Friday, December 06, 1996

partial transcript of bin Laden interview with Robert Fisk (1996)

When the American troops entered Saudi Arabia, the land of the two holy places [Mecca and Medina], there was a strong protest from the ulema [religious authorities] and from students of the sharia law all over the country against the interference of American troops. This big mistake by the Saudi regime of inviting the American troops revealed their deception. They had given their support to nations that were fighting against Muslims. They helped the Yemeni communists against the southern Yemeni Muslims and helping [Yasser] Arafat's regime fight Hamas [who opposed the peace process in the Middle East]. After it insulted and jailed the ulema 18 months ago, the Saudi regime lost its legitimacy ...

The Saudi people have remembered now what the ulema told them and they realise America is the main reason for their problems. The ordinary man knows that his country is the largest oil producer in the world, yet at the same time he is suffering from taxes and bad services. Now the people understand the speeches of the ulemas in the mosques - that our country has become an American colony. They act decisively with every action to kick the Americans out of Saudi Arabia. What happened in Riyadh and Khobar [when 24 Americans were killed in two bombings] is clear evidence of the huge anger of Saudi people against America. The Saudis now know their real enemy is America.

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