War against America (04:34)
Al-Qaeda leaders met outside Kabul on 9/11. Osama bin Laden saw landing U.S. troops on Saudi soil during the 1991 Gulf War as a provocation and planned to break the alliance between the House of Saud and President Bush.
Jihadist World View (05:06)
Bin Laden saw America's world order as a provocation and wanted to restore the Islamic Empire and challenge Saudi hypocrisy. He followed Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian enraged by Israeli occupation and the West's "crusade." Azzam urged liberation of Muslim countries.
Cultivating Al-Qaeda (02:42)
Azzam wanted to launch a new jihad in Afghanistan; Bin Laden recruited young Saudis and contributed money. After Azzam's death in 1989, Bin Laden cultivated propaganda about his own heroism and formed a vision of driving Americans from Saudi Arabia.
Al-Qaeda Fatwas (03:12)
Bin Laden moved to Sudan in the 1990s, a refuge for Arab Islamists. Imam Abu Hajir urged jihadists to attack American soldiers and civilians supporting America; it was acceptable for Muslims to be killed.
Bin Laden's Provocations (02:33)
In 1993, a bomb killed six people in the World Trade Center. In 1995, Bin Laden attacked Saudi King Fahd in an open letter; President Clinton pressured Sudan to expel him. The local Al-Qaeda branch disbanded and Bin Laden suffered financially.
Tora Bora (03:16)
Expelled from Sudan, Bin Laden took refuge the mountains in Afghanistan, under Taliban control. He compared his exile to that of Mohammed and drafted a war declaration on the U.S., hoping to replicate the Soviet Union's fall after the Soviet-Afghan war.
Terrorism in Luxor (05:09)
In 1997, war journalist Peter Arnett interviewed Bin Laden about his jihad declaration. He allied with Ayman al-Zawahiri, who wanted to trigger an Islamic revolution in Egypt. Journalist Franz Koessler recalls the tourist massacre in November 1997 that aimed to destabilize Mubarak's regime.
World Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders (02:39)
In 1998, Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri sought global conflict with America. Car bombs at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killed 224 people. In 2000, terrorists attacked the U.S.S. Cole, but President Clinton avoided military strikes for political reasons. Bin Laden decided to attack America.
Planning the 9/11 Attacks (03:54)
Mohamed Atta's Hamburg terrorist group met with bin Laden in 1999. He revealed the plan to hijack planes and target New York. Al-Qaeda offered young men a chance to become martyrs and make history.
Terrorist Attack on American Soil (04:14)
Atta and Ziad Jarrah completed flight training in Florida. Hear events of September 11, 2001. Bin Laden heard the news in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda’s goals were to create images of a weakened America and to kill as many people as possible.
War on Terrorism (02:36)
President Bush only used the word "crusade" once, but the jihadists used it for propaganda, cultivating anti-Americanism. Bin Laden survived aerial attacks on Afghanistan; the U.S. was reluctant to send large detachments and Afghan allies were not completely loyal.
Operation Neptune Spear (04:36)
Learn about terrorist attacks in Bali, Tunisia, Spain, London, and Baghdad between 2002 and 2011. On May 2, U.S. Special Forces killed Bin Laden in his Pakistan compound. Hear a summary of the legacy and failure of holy wars.
Credits: Terror for the Faith (00:29)
Credits: Terror for the Faith
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