the Engineers
Union in Nablus and a well-known member of Hamas, 'Abd al-Hadi was
arrested at the end of the 1980s by Israeli security forces, who
suspected him of planning to detonate a car bomb inside Israel.
During his interrogation, 'Abd al-Hadi confessed that he had been
trained in Pakistan by 'Abdullah 'Azzam, and that 'Azzam had trained
additional Palestinians, whom he sent back to the territories of
Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.7

The phenomenon of 'Afghan Alumni' operating inside Israel can best
be described as a 'Generation C' of Afghan Alumni.8 These
individuals, who were born in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip,
became active in the struggle against Israel starting in 1998, after
undergoing military training in Usama bin Ladin's training camps in
Afghanistan, inter alia under the tutelage of Generations A and B of
Afghan Alumni. As of this writing, all of their attempts to
perpetrate terrorist attacks inside Israel have been foiled by
Israeli security forces.9

It is important to note that it was the Palestinian 'Abdullah 'Azzam
who laid the foundations for al-Qa'ida, and who, throughout the
entire Afghan war, in fact until his death, served as Usama bin
Ladin's spiritual mentor. It was on the basis of the idea of al-
Qa'ida al-Sulbah, which 'Azzam formulated during the war and
published in April 1988 in the Pakistani monthly al-Jihad, that
Usama bin Ladin declared the establishment of his organization in
November-December 1989, in the Pakistani border town of Peshawar.10

'Abdullah 'Azzam served as the liaison between the Palestinian Hamas
movement, established on 9 December 1987, and Worldwide Islamic
Jihad. 'Azzam was linked to Hamas since its inception. He viewed the
movement as the spearhead in the religious confrontation with the
Jews in Palestine and an extension of the Palestinian Islamic
movement (a group with roots in the Muslim Brotherhood), in which he
himself played an active role during the 1960s, before the Six Day
War brought its activities in Palestine to a halt.11

Besides the fact that both belonged to the same parent movement, the
Muslim Brotherhood, perhaps the most important common thread linking
Hamas and 'Azzam was a common ideology of liberating Palestine from
the Jews. A comparison of the Hamas Charter, published on 18 August
1988 and 'Azzam's views reveals the ideological kinship between the
two sides.12 For example, Article 6 of the Hamas Charter affirms the
group's allegiance to Allah, its goal of maintaining an Islamic way
of life and its aspiration to 'raise the flag of Allah' over every
centimetre of Palestinian soil.13 Article 7 of the Charter defines
Hamas as a worldwide Islamic movement whose members are spread
throughout the globe and work actively to strengthen its influence.
Articles 14 and 15 link the problem of the liberation of Palestine
to three 'circles': Palestinian, Arab and Islamic. As a result,
these clauses determine that the liberation of Palestine is an
individual duty obligating all Muslims. Therefore, Articles 7, 14
and 15 create a direct link between Hamas' Charter and 'Azzam's
Worldwide Islamic Jihad Theory, to be discussed later.14 Article 11
of the Charter defines Palestinian soil as holy ground (Waqf), which
no Muslim may negotiate over or concede at any time. This clause
further defines all lands which have ever been considered 'Dar al-
Islam' ('House of Islam') as territory belonging eternally to
Muslims.15 Article 12 stipulates that in the event that an enemy
invades Muslim land, Jihad becomes an individual duty obligating all
Muslims, such that Muslims do not require anyone's permission to
undertake Jihad against the invaders.16 Article 13 defines the
confrontation with the Jews over control of Palestine as a religious
conflict, such that to concede any part of Palestine would be
tantamount to conceding part of the Islamic faith. In effect, this
clause categorically rejects all of the peace initiatives and
international conferences that were designed to solve the
Palestinian problem and calls for militant Jihad as the only
solution.17 Article 16 emphasizes Islamic education as an important
step towards the liberation of Palestine, along with a thorough
knowledge of the enemy.18 Articles 17 and 28 point to the intense
hatred held by Hamas towards Zionism and organizations it considered
to be associated with Zionism, such as Rotary International and the
Alliance Isralite Universelle.19 Article 19 divides the world into
two types of societies, Islamic and 'Jahili' ('ignorant').20 Article
22 accuses the Jews ('the enemies') of using their wealth to control
the global media. The clause further holds the Jews responsible for
past and present revolutions and wars around the world, such as the
French Revolution, the Communist Revolution and both world wars.
Furthermore, the Jews are accused of having used their wealth to
secure the Balfour Declaration.21 Article 32 points to Zionism's
aspiration to spread, referring the reader to the 'Protocols of the
Elders of Zion', which supposedly detailed these plans. This clause
also declares Hamas to be the spearhead in the struggle against
international Zionism, emphasizing the role of Arab and Islamic
nations in the conflict against the Jews, whom the charter
termed 'merchants of war'.22

It has been rightly noted that the Hamas Charter was not always
compatible with 'Azzam's ideology. One discrepancy concerns
territorial nationality (Wataniyyah), a principle adopted by Hamas
as a religious tenet (see Articles 6, 12 and 13 of the Hamas
Charter); this contrasts with 'Azzam's rejection of territorial
nationality and adoption of global Islam. Nevertheless, it seems
that such discrepancies did not keep 'Azzam from supporting the
movement financially and ideologically.23 It is possible that 'Azzam
recognized that failure to stress the nationalist aspect of the
Palestinian problem could leave Hamas out of the Palestinian arena,
and was therefore willing to compromise with the movement on this
issue. It also goes without saying that the rest of the clauses in
the Charter, as highlighted above, were very much in line with his

'Azzam held Sheikh Ahmad Yasin, the former spiritual leader of
Hamas, in high regard, characterizing him as the 'steadfast standing
symbol of the Islamic movement'. He tended to show respect for
Yasin, both in his writings and in his addresses to various Islamic
rallies in the United States either organized by Hamas or attended
by Hamas representatives. The kinship felt by 'Azzam towards Yasin
and Hamas and his acquaintance with them found expression in his
book Hamas - al-Judhur al-Ta'rikhiyyah wa-al-Mithaq (Hamas -
Historical Roots and the Charter).24

Along with the sympathy and respect for Hamas displayed by 'Azzam,
he also remained in constant contact with the movement, either
directly or via mediating institutions located in the United
States. 'Azzam even worked to secure financing for Hamas, both from
supporters during his tours in the Arab world and through the Al-
Kifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn.25

In a February 1990 interview with the Pakistani al-Bunyan al-Marsus,
Um Muhammad, 'Abdullah 'Azzam's widow, declared that 'Azzam had
maintained a strong connection with Hamas through the US-based
Muslim Student Association (MSA), and that he had trained
Palestinian volunteers, who then returned to Judea, Samaria and the
Gaza Strip to fight Israel.26 In a December 1998 interview with the
Qatari al-Jazeera satellite television network, bin Ladin declared
that after the outbreak of the first Palestinian Intifada, 'Azzam
maintained strong ties with Hamas; his books enjoyed wide
circulation in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Bin Ladin neither
specified the nature of 'Azzam's relationship with Hamas nor
commented on the way in which this relationship was maintained.27

For its part, Hamas fervently embraced 'Abdullah 'Azzam, his call
for militant Jihad and emphasis on willingness to die for Allah. A
communiqu published by Hamas in February 1990 in memory
of 'Abdullah 'Azzam stated that the movement was greatly influenced
by his will, especially in regard to militant Jihad and sacrificing
one's soul:

'Abdullah 'Azzam - martyr, fighter in the Holy War. To this martyr
of Palestine and Afghanistan, we vow to raise the flag of Jihad The
contents of your will and testament penetrate our souls. Today, he
who reads them cannot but feel your sincerity; it is therefore
incumbent upon us to make good on them, so that they may serve as a
ray of light for our youth, illuminating the path of Jihad When we
read in your will that 'the love of Jihad took charge of me, my
life, my soul, my emotions, my heart and perceptions', and your name
for those closest to your heart, 'Ye Harbingers of Islam: Seek
death, and you shall be granted life', crops up again and again,
your sincere words penetrate our hearts gently and gracefully, until
the point of turning our youth into lava, spreading the fires of
their wrath over the evil usurpers You have been called a martyr
for Islam and for Afghanistan, yet we declare that you are also a
martyr for Palestine, not because you were born into the Palestinian
nation, but because you never once abandoned the Jihad for
Palestinian lands until such time as the gates had already closed
Muslims of the world, follow the good example of the life of this
martyr, 'Abdullah 'Azzam.28

Additional expressions of Hamas' great admiration
for 'Abdullah 'Azzam and his status as an integral part of the
movement can be seen in its announcement of a general strike in
Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip on 27 December 1989 to protest at
his assassination;29 in the letter of condolence published by the
movement in the monthly al-Jihad following his assassination, in
which the movement placed him at the head of its list
of 'martyrs',30 in the statement released by the movement in his
memory in the 10 February 1990 issue of Lahib al-Ma'rakah, in which
it promised to avenge his blood;31 and in an essay dedicated to him
in Hamas'Falastin al-Muslimah (January 1990), entitled 'Al-'Alim al-
Azhari Duktur 'Abdullah 'Azzam fi Mawkib al-Shuhada' ('The al-Azhar
University alumnus, religious scholar Doctor 'Abdullah 'Azzam, in
the procession of martyrs').32

Hamas, however, was not content with verbal expressions alone. The
most significant sign of respect bestowed upon 'Azzam was the
nickname given to the movement's military wing in Judea and Samaria
at the beginning of the 1990s-'Kata'ib al-Shahid 'Abdullah 'Azzam'
('The Martyr 'Abdullah 'Azzam Brigades').33

A more recent manifestation of Hamas' ideological identification
with Worldwide Islamic Jihad can be seen in leaflets, posters and CD-
ROMs seized by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the past decade in
mosques and offices of Hamas-backed charities in Judea and Samaria.
These materials show signs of admiration and identification with
Usama bin Ladin and the Chechen rebels, and call for a continuation
of militant Jihad. These materials were also disseminated via Hamas
websites and distributed by Hamas activists in Palestinian
educational institutions as part of a campaign to cultivate the
values of radical Islam and Worldwide Islamic Jihad among members of
the younger generation.34

Among the ways in which Hamas showed its ideological identification
with Worldwide Islamic Jihad were the anti-Russian demonstrations
organized by Ahmad Yasin's closest aides in early 2000. The
demonstrations took place throughout the Palestinian territories; in
Gaza, they were headed up by Hamas spokesperson 'Abd al-'Aziz al-
Rantisi. Demonstrators shouted anti-Russian slogans and burned
Russian flags and effigies of the Russian Premier, Vladimir Putin.
In an October 2000 interview with the Moscow-based Vremya Novostey,
Sheikh Yasin labelled the Russians 'invaders' and called on 'Muslims
struggling in the Chechen Republic to do battle against Russia'.
Quoting sources at the IDF's Aman military intelligence agency, the
August 2001 issue of the IDF's internal Bamahane charged that Hamas
had rendered financial assistance to 'the Chechen insurgents'.
Though Yasin and his followers would later attempt to restore their
image in the eyes of the Kremlin, Hamas youth organizations
continued to focus on Jihad in the Chechen Republic.35

A survey of Usama bin Ladin's declarations over the years shows that
he placed some importance on the subject of Palestine and the al-
Aqsa mosque, and stressed the obligation to liberate them from the
hands of the Jews. In his 'Declaration of War' on 23 August 1996, in
which bin Ladin first called upon all Muslims to join in Jihad
against the 'Zionist-Christian Alliance' alleged to be occupying the
land of the two holiest sites in Islam (i.e., Mecca and Medina,
Saudi Arabia), he also emphasized the need to liberate the al-Aqsa
mosque in Jerusalem. In fact, in almost every public statement since
the early 1990s, bin Ladin mentioned his concern regarding Palestine
and the al-Aqsa mosque.36

'Isam Daraz, the Egyptian journalist who followed bin Ladin
throughout the Afghan War in the 1980s and chronicled his work, has
indicated that the Palestinian issue always held an important place
in bin Ladin's thoughts. He claimed to possess a videotape
documenting a speech make by bin Ladin in the Bin Ladin Mosque in
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1990, shortly before the Iraqi invasion of
Kuwait. There, bin Ladin discussed the first Palestinian Intifada,
the oppression of the Palestinian people, and the reasons for the
Islamists' hatred towards the United States; one of the reasons
given was its support for Israel.37

If his declarations are to be believed, it could be said that bin
Ladin linked his own fate with that of the Palestinians,38 and was
optimistic vis--vis the chances to liberate Palestine in the future.
Like his spiritual mentor 'Abdullah 'Azzam, whose name is honoured
in the title of al-Qa'ida's battalions, bin Ladin invoked the words
of the Prophet Muhammad: 'The hour for waking the dead will not
arrive until the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them;
then the Jew will hide behind the rock or the tree, and the stone or
the tree will say: Muslim, servant of Allah, behind me is a Jew,
come and kill him, except for the boxthorn, which is one of the
trees of the Jews.'39 He quoted part of verse 32 of the 'Table
Spread Surah' in the Koran, which discusses Cain's killing of Abel,
insinuating that the killing of Palestinians (Abel) will cost the
Jews (Cain) greatly: 'For that cause we decreed for the Children of
Israel that whoever killeth a human being, unless it be for
manslaughter or corruption of the earth, it shall be as if he had
killed all mankind.'40

Nevertheless, much like 'Abdullah 'Azzam and other Palestinian
volunteers, bin Ladin drew sharp criticism, particularly from
Palestinians, who accused him of 'neglecting' Palestine and instead
focusing on ousting the Americans from Saudi Arabia and other
Islamic lands. The charge was not unfounded: except in the few
incidents highlighted above, bin Ladin did not involve himself
practically and systematically in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,
instead limiting himself to declarations stressing the suffering of
the Palestinians and the importance of liberating Palestine and the
al-Aqsa mosque. Bin Ladin deflected the criticism, arguing that the
operations were prioritized not by relative importance, but by the
place they held in people's hearts and minds. As an example, he
pointed to the case of Afghanistan in the 1980s, whose liberation
was higher on the Muslim nation's list of priorities than the
liberation of Palestine and the al-Aqsa mosque.41

On 10 December 2005, Israeli security forces arrested 'Azzam Abu al-
'Adas and Bilal Hafni, two terrorist activists from the Balatah
refugee camp near Nablus, as they attempted to cross the Allenby
Bridge. The pair had been enlisted by al-Qa'ida agents in Jordan in
May and June of 2005 to recruit Palestinians to carry out a
synchronized suicide and car-bomb attack in the French Hill
neighbourhood of Jerusalem; they had been given $4,000 to fund the

On 12 December, al-Qa'ida published a religious decree entitled 'The
Border State'. This decree opened with verse 14 from the 'Repentance
Surah' in the Koran: 'Fight them! Allah will chastise them at your
hands, and He will lay them low and give you victory over them, and
He will heal the breasts of folk who are believers.' This verse
typifies Islamic religious decrees encouraging fighting against
those considered 'infidels', which in this case refers to the Jews
living in the 'border state', Palestine (i.e., the State of Israel
and the Occupied Territories). The decree characterizes Palestine as
a combat zone and a place of recruitment of fighters for militant
Jihad, citing the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip as a
sign of the country's weakness. It characterizes the campaign in
Iraq as a paradigm already decided in favour of al-Qa'ida, and calls
upon Muslim youth to fight and sponsor the war on Israel, both in
its territory and throughout the world.43

On 27 December 2005, nine Katyusha rockets were fired from southern
Lebanon into Israel. Four rockets hit Kiryat Shmona, one hit the
Shlomi settlement in western Galilee, and four others landed in open
fields. On 29 December, al-Qa'ida's 'Committee in Mesopotamia'
(i.e., Iraq), led by Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility
for launching the rockets.44

On 6 January 2006, the Qatari al-Jazeera aired a videotape of a
speech delivered by Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Ladin's deputy in al-
Qa'ida, during the month of December 2005. Al-Zawahiri's speech
addressed four principal issues. Firstly, it directed harsh
criticism at the 'corrupt' Pakistani government, both for allegedly
embezzling donations earmarked for victims of the 8 October 2005
earthquake in Pakistan and for recognizing the State of Israel.
Secondly, the speech addressed the war in Iraq: Al-Zawahiri
ridiculed the American 'downfall' in Iraq, arrogantly proclaiming
that he had known, more than a year before, that an American
withdrawal was just a matter of time. Al-Zawahiri demanded that
President Bush concede defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan and prepare
for the 'routing' that would 'soon' take place in Palestine. Next,
al-Zawahiri harshly criticized the 'fraudulent' parliamentary
elections in Arab countries, particularly the elections held in
Egypt in December 2005; finally, he called upon the Islamic Ummah to
rise up and retake Jerusalem, raise the unified flag of Jihad and
establish the Islamic Caliphate. In other words, a clear message was
sent to Israel that it should expect to be next in line after Iraq.45

On 8 January 2006, through an audio tape aired on the organization's
Iraqi website, Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi declared that 'the firing of
rockets from southern Lebanon upon the fathers of monkeys and pigs
[i.e., Israel] is the commencement of a blessed operation to defeat
the Zionist enemy deep in its own territory and all of this under
the orders of the Sheikh of the Mujahidin, Usama bin Ladin. This
blessed incursion gives power to the pledge of Sheikh Usama bin
Ladin, the fighter and leader of the al-Qa'ida organization, that
Israel will not enjoy security as long as it is not enjoyed by

On 2 March Mahmud 'Abbas (Abu Mazin), Chairman of the Palestinian
Authority, admitted for the first time that there was evidence that
al-Qa'ida was present in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. He claimed
that the penetration of the organization into PA territory, if left
unchecked, could wreak havoc upon the region.47 Jordanian security
sources echoed Abu Mazin's claim, adding that a plot by a group of
ten individuals belonging to al-Qa'ida to launch an attack against
a 'crucial target' in Gaza City had already been foiled.48

On 4 March, al-Jazeera aired a videotape of Ayman al-Zawahiri; on
the tape, he criticized the West's stance concerning Islam and the
publication of caricatures of Muhammad in Western newspapers, and
called upon the Hamas government to reject the treaties signed with
Israel and continue its militant Jihad against it. Al-Zawahiri
criticized Hamas, arguing that it had legitimized 'the secular
leaders of Palestine [i.e., members of the secular PLO] who sold her
for a pittance'. He claimed that the idea of relinquishing Palestine
contradicted the religion of Islam.49 Hamas rejected al-Zawahiri's
criticism and emphasized that it was not connected to any
organization or group outside of Palestine and that there was no
connection between the strategies of al-Qa'ida and Hamas.50

On 13 March, al-Qa'ida distributed CD-ROMs throughout the Gaza Strip
containing propaganda videos of the organization for the purpose of
recruiting Palestinian activists. One of the more prominent figures
displayed in the videos was 'Abdullah 'Azzam.

On 13 April, an Islamist website aired a videotape of al-Zawahiri;
on the tape, al-Zawahiri charged that it was the duty of all Muslims
to fight for the destruction of Israel and warned the Hamas
government not to initiate any contact with the Jewish state.
Furthermore, al-Zawahiri praised the insurgent activities in Iraq,
headed by the leader of al-Qa'ida in Iraq, Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi.51

On 23 April, following the freezing of international aid to the
Palestinian Authority by Western governments, al-Jazeera aired
another videotape of Usama bin Ladin; this time, bin Ladin argued
that the Hamas government stood at 'the front lines of a war being
waged by the Crusaders and Zionists against Islam'. At the time, bin
Ladin's statement was rejected by Hamas' spokespeople, who claimed
that the cessation of aid to the Palestinians would heighten the
tensions in the Palestinian streets and the Arab world as a whole.52

On 13 May, Swiss police raided several apartments in Basel and
Zurich and apprehended seven activists from the Salafist Group of
Preaching and Combat, which is considered to be the largest armed
organization in Algeria and has declared its loyalty to Usama bin
Ladin. None of the individuals arrested were Swiss citizens. The
Swiss Blik, which reported the incident, mentioned that an RPG 7
rocket had been found in one of the apartments, apparently as part
of a plot to attack an El Al aircraft at Geneva International
Airport in December 2005.53

On 30 June and 1 July, bin Ladin delivered two messages through al-
Jazeera. The first was devoted to the death of Abu Mus'ab al-
Zarqawi; the second was dedicated to bin Ladin's war against the
governments of Iraq, Somalia and Yemen and their supporters.
Although neither was expressly dedicated to the Palestinian issue,
bin Ladin mentioned it in passing, both in his glorification of al-
Zarqawi, who had 'operated for the return of Palestine', and in his
call for Muslim youth and businesspeople around the world to lead
the Mujahidin to 'victory' in Palestine and other places.54

On 27 July, during the Second Lebanon War, al-Jazeera aired a
videotape of Ayman al-Zawahiri, in which he called upon Muslims not
to sit idly by as Israel attacked Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. Al-
Zawahiri emphasized the impossibility of reaching a compromise with
Israel, such that Jihad was the only way to liberate Palestine. He
promised revenge against Israel and the 'Christian Alliance' whom he
claimed supported it.55

On 11 September, al-Qa'ida issued a militant declaration, as it has
done every year since 2001. In a videotape aired by al-Jazeera,
Ayman al-Zawahiri warned the Persian Gulf states and Israel that
they were the next target for al-Qa'ida. Al-Zawahiri blamed the
Egyptian, Jordanian and Saudi Arabian governments for supporting
Israel in its war against Hizbullah. Furthermore, al-Zawahiri urged
Muslims to increase their resistance to the United States, even
warning of renewed attacks against it.56

In order to gain a better understanding of the evolution of Usama
bin Ladin's handling of the Palestinian problem, we must revisit the
war in Afghanistan of approximately two decades past and examine the
Worldwide Islamic Jihad Theory formulated by 'Abdullah 'Azzam, which
today serves as the basis for al-Qa'ida's operations, headed by
Usama bin Ladin.

The roots of the Worldwide Islamic Jihad, first called for
by 'Abdullah 'Azzam in 1984 and later continued by his disciple,
Usama bin Ladin, can be found in two places. The first is verse 97
of the 'Women Surah' in the Koran:

Lo! As for those refusers who sin to their souls, they will be asked
by the angels when they die: In what were ye engaged? They will say:
We were oppressed in the land. [The angels] will say: Was not
Allah's earth spacious that ye could have migrated therein and
joined the war? These sinners, their habitation will be hell, an
evil journey's end'. The second is the individual obligation, which
Islam has imposed upon its followers since its earliest days, to
repel foreign incursions into Islamic territory.57

'Abdullah 'Azzam's Worldwide Islamic Jihad Theory stressed, first
and foremost, the obligation on the part of every Arab to embark on
a campaign of Jihad to liberate Palestine as a first step towards
the liberation of all Islamic land and the establishment of the
Kingdom of Allah on earth. However, since 'Azzam determined that
this objective was not feasible at the time, he argued that it was
the obligation of every Arab to implement the second part of verse
97 of the 'Women Surah' cited above; this entailed migration to
Afghanistan, the location where the 'Jihad for the sake of Allah'
was seen as taking place and where the best chance existed to defeat
the aggressive 'infidels' and establish the House of Islam ('Dar al-
Islam'). The rest of the world's Muslims were bestowed with the
individual obligation to forgo Palestine and depart for Afghanistan
immediately. Following the establishment of 'Dar al-Islam' in
Afghanistan, the Muslims would continue to liberate Islamic lands,
the first priority being Palestine, until such time as all Islamic
soil is finally liberated and the Islamic Caliphate is established,
spanning from Indonesia in the east to Morocco and Spain in the west
(see Figure 1).58'Azzam took a classic example from the Prophet
Muhammad, arguing that he had acted in a similar
fashion: '[following his forced flight from Mecca,] the Prophet
Muhammad began to search for another piece of land. After he had
founded Yathrib (modern Medina), he set out to establish the
religion of Allah and educate his followers in its spirit. Over time
his kingdom spread, until a central and powerful state was
established, and subsequently all the citizens of the Arabian
Peninsula submitted to and accepted the religion of Islam'.59

Figure 1. Worldwide Islamic Jihad according to 'Abdullah 'Azzam.
[chart deleted]

It should be noted that 'Azzam stressed that the first phase of the
Jihad to liberate Afghanistan was directed against the 'infidel'
Muslim rulers, rather than the Soviets.60 This was significant, as
it sent a message to contemporary Arab and Islamic countries whose
regimes were not based on Muslim Shari'ah (religious law) and thus
undermined the notion of Hakimiyyah (heavenly sovereignty over the
land), that the fact that they were Muslims did not automatically
make them immune to Worldwide Islamic Jihad; they could be
legitimately and forcefully overthrown at any time.

'Azzam drew a parallel between Jihad and the Muslim fast of Ramadan,
arguing that just as a Muslim may not choose whether or not to fast
in a given year, so too may he not randomly excuse himself from
migration to Islamic territory which must be defended or rid
of 'infidel' occupation, or any other land where his Muslim brothers
are in need; the mere fact of having fought in Afghanistan or any
other place in a given year did not free him of his obligation to
return to the front lines the following year. He drew a similar
parallel between Jihad and prayer, stating that just as a Muslim may
not cease to pray simply because his local mosque has been
destroyed, and must rather seek out another mosque to pray in until
such time as a new mosque has been erected, so too must he seek out
a different place in which to embark upon 'Jihad for the sake of
Allah' in the event that he is unable to participate in Jihad in his
current homeland.61

Since Islam does not recognize the political division of Islamic
territory based on borders, 'Azzam did not differentiate between
Islamic states in their existing configuration. In his view, there
was no difference between Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Turkey,
Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Uganda,
Somalia, Eritrea, the Philippines and Andalusia (part of Spain) -
they all comprise one land, thus creating an individual obligation
to liberate them, be it from the hands of the 'infidel' non-Muslims
or from the hands of 'infidel' secular Muslim regimes, and tear down
the borders separating them. In addition, 'Azzam argued for the
liberation of Muslim minorities from the 'dismal' rule of non-Muslim
regimes, including the Philippines. Accordingly, 'Azzam encouraged
any Muslim who was unable to come to Afghanistan to seek out and
migrate to another region in which there existed a confrontation
between Muslim believers and their secular (Muslim or non-Muslim)
rulers.62 It is in this context that 'Azzam divided the Worldwide
Islamic Jihad into two paths: primary and secondary. One must focus
the bulk of Muslims' efforts on liberating one Islamic territory
(such as Afghanistan), and later move on to another location
where 'Jihad for the sake of Allah' was underway and where the
highest probability existed of defeating the 'infidels' (the first
priority being Palestine); this would be repeated in different
locations until such time as all Islamic lands have been liberated.
In parallel, as much strength as possible must be invested in the
rest of the Islamic lands which need to be liberated (such as Egypt
and Algeria), as well as any place in which there exists a
confrontation between 'oppressed' Muslims and their non-Muslim
rulers (such as the Philippines).

In a sermon delivered in Islamabad on 24 February 1989, nine days
after the retreat of Soviet forces from Afghanistan, 'Azzam detailed
the modus operandi of the Worldwide Islamic Jihad Theory in its
efforts to liberate Islamic soil:

We will force the world to recognize us. If it does - fantastic; if
it does not - so be it. We will fight, defeat our enemies and
establish an Islamic state on some sliver of land, such as
Afghanistan. Afghanistan will expand, Jihad will spread, Islam will
fight on in other places, Islam will fight the Jews in Palestine and
establish Islamic states in Palestine, Afghanistan and other places.
Later, these states will unite to form [one] Islamic state.63

Figure 1 illustrates how 'Azzam sketched the Worldwide Islamic Jihad
Theory, and essentially outlines the current operational strategy of

'Azzam saw the Worldwide Islamic Jihad Theory as a religious
conflict between Islam and those who opposed it; between the rule of
Allah and the rule of Satan; and between blasphemy and the Islamic
faith.64 In his view, this theory would put an end to the 'Judeo-
Christian alliance' that had plotted against Islam since its
inception, and would ultimately lead to the expulsion of the
infidels from Islamic soil. Operationally, this theory was to be
implemented on two parallel levels: militant Jihad and Da'wa

An analysis of the statements and deeds of 'Abdullah 'Azzam and
Usama bin Ladin clearly reveals that both viewed militant Jihad as a
key element in the implementation of Worldwide Islamic Jihad, in the
sense of individual obligation to which all able-bodied Muslims are

Militant Jihad is composed of four interdependent stages, each of
which is essential if the programme is to be realized: migration for
the sake of Allah, preparation, camping along the enemy's border,
and the fight. A Muslim killed during the fulfilment of any one of
these stages is considered a Shahid (martyr).66

'Migration for the sake of Allah' (Hijra fi sabil Allah) denotes
migration to an Islamic land under attack in order to help expel the
enemy. Such is the case in Iraq, where many Muslim volunteers -
including members of al-Qa'ida - have arrived in order to help repel
coalition forces. The step of leaving one's native land, family,
assets, and places of education and employment indicates the degree
of a Muslim's willingness to sacrifice himself for the sake of his

Bin Ladin places great emphasis on 'migration for the sake of
Allah', viewing it as one of the most significant steps towards
implementing militant Jihad. He characterizes it as a 'remedy' for
the 'diseases' with which Muslims are 'afflicted'. As an example, he
recalled the days of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions (the
Sahabah), who migrated from Mecca to Yathrib (modern Medina), and
quoted verse 74 of the 'Spoils of War Surah' in the Koran: 'Those
who believed and left their homes and strove for the sake of Allah,
and those who took them in and helped them - these are the believers
in truth.'67

Following migration, the process of preparation (I'dad)
commences. 'Abdullah 'Azzam likened this preparation to the
purification process before prayer, and argued that just as a Muslim
may not pray before he has been purified, so too may the migrant not
take part in any fighting before he is fully prepared. According
to 'Azzam, preparation is a religious obligation that tests the
migrant's commitment and willingness to participate in the struggle;
he who skips this step is branded a 'sinner'.

The preparation of the migrant can be broken down into two aspects -
mental and physical. The mental aspect, defined as the mental
preparation of the migrant to endure the time-consuming and
strenuous challenges of battle, is achieved through studying the
Koran and diligently fulfilling various religious obligations that
serve to cleanse the soul and prepare it for entrance to heaven;
practising obedience and discipline; adjustment to being removed
from one's natural environment; promotion of awareness of such
stresses of battle as hunger, thirst and harsh weather.68 The
physical aspect, defined as the physical preparation by the migrant
in terms of military and physical training in dealing with the harsh
physical challenges inherent in the battlefield, is achieved through
comprehensive weapons training; horseback riding; studying the
fighting methods employed by the enemy; methods of navigation and
physical fitness training.69

The training facilities operated by Usama bin Ladin in Afghanistan,
which he dubbed 'preparation land', highlight the increasing
importance he places on preparation before entering the conflict
zone. From his point of view, proper preparation is a vital
prerequisite for Muslim victory. In an interview published in
Newsweek on 11 January 1999, bin Ladin declared:

If certain brothers [i.e., Muslims] claimed to have embarked on
their Jihad before they were sufficiently prepared, this does not
necessarily mean that the path of Jihad is invalid. We urge all
Muslims to study the conditions in their respective countries and
decide when they can embark on their Jihad. If the time is not
right, this does not mean that they should sit idly. The goal is
that they must work hard during the preparation stage. You must do
many things before you deal with Jihad, and as such every Muslim
must be well-prepared.70

On an audiotape broadcast on al-Jazeera on 19 January 2006, bin
Ladin reiterated and underscored the importance of the preparation
stage: 'New attacks by al-Qa'ida inside the United States, similar
to those that occurred in important European capital cities (i.e.,
the Madrid bombings of 11 March 2004 and the London bombings of 7
July 2005), are being delayed, not because we have been unsuccessful
in penetrating your security system, but because [the attacks] are
still in the preparatory stage, and you will witness them in the
heart of your country as soon as the preparations have been

The term Ribat originated in the Koran and refers to camping along
the enemy's border, with the goal of both instilling fear and
defending Islamic territory from the enemy. In order to fulfil the
requirement of Ribat, the Muslim must himself fear his enemy. Today,
the term is taken to mean waiting patiently in the area being
attacked or in the country in which attacks are set to take place.
Bin Ladin emphasized the notion of waiting for the ideal time to
operate. He argued that just as a Muslim waits patiently for Friday
prayers at the mosque, so must a Muslim fighter who has completed
the stage of preparation and infiltrated enemy territory wait
patiently for battle.

Following the completion of the first three stages of militant
Jihad, the Muslim combatant is now ready to embark on the last,
climactic stage of militant Jihad - the Fight (Qital). In an
interview with Time published on 11 January 1999, Bin Ladin declared
that 'the Fight is part of Islamic religious law and whoever loves
Allah and the Prophet cannot avoid this fact'.72

If we appraise the terrorist attacks in which al-Qa'ida has been
involved, we come to realize that the operatives that perpetrated
the attacks went through all four essential stages of militant
Jihad. Yet in the minds of those operatives, there existed one, and
only one, guiding notion: 'In everything I do, I must follow the
path of Jihad.' To further illustrate this fact, we recall the
attacks of 11 September 2001. It began with the migration of
the 'Hamburg Cell', led by Egyptian national Muhammad 'Ata, and
the 'Saudi Group', which comprised 15 out of the 19 hijackers, to
Afghanistan, where they commenced the stage of mental and physical
preparation in bin Ladin's training camps (beginning in 1997). From
there, they migrated to the United States (throughout 1999) to
undergo preparation in the field of aviation and further
coordination of operational procedures, followed by residency in the
enemy's frontier (in this case, waiting near the airports from which
the hijacked airplanes were to depart). All that remained was the
fighting stage - execution of the attacks.

While the four stages of militant Jihad delineate the process that
the Muslim fighter undergoes - from a migrant to a warrior in a holy
war (Mujahid)-Da'wa (propaganda) denotes the parallel process that
the Muslim propagandist and his propaganda undergo. 'Azzam and bin
Ladin gave Da'wa high priority and argued that the fusion of these
two levels was essential for the victory of Worldwide Islamic Jihad.
Like militant Jihad, Da'wa, too, is divided into four stages: the
call to adhere to Allah, the cold war, the warm war, and the final

This stage will be publicly inaugurated by an individual who,
in 'Azzam's words, 'has sold himself to Allah'. A select group of
Muslims (parallel to the Prophet's companions, or Sahabah) will then
rally around this individual, and together they will comprise 'the
solid base' (al-Qa'ida al-Sulbah) of Islamic society, which will
then confront the 'infidel' society around it. Bin Ladin embarked on
this stage at the end of 1989 in Afghanistan. He succeeded in
surrounding himself with a vanguard (the first members of al-
Qa'ida), whose members were to lead the confrontation with the

As soon as he arrived in Saudi Arabia at the beginning of 1990, bin
Ladin undertook a propaganda campaign against the 'infidel' Saudi
regime which, he claimed, was a puppet regime of the United States.
This 'Cold War', as 'Abdullah 'Azzam labelled this stage of the
Da'wa level, was exacerbated by the arrival of American forces in
the Saudi kingdom following Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. Bin
Ladin recognized that, during this stage, members of his vanguard
could expect detention, humiliation and deportation. He took this
situation to be merely a temporary phase, such that he should
refrain from being drawn into the 'cheap' tactics that the infidel
society was liable to employ. At this stage, he did not yet carry
out terrorist operations against the Americans or the Saudi regime.

In the 'Warm War' stage, the propaganda level is combined with the
militant Jihad level. According to 'Azzam, 'this is the stage of a
crushing campaign, where the Islamic Da'wa will set fire to the fuse
of Jihad and detonate the power of the Ummah'. This is the stage at
which bin Ladin began his terrorist campaign against the Americans,
beginning in December 1992 in the harbour city of Aden, Yemen, and
has remained in effect to today. 'Azzam predicted that by the end of
this stage the majority of Muslims would side with his group. In the
final stage, victory, all humanity will abide under the wings of

'Azzam argued that the unification of Militant Jihad and Da'wa was
an essential step towards the triumph of Worldwide Islamic Jihad. On
the one hand, 'Azzam argued that Da'wa was not in itself enough to
unite the Islamic Ummah, and in fact could even pose a major threat
if not accompanied by sweat, blood and martyrs. The Prophet Muhammad
himself was seen as proof of this: he was unable to unify the
Arabian Peninsula through propaganda and preaching alone, but rather
needed military victories in order to guide people under the wings
of Islam. On the other hand, 'Azzam argued that merely taking up
arms was not enough to unify the Ummah, so long as Muslims lacked
the power to overcome their worldly impulses, the strength to 'reach
the truth' through education, and the knowledge and fear of God. On
the contrary: he who takes up arms prior to experiencing an
exhaustive Islamic education is no different from a common criminal,
his actions tantamount to suicide.75

'Azzam characterized the need to fuse Jihad with Da'wa using an

The life of the Islamic Ummah depends exclusively on the ink of
the 'Ulama (religious scholars) and the blood of the Shuhada
(martyrs), such that the Islamic historical map is coloured in two
colours: black - from the pen of the religious scholar, and red -
from the blood of the martyrs. What is more beautiful than writing
the history of the Ummah with both the ink and the blood of the
religious scholar? What is more beautiful than having the hand that
pours the ink and operates the pen be the same hand that spills the
blood and drives the Ummah? The larger the number of religious
scholar Shuhada, the greater the awakening of the Ummah from its
slumber and the greater its salvation.76

Figure 2 may serve to illustrate the way in which 'Abdullah 'Azzam
viewed, and Usama bin Ladin views today, the way in which the
Worldwide Islamic Jihad Theory should be implemented:

Figure 2. The implementation of Worldwide Islamic Jihad according
to 'Azzam and Bin Ladin.
[chart deleted]

The decision to relegate the liberation of Palestine and
other 'oppressed' Islamic lands (Egypt, Jordan and Algeria) to
the 'second tier' of Worldwide Islamic Jihad in favour of its 'first
tier'-Afganistan, followed by Iraq - was a strategic choice on the
part of al-Qa'ida. This decision was reached in light of the fact
that the organization saw Afghanistan and Iraq, respectively, as the
targets for which the chances at the time were the greatest to
defeat the 'infidels' and establish Dar al-Islam. The Palestinian
issue featured an additional element, namely the fact that Israel
had for many years been viewed as a particularly difficult adversary
to surmount. As a result, a decision was made to invest the
organization's fighting power in Palestine only 'to the greatest
extent possible'. This has subsequently translated into a position
on Palestine characterized more by fiery rhetoric than by deeds.

For al-Qa'ida to shift its Jihad from Iraq to another Islamic land
in need of 'liberation', be it Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Algeria,
Syria, or any other location, it must be convinced that four
conditions have been met (five in the case of Palestine): firstly,
the organization must be convinced that the issue of Iraq has been
discharged. This could come about in one of two ways: coalition
troops could take concrete steps to prepare to leave Iraq in defeat,
or al-Qa'ida itself could become convinced that it had no chance of
defeating the coalition forces in Iraq, creating the need to seek
out another location in which Jihad was underway and the chances of
defeating the 'infidels' were great. The second condition is
certainty on the organization's part that victory over those
authorities who have 'usurped' Islamic lands can be realized by
means of Jihad. In the case of Palestine, Israel's disengagement
from the Gaza Strip and Second Lebanon War were seen as a sign of
Israel's weakness; it had capitulated in the face of Palestinian and
Lebanese Jihad. The leaders of al-Qa'ida are overwhelmingly of the
opinion that Israel's situation is analogous to that of the
Americans in Iraq, such that victory might be feasible. The third
condition is certainty on the organization's part that the borders
of the 'beleaguered' Islamic land were permeable, enabling its
operatives to 'immigrate'. This condition is essential, since it
facilitates the smuggling of weapons and Muslim volunteers from
around the world as fighters on Islamic soil, in keeping with the
Afghan precedent of the 1980s. The forth condition is certainty on
the organization's part that the local population of the 'oppressed'
Islamic land and its immediate neighbours would be supportive. The
locals would, in the words of 'Abdullah 'Azzam, act as
an 'impenetrable shield for the Mujahidin'. The fifth and final
condition applies to the Palestinians: certainty that it would be
possible to attack Israel without fear of interference on the part
of the Palestinian Authority. As of this writing, the chaotic morass
prevailing in the PA territories is clearly conducive to al-Qa'ida's

In order to combat al-Qa'ida and Worldwide Islamic Jihad, steps must
be taken by Western nations, as well as those secular and/or Western-
allied Muslim governments whom al-Qa'ida has accused of 'usurping'
Islamic lands. These steps must be carried out on several fronts and
through several channels: on the diplomatic front, cooperation
between nations facing terrorism must be promoted, so as to prevent
terrorist attacks from being carried out, keep the infrastructure of
al-Qa'ida and Worldwide Islamic Jihad from taking root locally, and
formulate agreements to severely curtail the organization's
activities. In terms of security and intelligence, new channels for
cooperation vis--vis surveillance must be opened in order to address
the reality of the expansive international network of al-Qa'ida and
Worldwide Islamic Jihad operations. In terms of intelligence and
cultural research, phenomena related to Worldwide Islamic Jihad must
be analyzed, its points of strength and weakness scrutinized. On the
legal front, legislation should be passed to enhance the legal
system's ability to cope with the threat posed by the phenomenon of
Worldwide Islamic Jihad. On the public consciousness and relations
front, a system of effective public relations must be fostered to
prepare the public in affected countries for the challenges of
Worldwide Islamic Jihad. Likewise, a system of public relations
contacts must be maintained with Arab and international communities
to warn them of the dangers inherent in the activities of al-Qa'ida
and Worldwide Islamic Jihad, and delegitimate them throughout the
world. On the operational level, effective capabilities for
offensive and defensive measures must be developed in order to
address the global threat of al-Qa'ida and Worldwide Islamic Jihad.


This essay is based on the author's doctoral dissertation,
entitled 'Abdullah 'Azzam and the Ideological Origins of Usama bin
Ladin's Worldwide Islamic Terrorism, written in the framework of the
Department of Middle Eastern History at Bar-Ilan University, under
the supervision of Dr Rami Ginat from the department of Political
Studies, March 2006.

1. 'Anshei Mus'ab al-Zarqawi nikhnesu ve-po'alim birtzu'at 'aza'
('Mus'ab al-Zarqawi's men have entered and are operating in the Gaza
Strip'), DEBKAfile (19 December
2005),; see also E.
Karmon, 'Who Bombed Northern Israel? Al-Qaida and Palestine', ICT
Website (1 January 2006),

2. According to widespread estimations, between 7,000 and 25,000
Muslim volunteers participated in the war in Afghanistan; some took
part in the actual fighting, while others aided from the hinterland.
The British Jane's Intelligence Review estimates that overall, close
to 14,000 Arab Muslims participated in the war in Afghanistan: 5,000
Saudis, 3,000 Yemenis, 2,800 Algerians, 2,000 Egyptians, 400
Tunisians, 370 Iraqis, 200 Libyans and several dozen Jordanians. JIR
does not mention the Palestinian volunteers, probably due to their
small numbers. See J. Bruce, 'Arab Veterans of the Afghan War',
Jane's Intelligence Review, Section: Middle East, Vol.7, No.4 (April
1995), p.175.

3. 'A. 'Azzam, Al-As'ila wal-Ajwiba al-Jihadiyya[Questions and
Answers Regarding Jihad] (Peshawar: Maktab Khadamat al-Mujahidin,
year not available), p.21.

4. 'Azzam, Questions and Answers Regarding Jihad, p.1; H. Jarar, Al-
Shahid 'Abdullah 'Azzam - rajul Da'wa wa-madrasat Jihad[The
Martyr 'Abdullah 'Azzam - Propaganda Man and Jihad School] (Amman:
Dar al-Diya', 1990), pp.91-3; S. Engelberg, 'Ha'ish hara''['The bad
guy'], Ha'aretz (Israel), Ha'aretz Weekend Magazine, 26 January
2001, p.34; Anon, 'Watarajjala faris al-'Ulama' fi Afghanistan faman
yamtati jawadahu?'['The religious scholars' knight in Afghanistan
gets off (of his beast's back); who will now ride his gallant
horse?'], Al-Bunyan al-Marsus, Vol.30 (February 1990), p.8.

5. H. al-Amin, 'Al-Qa'ida wasalat ila al-Daffah al-Gharbiyyah wa-al-
Qita' tamihah ila mawqi' Hamas ... wa-al-khutwati al-ula fi
Ghaza'['Al-Qa'ida arrives in the West Bank and Gaza Strip eager to
take Hamas' place ... and the first step is Gaza'], Al-Hayat
(London), 4 April 2006,
618b22c5-c0a8-10ed-0105-00341eec7064/story.html; Ahmad Fadil Nazil
al-Khalaylah, also known as Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, was killed on 8
June 2006 in an American air-strike on his isolated house north of
Ba'aqubah. Al-Zarqawi, of Jordanian origin, was accused by the
United States of planning suicide attacks that killed hundreds of
people in Iraq and decapitating numerous hostages in the country. He
served as the head of the largest rebel Sunni movement in Iraq.

6. 'A. 'Azzam, Fi al-Jihad Fiqh wa-Ijtihad[In Jihad: Jurisprudence
and Intellectual Effort to Infer Law] (Peshawar: Maktab Khadamat al-
Mujahidin, year not available), p.143; 'A. 'Azzam, Tahqiq al-
'Ubudiyya[Fulfilling the Servitude] (Kuwait: Home Videotape, 1989).

7. 'A. al-Qadir 'Ali and Fadl al-Hadi Wazin, 'Ila 'ayna wasala al-
tahqiq'['Where is the investigation at?'], Al-Jihad, Vol.64
(February 1990), p.22.

8. 'Afghan Alumni' are divided into three generations. 'Generation
A' denotes the thousands of Arab and non-Arab Muslim volunteers who
fought in the war in Afghanistan during the 1980s until the end of
the war and the withdrawal of the Soviet army in February 1989. Some
remained in Afghanistan after the withdrawal to aid in the removal
of the remnants of the pro-Soviet Afghan regime that remained in
power after the end of the war. Usama bin Ladin is one such
Generation A Afghan Alumni. 'Generation B' (the post-war
generation) - there are the hundreds of Arab and non-Arab Muslim
volunteers that came to Afghanistan after the end of the war,
between February 1989 (the Soviet withdrawal) and May 1992 (the fall
of the pro-Soviet Afghan regime), in order to participate in Jihad
against the remnants of the pro-Soviet Afghan regime that stayed in
power after the end of the war and in order to train in guerrilla
warfare and terrorism in the Afghan training camps. Throughout this
period, some of these Alumni stayed in Afghanistan and joined, after
May 1992, one of the many warring Mujahidin factions. Some returned
to their countries of origin and participated in terrorist
activities there; others moved to different countries to participate
in terrorist activities or aid terrorist activities in their
homelands. 'Generation C' refers to the hundreds of Muslim
fundamentalists from around the world who came or were sent to
Afghanistan after May 1992 in order to receive training in guerrilla
warfare and terrorist activity in the various training camps founded
there by the Afghan Mujahidin factions and Usama bin Ladin. Some of
them joined al-Qa'ida, some acted on behalf of local Islamic
fundamentalist groups and some acted on behalf of independent
Islamic groups that they founded.

9. An indictment on behalf of the military prosecutor in the Gaza
Strip, Captain Dalya Kaufman (the plaintiff) versus Nabil Madiras
Muhammad Abu 'Ukal (the defendant), court case: 344/2000,
prosecution case: 356/2000, criminal case: 672/2000 (24 August
2000); an indictment on behalf of the military prosecutor in Judea
and Samaria, Lieutenant Asaf 'Azarati (the plaintiff) versus Basil
Rashid Muhammad Daqqah (the defendant), court case: 40243/00,
prosecution case: 194/00, criminal case: 1233/00 (2 May 2000); an
indictment on behalf of the military prosecutor in Judea and Samaria
Lieutenant Asaf 'Azarati (the plaintiff) versus Sa'id Sitan Mahmud
Hindawi (the defendant), court case: 4745/0, prosecution case:
136/00, criminal case: 661/00, 662/00, 663/00 (22 March 2000).

10. On 24 November 1989, anonymous assassins killed 'Abdullah 'Azzam
and his two sons, who were with him at the time: Muhammad (20) and
Ibrahim (15). An explosive charge containing 20 kilograms of TNT
explosives, detonated from afar, shattered their car as they drove
from their home in Peshawar to the nearby Sab' al-Layl mosque,
where 'Abdullah 'Azzam was scheduled to deliver the Friday sermon;
the circumstances of 'Azzam's death and the establishment of al-
Qa'ida will be discussed in a separate essay to be published at a
later date.

11. 'A. 'Azzam, Sa'adat al-Bashariyyah[The Bliss of Humanity]
(Peshawar: Markaz al-Shahid 'Azzam al-I'lami, year not available),
p.11; 'A. 'Azzam, Samam al-Aman[The Security Valve] (Peshawar:
Maktab Khadamat al-Mujahidin, 1989), Videotape; 'Azzam, Fulfilling
the Servitude; 'Azzam, Questions and Answers Regarding Jihad, p.24.

12. 'A. 'Azzam, Hamas - al-Judhur al-Ta'rikhiyyah wa-al-Mithaq[Hamas-
Historical Roots and the Charter] (Peshawar: Maktab Khadamat al-
Mujahidin, 1990), p.128; Anon, Shahid al-Ummah al-Islamiyyah al-
Duktur 'Abdullah 'Azzam[The Islamic Ummah's Martyr,
Doctor 'Abdullah 'Azzam] (Peshawar: Maktab Khadamat al-Mujahidin,
year not available), Videotape; the issuance of the Hamas Charter
was a central landmark in the movement's development. This was the
first attempt to formulate an independent Palestinian-Islamic
platform to counter the secular approach of the PLO. See A. Shabi
and R. Shaked, Hamas (Jerusalem: Keter, 1994), p.107.

13. 'Azzam, Hamas, p.121. See, for comparison, 'A. 'Azzam, Al-
Difa''an Aradi al-Muslimin Aham Furud al-A'yan[The Defense of Muslim
Lands - the Most Important of Individual Obligations] (Amman:
Maktabat al-Risalah al-Hadithah, 1987), p.70 (the complete version).

14. 'Azzam, Hamas, pp.121, 130-31.

15. 'Azzam, Hamas, p.127. See, for comparison, 'A. 'Azzam, Ilhaq bil-
Qafilah[Join the Caravan] (Sana: Maktabat al-Jil al-Jadid, 1990),
p.17, and 'Azzam, The Defense of Muslim Lands, pp.70, 73.

16. 'Azzam, Hamas, p.128. See, for comparison, 'Azzam, The Defense
of Muslim Lands, p.42.

17. 'Azzam, Hamas, p.129. See, for comparison, 'A. 'Azzam, Shahr
bayna al-'Amaliqah[A Month among the Giants] (Peshawar: Markaz al-
Shahid 'Azzam al-I'lami, 1989), p.31, and also, 'Azzam, The Defense
of Muslim Lands, p.73.

18. 'Azzam, Hamas, pp.132-3. See, for comparison, 'Azzam,The
Security Valve. As regards to the education programme, 'Azzam indeed
emphasized that one must first undergo a religious education, and
that only then could one study other subjects, such as the
foundations of social and economic regime. According to 'Azzam, a
reversal of the order is like 'sowing seeds in the air and expecting
that these seeds will grow into trees in the air'; see 'A. 'Azzam,
Al-Tarbiyah al-Jihadiyyah wa-al-Bina'[Education for Jihad and
Reconstruction] (Peshawar: Maktab Khadamat al-Mujahidin, year not
available), p.20.

19. 'Azzam, Hamas, p.134. See, for comparison, 'A. 'Azzam, Khat al-
Tahawwul al-Ta'rikhi[The Turning Point of History] (Peshawar: Markaz
al-Shahid 'Azzam al-I'lami, year not available), p.19.

20. 'Azzam, Hamas, p.135. See, for comparison, 'A. 'Azzam, 'Ibar wa-
Basa'ir lil-Jihad fi al- 'Asr al-Hadir[Lessons and Approaches to the
Holy War in the Modern Era] (Amman: Maktabat al-Risalah al-Hadithah,
1987), pp.44-6.

21. 'Azzam, Hamas, p.138. See, for comparison, 'A. 'Azzam, 'Hasabana
Allah wa-ni'am al-wakil'['Enough that the Creator will help us and
grace us'], Al-Jihad, Vol.61 (November 1989), p.7.

22. 'Azzam, Hamas, pp.149-50. See, for comparison, 'Azzam, 'Enough
that the Creator will help us and grace us', p.7, and also, 'Azzam,
The Turning Point of History, p.8. 'Azzam often used the
expression 'the Jews - merchants of war', and even wrote a book
under the title Tujar al-Hurub[Merchants of War], meaning the Jews.

23. 'Azzam, Hamas, p.128; 'Azzam, Questions and Answers Regarding
Jihad, p.31.

24. 'A. 'Azzam, 'Abdullah 'Azzam (Oklahoma City: IAP, 1988),
Videotape; 'Azzam, Hamas, pp.79, 82; Sheikh Ahmad Yasin was killed
on 22 March 2004 in an Israeli Air Force assassination as he was
leaving his house in Gaza on the way to a mosque.

25. 'A. 'Azzam,Muqaddimah fi al-Hijra wal-I'dad[Preface to Migration
and Preparation] (Location, publisher and year not available),
p.60;Al-Jihad, Vol.39 (February 1988),
p.3; 'Azzam, 'Abdullah 'Azzam; 'Azzam,Questions and Answers
Regarding Jihad, p.31; Jarar, The Martyr 'Abdullah 'Azzam, pp.65,
80, 340-42.

26. Anon, 'Liqa' ma'a um al-Shuhada wa-zawjat al-shahid'['Meeting
with the mother of the two martyrs and the spouse of a martyr'], Al-
Bunyan al-Marsus, Vol.30 (February 1990), p.14.

27. bin Ladin, 'Bin Ladin yatahaddathu'['Bin Ladin speaks'], Al-
Jazeera TV (December 1998).

28. Jarar, The Martyr 'Abdullah 'Azzam, p.267; Kathim 'Ayish, a
former student of 'Azzam at the Jordanian University and today a
member of the consulting committee (Majlis al-Shur) of the Muslim
Brotherhood and chairman of the Committee of United Nations Relief
and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA's)
educators in Jordan, noted that many former and current leaders of
Hamas had been students of 'Abdullah 'Azzam; among these more than
100 Hamas members exiled to Lebanon in 1992 and many activists from
the 'Iz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, including
Yussuf al-Surkaji, former commander of the 'Iz al-Din al-Qassam
Brigades in Judea and Samaria, who was killed during the al-Aqsa
Intifada (the second Palestinian Intifada). See K. 'Ayish, 'Tahta al-
majhar-'Abdullah 'Azzam - halqah wahidah'['Under the microscope-
'Abdullah 'Azzam - Chapter one'], Al-Jazeera, 20 February 2003.

29. Hamas communiqu number 51, entitled In the third year of the
Intifada our people devoted themselves to the eternal slogan, 'Jihad
Victory or Martyrdom' (17 December 1989); on 22 December 1989, a
correction was published for this communiqu, in which the date of
the planned strike was changed from 25 December to 27 December 1989,
out of consideration for those Christian Palestinians who would be
celebrating Christmas.

30. Declaration of condolences by Hamas, see, Al-Jihad, Vol.63
(January 1990), p.54.

31. Jarar, The Martyr 'Abdullah 'Azzam, p.268.

32. Anon, 'Al-'Alim al-Azhari Duktur 'Abdullah 'Azzam fi mawkib al-
Shuhada'['The al-Azhar University alumnus, Religious Scholar
Dr. 'Abdullah 'Azzam in the Martyrs Caravans'], Falastin al-Muslimah
(January 1990), p.8.

33. Shabi and Shaked, Hamas, p.299; Anon, 'Mu'taqaluna khalf al-
qudban - al-asir 'Uthman Sa'id Bilal'['Prisoners behind bars - the
prisoner 'Uthman Sa'id Bilal'],
(accessed 9 November 2003); Anon, 'Sijil al-majd li-kata'ib al-
shahid 'Iz al-Din al-Qassam'['The book of glory of 'Iz al-Din al-
Qassam Martyr Brigades'], http://www.palestine- (accessed 11 November 2003);
Y.A. Halalah, 'Tahta al-majhar-'Abdullah 'Azzam - halqah
wahidah'['Under the microscope-'Abdullah 'Azzam - Chapter one'], Al-
Jazeera, 20 February 2003. During the 1990s the names of Hamas'
military wings in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip were united
under the name 'Kata'ib al-Shahid 'Iz al-Din al-Qassam' ('The
Martyr 'Iz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades'). It should be noted that in
Hebron in 1994, the title 'Abdullah 'Azzam Martyr Brigades was seen
displayed on the walls of houses at least twice. During the same
period, the books and videotapes of 'Azzam were being circulated in
Judea and Samaria in general, and Hebron in particular.

34. During his tour of military duty as an officer in the Civil
Administration in Judea and Samaria (and as a reservist), the author
of this essay was a witness to Hamas' ideological identification
with Worldwide Jihad. See also 'S. Basayev, leader of the Chechen
separatists and responsible for the Beslan school massacre, was
killed by the Russian security forces. His organization is
identified with al-Qa'ida and the global Jihad. Hamas identifies
with and is inspired by Chechen separatist ideology', Intelligence
and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies
(CSS), 19 July 2006. It bears noting that despite the signs of
admiration and identification with the Chechen rebels, Sheikh Ahmad
Yasin rejected an offer from the Chechens to aid Hamas in its
struggle against Israel at the time.

35. M. Elbaz, S. Rosen and P. Simonov, 'Russia is Ready for Dialogue
with Hamas', Axis, 3 February 2006,

36. U. bin Ladin, 'Declaration of War against the Americans
Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places - Expel the Infidels from
the Arab Peninsula', Azzam Publications,, 20 March
2000. See also U. bin Ladin, 'Nas bayan al-Jabhah al-Islamiyyah al-
'Alamiyyah li-Jihad al-Yahud wa-al-Salibiyyina'['Text of World
Islamic Front's statement urging Jihad against Jews and Crusaders'],
Al-Quds al-'Arabi (London), No.2732, 23 February 1998, p.3.

37. M. al-Shafi'i, 'Sahafi 'asha ma'a Bin Ladin yakshifu 'an sharit
fideo liza'im al-Qa'ida fi Jeddah'['Journalist who lived with bin
Ladin reveals videotape of the leader of al-Qa'ida in Jeddah'], Al-
Sharq al-Awsat (London), No.8686, 9 September 2002, p.3.

38. U. bin Ladin, 'Al-Nas al-kamil li-Hadith Bin Ladin 'abra al-
Jazeera'['The full text of bin Ladin's words through al-Jazeera'],
Al-Jazeera, 27 December 2001; U. bin Ladin, Waqi' al-Ummah al-
Islamiyya[Reality of the Islamic Ummah] (Location not available:
Mu'assasat Al'ab lil-Intaj al-I'lami, 2002), Videotape.

39. U. bin Ladin, 'Al-Nas al-kamil li-khutbat al-'id li Usama bin
Ladin'['The full text of Usama bin Ladin's Hajj sermon'], Al-
Jazeera, 16 February 2003; U. bin Ladin, 'Usama bin Ladin: American
Soldiers Are Paper Tigers', Middle East Quarterly, Vol.V, No.4
(December 1998), p.76; The Hadith ('the hour for waking the dead
will not arrive') taken from A.I. Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal
[Anthology of the Hadiths of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal('s Hadiths)], Vol.2
(Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1969), p.417, Sahih Hadith [Authentic
Hadith]; Author's translation from the Arabic.

40. Bin Ladin, 'The full text of bin Ladin's words through al-
Jazeera'; The English translation of the Koranic verses which appear
in this essay is taken from M.M. Pickthall, The Meaning of The
Glorious Qur'an (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-Luubnani, 1973).

41. Al-Amin, 'Al-Qa'ida arrived in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
eager to take Hamas' place ... and the first step in Gaza'; U. bin
Ladin, 'Infijara al-Riyad wal-Khubar risalah lil-Amrikiyina lam
yafhamu maghzaha. al-Sudan ba'a al-Afghan al-'arab bi-thaman rakhis
jiddan wa-lan a'ud ilayha thaniyatan'['The two explosions in al-
Riyad and in al-Khubar are a missive to the Americans who did not
understand its message. Sudan sold the Arab-Afghans at a very cheap
price and I will not return to Sudan a second time'], Al-Quds al-
'Arabi (London), No.2350, 27 November 1996, p.5.

42. 'Al-Qada' al-Isra'ili yattahimu falastiniyayni bil-intima' lil-
Qa'ida'['Israeli court indicts two Palestinians affiliated with al-
Qa'ida'], BBCArabic, 22 March 2006,

43. 'Al-Qa'ida omed litkof et yisrael'['al-Qa'ida set to attack
Israel'], DEBKAfile, 31 December 2005,

44. Karmon, 'Who Bombed Northern Israel? Al-Qaida and Palestine'.

45. A. al-Zawahiri, 'Nas khitab al-Zawahiri'['Text of al-Zawahiri's
words'],Al-Jazeera, 6 January 2006,

46. A.M. al-Zarqawi, 'Al-Zarqawi: sawarikh al-Qa'ida dida isra'il bi-
tawjih min bin Ladin'['Al-Zarqawi: al-Qa'ida's rockets against
Israel "under orders" from bin Ladin'], Al-'Arabiyyah, 9 January

47. G. Sharbal, 'Abbas lil-Hayat: mu'ashirat ila wujud al-Qa'ida fi
Ghaza wa-al-Daffah wa-al- 'awaqib takhrib kul al-mintaqah'['Abbas to
al-Hayat: proof of the presence of al-Qa'ida in Gaza and the West
Bank; the results will be the downfall of the entire region'], Al-
Hayat (London), 2 March 2006,

48. H. al-Amin, 'Al-Qa'ida tatruqu abwab madinat Ghaza... wa-
muwazanatiha fi al-'Iraq malayin al-dularat'['Al-Qa'ida knocks on
the door of the city of Gaza its budget in Iraq is millions of
dollars'], Al-Hayat (London), 4 April 2006,

49. A. al-Zawahiri, 'Al-Zawahiri yantaqidu Hamas wa-yas'adu dida al-
gharb'['Al-Zawahiri criticizes Hamas and rejects the West'], Al-
Jazeera, 5 March 2006; A. al-Zawahiri, 'Nas kalimat al-
Zawahiri'['Text of al-Zawahiri's words'], Al-Jazeera, 5 March 2006.

50. Anon, 'Hamas tarfudu 'ard al-Zawahiri wa-mushaddah kalamiyyah bi-
awwal ijtima' lil-Majlis al-Tashri'i'['Hamas rejects al-Zawahiri's
offer leads to verbal scuffle during the first meeting of the
legislative council'], CNNArabic, 7 March 2006,

51. Anon, 'Sgano shel Bin Ladin me'ayem: hovatenu le-hasel et
yisra'el'['Bin Ladin's deputy threatens: it is our duty to destroy
Israel'], Yediot Aharonot (Israel), 14 April 2006, p.4. There are
estimates that the videotape was recorded in November 2005.

52. Anon, 'Haniya: Bin Ladin tape shows solidarity', Middle East
Online, 24 April 2006, http://www.middle-east-

53. Anon, 'Al-Qa'ida tikhnen le-yaret et matos El-Al be-Geneva'['Al-
Qa'ida planned to shoot down El-Al plane in Geneva'], Walla, 23 May
2006,; see Abu Mus'ab 'Abd al-
Wudud's declaration in Arabic at

54. U. bin Ladin, 'Nas kalimat Bin Ladin mu'azziyan fi al-
Zarqawi'['Text of Bin Ladin's statement concerning al-Zarqawi's
death'], Al-Jazeera, 30 June 2006,
CD37D07836DA.htm; U. bin Ladin, 'Nas al-tasjil al-sawti li-Bin Ladin
bi-ta'rikh 1 July 2006'['Text of bin Ladin's Audio recording from 1
July 2006'], Al-Jazeera, 1 July 2006,

55. Anon, 'Al-Zawahiri yatawa'adu bil-intiqam min al-'udwan 'ala
Ghaza wa-Lubnan'['Al-Zawahiri promises to avenge the attacks on Gaza
and Lebanon'], Al-Jazeera, 27 July 2006,
29DEE78B0FA3.htm. The Second Lebanon War broke out on 12 July 2006
in response to Hezbollah attacks, including the launching of rockets
throughout northern Israel and an assault on an IDF patrol inside
Israeli territory, the latter resulting in two kidnapped Israeli
soldiers and the deaths of three others. In light of the kidnapping
the IDF began on 13 July Operation Exacting Payment (later the title
was changed to Operation Change of Direction) against Hezbollah in
Lebanon with the objective of returning the kidnapped soldiers and
uprooting Hezbollah from southern Lebanon in order to stop the
firing of Katyusha rockets into northern Israel. The crisis
developed into a comprehensive Israeli assault against targets
throughout Lebanon, alongside a massive number of rockets fired into
all of northern Israel.

56. Anon, 'Al-Zawahiri yatawaqa'u tas'id al-'amal al-Jihadi dida
Isra'il wa-al-Gharb'['Al-Zawahiri expects an escalation in
the "Jihad activity" against Israel and the West'], Al-Jazeera, 11
September 2006,

57. 'A. 'Azzam, Jihad Sha'b Muslim[Holy War of a Muslim Nation]
(Location, publication and year not available), p.54; 'Azzam, In
Jihad, p.135.

58. 'A. 'Azzam, Fi Khidamm al-Ma'rakah[In the Spacious Battlefield]
(Peshawar: Maktab Khadamat al-Mujahidin, 1989), p.44; 'Azzam,The
Defense of Muslim Lands, p.36 (the long version); 'A. 'Azzam,
Basha'ir al-Nasr[The Good News of Victory] (Peshawar: Markaz al-
Shahid 'Azzam al-I'lami, year not available), p.5; 'Azzam,
Fulfilling the Servitude.

59. 'A. 'Azzam, 'Madha turiduna?'['What do you want?'], Al-Jihad
(Peshawar), Vol.63 (January 1990), p.8.

60. 'Azzam, In the Spacious Battlefield, p.29.

61. 'Azzam, In Jihad, pp.156-7; 'Azzam, Questions and Answers
Regarding Jihad, p.2.

62. 'Azzam, 'Abdullah 'Azzam; 'A. 'Azzam, Afghanistan wal-Mu'amarah
al-Dawliyya[Afghanistan and the International Conspiracy] (Location
not available: al-Sharika al-I'lamiyyah lil-Khadamat, 1989),
Videotape; 'A. 'Azzam, I'lan al-Jihad[Declaration of Jihad]
(Peshawar: Maktab Khadamat al-Mujahidin, 1990), p.67; 'Azzam, In
Jihad, pp.53, 57, 134; 'Azzam, The Defense of Muslim Lands, pp.83-
133; 'Azzam, The Good News of Victory, p.5; 'Azzam, The Security

63. 'Azzam, The Security Valve. The legal justification for this
course of action can be found in the writings of Taqi al-Din Ibn
Taymiyyah, the well-known fourteenth century neo-Hanabli scholar,
who argued that when historical circumstances force Muslims to
establish a number of Islamic states simultaneously, an Imam or
Caliph can be appointed in each one, on the condition that he is
found to be suitable. See I. Sivan, Qanaei ha-Islam[The Fanatics of
Islam] (Tel Aviv: 'Am 'Oved, 1994), p.94. Author's translation.

64. 'A. 'Azzam, Khatar al-Qawmiyya 'ala al-Jihad al-Afghani[The
Danger of Nationalism vis--vis the Afghan Jihad] (Peshawar: Maktab
Khadamat al-Mujahidin, 1989), Videotape.

65. 'Azzam, Preface to Migration and Preparation, pp.11, 18, 25.

66. Ibid., pp.11, 18, 25.

67. Bin Ladin, Reality of the Islamic Ummah.

68. 'Azzam, Preface to Migration and Preparation, pp.21, 40.

69. 'Azzam, Join the Caravan, p.46; 'Azzam, Preface to Migration and
Preparation, pp.21, 40.

70. U. bin Ladin, 'I Am Not Afraid of Death', Newsweek, World
Affairs, 11 January 1999, p.15; see also U. bin Ladin, 'Usama bin
Ladin ka Pakistan ki Ulama ki nam khat ki iqtibas ka aks'['Usama bin
Ladin passes on a letter to religious scholars in Pakistan; the
following is an exact copy'], in I. 'Ata, Usama bin Ladin Mujahid ya
dasht gard?[Usama bin Ladin: Holy Warrior or Terrorist?] (Lahore: al-
Faysal, 1998), p.192.

71. U. bin Ladin, 'Al-Tasjil al-mansub li-bin Ladin'['The video
attributed to bin Ladin'], Al-Jazeera, 19 January 2006,

72. U. bin Ladin, 'Conversation with Terror', Time, Middle East, 11
January 1999, p.33.

73. 'A. 'Azzam, 'al-Qa'ida al-sulbah'['The solid base'], Al-Jihad,
Vol.41 (April 1988), pp.4-5; 'A. 'Azzam, Dhikrayat Falastin
[Palestine Memories] (Peshawar: Markaz al-Shahid 'Azzam al-I'lami,
year not available), p.12; 'A. 'Azzam, Kalimat min Khat al-Nar al-
Awwal[Words from the Battle Front Line] (Location, publication and
year not available), pp.6-7, 46.

74. 'Azzam used the first Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Sadiq, and the
followers that grouped around him, as an example of the 'solid base'
which had fought the Bedouin tribes that had converted to Islam but
had dissented from it following the death of the Prophet Muhammad.
See 'A. 'Azzam, Fi al-Ta'ammur al-'Alami[Concerning the Worldwide
Conspiracy] (Peshawar: Markaz al-Shahid 'Azzam al-I'lami, year not
available), p.43.

75. 'Azzam, Concerning the Worldwide Conspiracy, pp.4, 8; 'Azzam,
Palestine Memories, p.12; 'Azzam, The Security Valve; 'Azzam, Words
from the Battle Front Line, pp.100-101.

76. 'Azzam, Words from the Battle Front Line, p.134.