Osama bin Laden’s Letter to America
HIS 1111 B
Professor T. Boogaart
November 25th, 2009
September 11th, 2001, at 8:46am, Americans stood in awe as one of the world trade centers was destroyed by a commercial airliner, closely followed by the second tower at 10:28am. This attack was led by al-Qaeda leader and Islamic activist, Osama bin Laden. The American public was scared, mournful and outraged at this attack and posed the question as to why such an attack on civilians would be carried out. In response, on November 24th 2002, Osama bin Laden wrote a letter to america outlining the reasons for the attack. This letter however, was written for more than one reason. Firstly, it was to convince the American people that his movement was not monstrosity, but was well justified. Secondly, the letter was to gain support from the American people in the future, to contribute toward restoring Islamic government. Lastly and most importantly, the letter was delivered so that the Islamic people would regain confidence in bin Laden’s ‘freedom fighting’ movement.
After the attack, American civilians were, sad, confused and angry. Osama wrote to them in hope to justify his attack as reasonable, rather than terroristic or monstrous. He wrote the letter in english, stating that “America does not understand the language of manners and principles, so we are addressing it using the language it understands.” Bin Laden addressed as to why he attacked civilians and not just military personnel or political leaders by stating that “the American people have… affirmed their support for the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, …”, also “The American people are the ones who pay the taxes which fund the… armies which occupy our lands…” and “…the American people are the ones who choose their government by way of their own free will…” By saying this, he implies that all of the American people are at fault, because they choose the leaders who attack the people of Islam and they also fund the military to do so via taxes. This provided some assurance to the Americans that bin Laden was in fact sane, even if this fact was of little comfort to the people of the United States.
An atrocity is defined as "An act of cruelty and violence inflicted by an enemy-armed force upon civilians or prisoners." Some believe this war in Kosovo is about politics. However, upon examination of the specifics of this conflict it is apparent that this is about religion. People must then decide whom, if anyone is committing these atrocities. Should the United States be involved in the ...
The most general goal or dream of al Qaeda was to restore Islamic government. The essential effect of this goal would be the conversion of everyone to the Islamic faith. This goal is unrealistic to an almost infinite extent. The first step to achieving this goal however, would be to first convert the superpower of the world, and bin Laden hoped the letter would give enough influence to the American people to support him and al Qaeda. The letter wouldn’t convince many, however having some supporters who are already within American borders could prove to be very efficient for his terrorist movement.
The most important reason for the composition of this letter was to convince all of the Islamic people who once supported bin Laden to continue to do so. The attack on 9/11 was not only a shock to the Americans, but many Islamic people thought it was barbaric and was in fact against Islamic idealism. Bin Laden’s reasons for attacking America were that “…you attacked us and continue to attack us.” He used loaded questions to anger the Islamic people. For example, his second argument for their use of violence: “Is it in any way rational to expect that after America has attacked us for more than half a century, that we will then leave her to live in security and peace?!!” This was designed to convince Islamic’s that his use of violence was acceptable.
Osama bin Laden was viewed around the world as irrational, a terrorist and a mass murderer. Writing the letter to America, Islam and the people of the world, may not have unified the world under Islam, however it no doubt convinced many that his use of violence on America over the next few years was acceptable by Islam and by Allah Himself.
In 1777, there was a huge turning in the Revolutionary War between the American colonies and Great Britain. After long months of sporadic American wins, the Continental Army delivered a stunning blow to the British army by defeating them at the battle of Saratoga. This crucial win allowed the French, who had been watching the war unfold with keen interest, to finally decide to aid the Americans in ...
Bin Laden, Osama. “Letter to the American people.” Letter to The American Public. 24 Nov. 2002. Guardian. Observer, 24 Nov. 2002. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. .
 There is no proof that the document was in fact written by bin Laden’s hand, however, the nature of the letter and all of it’s justifying elements match Osama’s profile. If it was not written by Osama, it was written by a close henchman/translator.
 ‘Freedom Fighter’: A common euphemism for terrorist
 Bin Laden, Osama. “Letter to the American people.” Letter to The American Public. 24 Nov. 2002. Guardian. Observer, 24 Nov. 2002. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. .
 Bin Laden. Ibid.