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U.S. Department of State

Department Seal Fact Sheet
The Charges against International Terrorist
Usama Bin Laden
Released by the Bureau of South Asian Affairs
U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC

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The Taliban Movement of Afghanistan, led by Mullah Mohammed Omar, continues to provide safe haven to the indicted terrorist Usama bin Laden. Spokesmen for the Taliban and its mass media continue the misinformation campaign that no one has provided the Taliban with proof of bin Laden's alleged crimes.

According to the rule of law as practiced by the international community of nations, a judge and jury determine proof of guilt based on evidence submitted during a trial.

Extensive evidence exists against Usama bin Laden and his collaborators. This evidence is public information available to all, including the Taliban, at two internet web sites, which are listed below.

  • Usama bin Laden, leader of the terrorist organization Al-Qaida, is charged in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. These attacks resulted in the deaths of more than 200 people, including 12 American citizens, and injuries to more than 4,000 individuals, among whom were Muslims. A summary of the facts of this terrorist act can be found on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's internet web site: www.fbi.gov/majcases/eastafrica.summary.htm
  • As a result of extensive criminal investigation, and working closely with Kenya, Tanzania, and other nations, the U.S. Government has indicted or filed criminal complaints against bin Laden and 16 of his associates for their involvement in the two bombings and other terrorist crimes. The U.S. indictment detailing the charges against bin Laden can be found on the internet web site of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation: www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/nyfo/11041998.htm
  • Usama Bin Laden: An Indicted Criminal, Not A Hero. Usama bin Laden has repeatedly declared war on the U.S. and endorsed the murder of U.S. citizens. For this reason, some of his admirers consider bin Laden a hero. Usama bin Laden is not a hero.
  • According to international standards of law and morality, anyone who incites violence against an entire people, especially for ideological reasons, is a criminal.
  • August 1996 Declaration of War: On or about August 23, 1996, Usama bin Laden signed and issued a Declaration of jihad (holy war) from Afghanistan entitled, "Message from Usama bin Laden to his Muslim Brothers in the Whole World and Especially in the Arabian Peninsula: Declaration of Jihad Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Mosques; Expel the Heretics from the Arabian Peninsula."
  • February 1998 - Fatwa Against American Citizens: In February 1998, Usama bin Laden and his close associate, Ayman al Zawahiri, endorsed a fatwa under the banner of the "International Islamic Front for Jihad on the Jews and Crusaders." This fatwa, published in the newspaper, Al-Quds Al-Arabi, on February 23, 1998, stated that Muslims should kill Americans - including civilians - anywhere in the world where they can be found.
  • May 1998 Fatwa: On or about May 7, 1998, bin Laden associate Mohammed Aftef sent Khaled al Fawwaz a letter discussing the endorsement by bin Laden of a fatwa issued by the "Ulema Union of Afghanistan" which termed the U.S. Army the "enemies of Islam" and declared jihad against the U.S. and its followers. The fatwa was subsequently published in Al-Quds Al-Arabi.
  • Bin Laden Endorses the Nuclear Bomb of Islam: On or about May 29, 1998, bin Laden issued a statement entitled "The Nuclear Bomb of Islam," under the banner of the "International Islamic Front for Fighting the Jews and Crusaders," in which he stated that "it is the duty of Muslims to prepare as much force as possible to terrorize the enemies of God."
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