Why Bin Laden Will Use Weapons of Mass Destruction
Bin Laden’s rationale for the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction against the United States is based on reciprocity. Bin Laden and Al Qaeda believe it is their religious duty to retaliate against the United States to “even the score”. Al Qaeda and Bin Laden feel the score will only be even when they have killed and maimed the same amount of Americans as they feel America has killed and maimed Muslims. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, one of America’s most wanted Al Qaeda operatives, shared this view in June 2002:
"We have not reached parity with them. We have the right to kill 4 million Americans – 2 million of them children – and to exile twice as many and wound and cripple hundreds of thousands. Furthermore, it is our right to fight them with chemical and biological weapons, so as to afflict them with the fatal maladies that have afflicted the Muslims because of the [Americans’] chemical and biological weapons." (Williams, 2005, p. 21)
Bin Laden believes the United States has already demonstrated a propensity to use weapons of mass destruction as evidenced by the atomic bombs used in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Since the United States has already used weapons of mass destruction, Bin Laden feels Al Qaeda can do the same. In a 1998 interview, Bin Laden stated:
"Those who threw atomic bombs and used the weapons of mass destruction against Nagasaki and Hiroshima were the Americans. Can the bombs differentiate between military and women and infants and children? America has no religion that can deter her from exterminating whole peoples. Your position against Muslims in Palestine is despicable and disgraceful. America has no shame…..We believe that the worst thieves in the world today and the worst terrorists are the Americans. Nothing could stop you except perhaps retaliation in kind. We do not have to differentiate between military and civilian. As far as we are concerned, they are all targets, and this is what the fatwa says." (Williams, 2005, p. 25)
Al Qaeda feels justified using weapons of mass destruction against the United States. It is only a matter of time before they orchestrate a large-scale attack against Americans using weapons of mass destruction.
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Reference: Williams, P. (2005). The Al Qaeda connection: International terrorism, organized crime, and the coming apocalypse. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.