For a paper in my Arabic class, I would like to cite from bin Laden's 1996 fatwa "إعلان الحرب ضد الأمريكيين الذين يحتلون أرض الحرمين الشريفين"

In English: "Declaration of War Against the Americans Occupying the Land of The Two Holy Places" (alternatively: "two santuaries"), subtitled variously "Expel the Infidels from the Arab Peninsula" "Expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula," or "Expel the Pagans from the Arabian Peninsula." written August 23, 1996 (~Friday, April 9, 1417) and sent to various Arabic language newspapers.

It would be a little strange to take an English translation and translate back to the original but I can't find the latter; can someone provide tips on how to get it?

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    I propose that an Arabic-speaking site might be a better site to this query. It's far enough in the past to qualify as history - but we ay not be able to service the query adequately. Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 23:18
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    or, since it is about religion, islam.stackexchange.com is perhaps better suited for the question (and there is a ot of Arabic speakers hanging around) Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 10:52
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    Didn't know that exists, done
    – bolzep
    Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 21:29
  • Really strange: most srcs stating it was published in papers on the same date 'the fax' was sent out? Then variously earlier in a newsletter? And indeed the original language version absent, but some translations (often complained about as 'very bad') then passed around? Well, an often quoted src would be Al-Quds-al-Arabi UK paper, but its own archive starts with 1998, and on archive.org/details/AlqudsAlarabi1996UKArabic/… the crucial dates seem missing (& I can't read these terrible scans)? Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 11:17

1 Answer 1


At the 'Combating Terrorism' site at West Point we find:

This document is a declaration of war issued by Usama bin Laden and al-Qa`ida against the United States and the Saudi Arabia regime.

"Declaration of Jihad against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holiest Sites", Reference Number: AFGP-2002-003676

Presenting both an English translation and a supposedly original, in Arabic, PDF.

First page of fatwa document, click to enlarge


Declaration of Jihad against the Americans — 1. On August 23,1996, a fax was sent from the mountains of the Hindu Kush, in Afghanistan, to several Arab newspapers. It was signed as follows:

“A message from Osama Bin Laden to his Muslim brothers worldwide, and in the Arabian Peninsula in particular, dated Friday, April 9, 1417 / August 23, 1996. From the mountains of the Hindu Kush, Khorasan, Afghanistan.”

It also bore the title “Expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula,” or “Expel the Pagans from the Arabian Peninsula.” The title is taken from an unauthenticated hadith the Prophet is said to have uttered shortly before he died.

— Gilles Kepel & Jean-Pierre Milelli: "Al Qaeda In Its Own Words", Belknap Press: Cambridge, London, 2008, p274.

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