Root causes of Islamic terrorism

Many “experts” have been pontificating on “the root causes of terrorism.”
But what do the real experts, the terrorists themselves, say?

They are surprisingly eloquent about their motives.
And they seem to have one overridding concern,
which is most certainly not “Islamofacism,”
nor worrying about the supposedly failed societies of the Islamic world.

1993-02-26: Ramzi Yousef

Ramzi Yousef was a lead planner of
the 1993-02-26 bombing of the World Trade Center.
In Steve Coll's Ghost Wars
we find a description of his motivations, in his own words
(but the emphasis, and some comments, are added).

[GW, pages 250–251]
[Yousef] mailed letters claiming responsibility [for the WTC bombing]
to New York newspapers.
The letters ... issued three political demands:
  1. an end to all U.S. aid to Israel,
  2. an end to diplomatic relations with Israel, and
  3. a pledge to end interference
    “with any of the Middle East countries [sic] interior affairs.”
“The terrorism that Israel practices (which is supported by America)
must be faced with a similar one.”

The American people should know that
“their civilians who got killed
are not better than
those who are getting killed by the American weapons and support.”

[Although the book by Coll generally seems quite objective,
in his next paragraph he seems, to me,
to depart far from objectivity,
going way out of his way to denigrate,
not just Yousef’s actions, which were certainly heinous enough,
but also his motivations and concerns.
So his statements below are interrupted by my comments and rejoinders.]

For a terrorist sermon
composed by a graduate of Arab jihad training camps in Afghanistan,
his letter struck remarkably [?] secular political themes.
[Cannot a secular Palestinian nationalist be outraged
by such Israeli actions as described here?]

It made no references to Islam at all.
[Same comment as above.]
Its specific demands might have been issued by Palestinian Marxists.
[Yes, or by any other Palestinian nationalist, with equal justice.]
Its talk of retaliation and eye-for-an-eye revenge
echoed Baluch and Pashtun tribal codes.

If Palestinians engage in retaliation, it is
“eye-for-an-eye revenge echo[ing] Baluch and Pashtun tribal codes.”
But if Israelis engage in retaliation,
like this and this,
why, the’re just being righteous.
What a hypocritical double standard!]

It seemed to define America as an enemy
solely because of its support for Israel.

[Yup, it sure did. That’s exactly the point. Why keep denying it?]
Yousef had never been a serious student of theology.
His letter and his later statements
exuded a technologist’s arrogance, a murderous cool.

[Palestinians just can’t win.
If they are rational and logical, it gets described as above.
But if they get emotional, well, that’s even worse.
Is it any wonder Jews have earned so much hatred over the years?]

His confederates in the World Trade Center attack
had been involved in the conspiracy to murder Rabbi Meir Kahane,
founder of the militant Jewish Defense League.
These New York residents in Yousef’s cabal
focused largely on anti-Israeli causes;
their outlook may have shaped some of the letter’s themes....
Above all the bomb maker in him searched for the spectacular.
His lazy [?] list of political demands may have reflected an essential pyromania.
[Why the pejorative “lazy”? Why not “focused, concise”?
And what’s with this “may have reflected an essential pyromania”?
What brought that on?]

He wanted a big bang; he wanted to watch one tall building knock down another.
[Yousef has been clear in his explanation of his motivations.
Coll is here taking the cheapest of shots.]

[In sum, it appears to me,
Coll’s comments above consisted of
red herrings, cheap shots, and totally unsubstantiated speculation.]

[GW, page 273]
[During his interrogation by American officers
after he had been captured in 1995-02,]
Yousef said he took no thrill from killing American citizens
and felt guilty about the civilian deaths he had caused.
But his conscience was overridden by
the strength of his desire to stop the killing of Arabs by Israeli troops.
“It’s nothing personal,” he said, but
bombing American targets was the “only way to cause change.”
He had come to the conclusion that
only extreme acts could change the minds of people and the policies of nations.
He cited as one example
the suicide bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1984,
which ultimately led to the withdrawal of American troops from that country.
As another example he mentioned
the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
a shock tactic that forced Japan to surrender quickly.
Yousef said he “would like it to be different,”
but only terrible violence could force this kind of abrupt political change.
He said that he truly believed his actions had been rational and logical
in pursuit of a change in U.S. policy toward Israel.
He mentioned no other motivation during [his session with his interrogators]
and no other issue in American foreign policy that concerned him.

2001-09-11: Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden surely is one of the most famous men in the world.
(Is there a poll to justify this?)
Here is a short version of his explanation
of why he launched the attacks on 2001-09-11.
For a fuller version of his statement, click here.

The events that affected my soul in a direct way
started in 1982
when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon

and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that.
This bombardment began and many were killed and injured
and others were terrorised and displaced.

I couldn’t forget those moving scenes,
blood and severed limbs,
women and children sprawled everywhere.
Houses destroyed along with their occupants and
high rises demolished over their residents,
rockets raining down on our home without mercy.

In those difficult moments
many hard-to-describe ideas bubbled in my soul,
but in the end they produced
an intense feeling of rejection of tyranny,
and gave birth to a strong resolve to punish the oppressors.

And as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon,
it entered my mind that
we should punish the oppressor in kind
and that
we should destroy towers in America
in order that
they taste some of what we tasted
and so that
they be deterred from killing our women and children.

See also a CSPAN video showing testimony of an FBI agent
at a 9/11 commission hearing, along with other interactions on related matters:

2005-07-07: Mohammad Sidique Khan

Mohammad Sidique Khan was the leader of the group
that committed the 2005-07-07 London suicide bombing.
The following is from a 2005-09-02 NYT story
Al Jazeera Video Links London Bombings to Al Qaeda
(emphasis is added).

The man resembling one of the British-born bombers,
Mohammad Sidique Khan,
read what Al Jazeera described as a testament,
somewhat like those recorded by Palestinian suicide bombers
for broadcast after an attack.
Speaking in a Yorkshire accent, he praised
“our beloved sheik, Osama bin Laden,”
and declared,
“We are at war,
and I am a soldier and now you too
will taste the reality of this situation.


“I am going to keep this short and to the point
because it’s all been said before
by far more eloquent people than me,”

said the man, whom the BBC said identified himself in the tape as Mr. Khan.
“But our words have no impact upon you.
Therefore I’m going to talk to you
in a language that you understand.
Our words are dead until we give them life with our blood.

“I’m sure by now the media has painted a suitable picture of me.
This predictable propaganda machine
will naturally try to put a spin on it
to suit the government and
to scare the masses into conforming to
their power and wealth-obsessed agendas.


“I and thousands like me
are forsaking everything for what we believe.
Our driving motivation
doesn’t come from tangible commodities that this world has to offer.

“This is how our ethical stances are dictated:
Your democratically elected governments
continuously perpetuate atrocities against my people,
your support of them makes you directly responsible,
just as I am directly responsible
for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters.

“Until we feel security, you will be our target.
Until you stop
the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people,
we will not stop this fight.
We are at war and I am a soldier.
Now you too will taste the reality of this situation.”

[Also, the video included a section showing
a man who appeared to be Ayman al-Zawahiri

“Oh, nations of the Christian alliance,
we have warned you before.
So taste some of what you have made us taste.

“We will respond in kind to all those who took part
in the aggression on Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

“Just as they made rivers of blood flow in our countries,
we will make volcanoes of anger erupt in their countries.”

2006-03-03: Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar

Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar on 2006-03-03 made a vehicular attack
on nine pedestrians at the University of North Carolina.
Fortunately, none were killed.

His statements as to why he did it, as collected in the Wikipedia article,
include the following (emphasis is added):

“To punish the government of the United States
for their actions around the world.”

“[I did it to] avenge the deaths or murders of Muslims around the world.”

“The U.S. government is responsible for
the deaths and torture of countless followers of Allah,
my brothers and sisters.
My attack on Americans at UNC-CH March 3, was in retaliation for
similar attacks orchestrated by the U.S. government
on my fellow followers of Allah
in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and other Islamic territories.
I did not act out of hatred for America
but out of love for Allah instead.”

“Due to the killing of believing men and women
under the direction of the United States government,
I have decided ...
to take the lives of as many Americans and American sympathizers as I can
in order to punish the United States for their immoral actions around the world.
In the Qur'an, Allah states that
the believing men and women have permission to murder
anyone responsible for the killing of other believing men and women.”

“[P]eople all over the world are being killed in war
and now it is the people in the United States['] turn to be killed.”

[The last quotation is from the Raleigh News & Observer.]

The Wikipedia article goes on to note
“Although this incident gained notice
in the press and among those who watch Islamic terrorism,
it received no mention from politicians, either locally or nationally.”

2006-08: Transatlantic Airline Plot

For general coverage, see Wikipedia.

British Jury in Terror Case Shown 'Martyrdom Tapes'
By Kevin Sullivan
Washington Post, 2008-04-05

[An excerpt; paragraph numbers and emphasis are added.]

In six alleged “martyrdom tapes”
shown to a hushed courtroom on the second day of the trial,
[the eight British Muslim men on trial
for allegedly plotting to blow up transatlantic airliners in 2006]

they planned their attacks
to protest U.S. and British policies
in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories.



“This is revenge for
the actions of the U.S.A. in the Muslim lands
and their accomplices, such as the British and the Jews,”

said a man identified by [prosecutor Peter] Wright
as defendant Umar Islam, 29,
one of the eight men charged with
trying to destroy at least seven United Airlines, American Airlines
and Air Canada jets bound for the United States and Canada.

“This is a warning to the nonbelievers that
if they do not leave our lands,
there are many more like us,”

the man on the tape said, adding,
“We are doing this in order to gain the pleasure of our Lord,
and Allah loves us to die and kill in his path.”

In another video, a man identified as Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 27,
said he was the leader of the “blessed operation”
and accused his fellow British citizens of caring more about animals
than about Muslims.

In what Wright said was a reference to Osama bin Laden, Ali said,

“Sheik Osama has warned you many times
to leave our lands or you will be destroyed,
and now the time has come for you to be destroyed.”

He warned the West to
“stop meddling in our affairs.”

“Otherwise, expect floods of martyr operations against you,”
he said, warning that “we will take our revenge” ...



“I say to you disbelievers that
as you bomb, you will be bombed,
as you kill, you will be killed,”
[Islam] said. “And
if you want to kill our women and children,
then the same thing will happen to you.”

Media Deceptions

The media,
proving beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt how Jewish-controlled it is,
continues to hide the clear statements of the bombers and terrorists
on what their motives were.

For example, in the aftermath of the so-called 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot
(which combines aspects of Ramzi Yousef’s Bojinka airline bombing plot and Mohammad Sidique Khan’s London bus bombing),
the NYT on 2006-08-20 published a story,
Top Police Spar in London Over Muslims as ‘Victims’,
purporting to describe
the search for the motives of Muslim extremists in Britain.
That really shouldn’t be too hard,
given that they have 24 suspects (plus their “martyrdom videos”) in custody,
plus they have the statement by the 2005-07-07 bomber Khan.

But the media, and the government,
never want to let something as simple as the facts bother them
when those facts might tend to suggest that
the foreign policies of the government
might be the cause of the problem.
So the NYT story contains the paragraph (emphasis is added):
The searches have been accompanied by
broad debates over the question of why Britain,
apparently alone among its European allies,
seems to produce suicidal extremists such as
those who killed 52 people on the London transport system on July 7, 2005.
The debate has ranged over issues such as
a sense of marginalization
complex questions of identity among Muslims,
many of them descended from immigrants from Pakistan
who came here in the 1960’s.
This seems like pure obfuscation.
Why obscure the issue with “complex questions of identity among Muslims,”
an unsolvable issue,
when Khan, and many other Muslims,
have already said what the problem is:
“It’s your fucking anti-Muslim policies!”
(Khan and his fellow Muslims are of course much more polite.
But I think the act he took to emphasize the strength of his feelings
shows how passionate he was in his opinion.)

But the Jews don’t want to hear that, do they?
How much longer do our countries have to put up with
the Jews obscuring the issue?
(Who else has both the ability and the desire
to obscure it?)


Israeli Report Calls Argentina Bombing Payback for ’92 Raid
Leaders Urged: Weigh Policies’ Impact on Jews
By Marc Perelman
Jewish Daily Forward, 2005-07-22

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

A quasi-governmental Israeli body has acknowledged formally that
the 1994 bombing of a Jewish communal center in Argentina,
in which 85 people were killed,
may have been

an unanticipated consequence of
Israeli military actions in South Lebanon.

The acknowledgement came in
the second annual report of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute,
a Jerusalem think tank affiliated to the Jewish Agency for Israel.
The report, released July 11,
cites the bombing of the AMIA building in Buenos Aires

a possible consequence of
Israel’s assassination in early 1992
of the leader of Hezbollah, Sheikh Abbas Mussawi.

The Mussawi assassination and AMIA bombing are cited to back up
the institute’s call for Israel
to weigh consequences on Diaspora Jews
when formulating government policy.

“It seems that the question of whether the Israeli action might
trigger an attack
on Jewish people targets
was not considered,”

the institute said in its executive report.
“There exists no formal mechanism in the Israeli government
to systematically take into account
considerations pertaining to the Jewish people.”


The working assumption of Argentine investigators is that the AMIA bombing,
as well as the bombing two years earlier of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires,
were direct retaliations for Israeli operations in South Lebanon.
Israeli forces killed Mussawi and his family
a month before the embassy bombing,
in which 29 people died.
Three months before the AMIA attack,
Israel kidnapped Lebanese Shiite leader Mustafa Dirani
in an attempt to extract information on a missing Israeli soldier.
They also raided a Hezbollah camp in Lebanon.

Israeli security officials have spoken over the years
of a link between Israeli actions and the Argentine bombings.
This is the first time the attack has been cited
by an official Israeli body
as an example of government failure
to anticipate the consequences of its actions beyond Israel.

Diaspora Jewish groups, particularly in the United States,
commonly reject attempts to describe attacks on Jewish targets
as consequences of Israeli actions that might have been anticipated.

[This is a sick, sick, sick double standard.
  • When Israel retaliates against Muslims
    for their acts of violence against Israel,
    it is always described as retaliation.
  • But when Muslims retaliate against Israel
    for its acts of violence against Muslims, as above,
    American Jewish groups, and, uniformly, their media puppets,
    refuse to describe it as retaliation,
    but rather describe it as due to
    “age-old irrational hatred of Jews”.
In other words,
American Jewish groups, starting with the ADL,
refuse to acknowledge that Israel could ever have caused the problem.

In the age-old language of children, it’s always “He/they started it.”

If that isn’t a blatant and sick double standard, what is?

And as underlying source of Palestinian frustration,
Jewish population in the West Bank
has gone from very few in 1967 to over 400,000 in 2007.
That’s 10,000 per year of “natural growth.”
And all of that growth happened without any aggression on Israel’s part!]

American Jewish groups reacted coolly last year
when the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute first called for
an Israel-Diaspora consultative mechanism
to weigh Diaspora consequences of Israeli policies.


“There is no doubt
that the AMIA bombing was connected to the Mussawi operation

that the government at the time
was unaware of possible consequences for Jews abroad,”
said Avinoam Bar-Yosef, the director general of the institute.
“We believe Israeli decision-makers
should take into account
not only what happens in Israel or to Israelis.”


Editorial: Are more SUV terrorists among us?
Examiner Editorial, 2006-08-31

An excerpt from the editorial (emphasis is added):
One calm and collected Muslim immigrant
spouting hatred of America and Jews
after suddenly ramming a sport utility vehicle
into a crowd of students at the University of North Carolina
does not a trend make.


It is only prudent to consider the possibility that there will be more such incidents because they are examples of what Middle East expert Daniel Pipes calls “Sudden Jihadist Syndrome.”
That is,
Muslims who follow the most extreme jihadist advocates of hatred
for Jews, Christians, Israel, America and Western civilization,

unexpectedly acting on what they have been taught,
including the rationalizations for mass murder.
(Compare the rationale actually offered by the perpetrator of the UNC attack.
Note that the rationale he specifically and repeatedly offered
was revenge, not hatred.)

This provides yet another example of the sick double standard
practiced by America’s media and political elite.
  • When Israel retaliates against Muslims
    for their acts of violence against Israel,
    it is always described as retaliation.
  • But when Muslims retaliate against Western powers
    for their acts of violence against Muslims,
    it is, as above, described as being due to hatred.
What a sick, sick double standard.
No wonder they hate us,
for putting up with these double standards from our media and our politicians
which unambiguously serve the interests of,
not the oil companies or “the corporations,”
but the Zionists.

What We’ve Learned About Suicide Terrorism Since 9/11
by Robert A. Pape

2009-11-05: Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter

Fort Hood Suspect Says He Was Defending Taliban Leaders
New York Times, 2013-06-05

2009-12-25: Abdulmutallab, the “Underwear Bomber”

Would-Be Plane Bomber Pleads Guilty, Ending Trial
New York Times, 2011-10-13 (page A15 of the Washington edition)


After telling Judge Nancy G. Edmunds that
he was indeed pleading guilty to each count against him,
Mr. Abdulmutallab read a statement that he had written saying that
his behavior may have violated American law
but that it was in keeping with Muslim law,
and that

his efforts to harm Americans
were retribution for
American acts around the world.

“I attempted to use an explosive device
which in the U.S. law is a weapon of mass destruction,
which I call a blessed weapon to save the lives of innocent Muslims,
for U.S. use of weapons of mass destruction on
Muslim populations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and beyond,”

Mr. Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian citizen in his 20s, said quietly and calmly.


Guilty plea in underwear bomb plot
By Ed White
Washington Post, 2011-10-12


Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab of Nigeria told a federal judge that

he acted in retaliation for
the killing of Muslims worldwide.


Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi,
the CIA Chapman base bomber

More cause and effect in our ever-expanding "war"
by Glenn Greenwald
Salon.com, 2010-01-07

[The beginning of the article; some emphasis is added.]

If it is taboo to discuss
how America’s actions in the Middle East cause Terrorism --
and it generally is --
that taboo is far stronger still when it comes to specifically discussing how
our blind, endless enabling of Israeli actions
fuels Terrorism directed at the U.S.
An article in yesterday’s New York Times
examined the life of Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi,
the Jordanian who blew himself up, along with 7 CIA agents,
in Afghanistan this week.
Why would Balawi -- a highly educated doctor,
who was specifically recruited by Jordanian intelligence officials
to infiltrate Al Qaeda on behalf of Western governments --
want to blow himself up and murder as many American intelligence agents as possible?
The article provides this possible answer:
He [Balawi’s brother] described Mr. Balawi as
a “very good brother” and a “brilliant doctor,”
saying that the family knew nothing of
Mr. Balawi’s writings under a pseudonym on jihadi Web sites.
He said, however, that
his brother had been “changed” by
last year’s three-week-long Israeli offensive in Gaza,
which killed about 1,300 Palestinians.

2010-05-01: Faisal Shahzad

Is Faisal Shahzad Crazy?
If so, he's far from alone.
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2010-05-07

Guilty Plea in Times Square Bomb Plot
New York Times, 2010-06-22

The defendant in the Times Square bomb plot pleaded guilty on Monday for his role in the aborted attack, an abrupt and expedited end to a terror plot that extended into Pakistan and an Islamic militant group there.

The defendant, Faisal Shahzad, 30, listened as each count of the 10-count indictment was read to him, and then indicated that he understood the charges and the penalties that he faced.

“I want to plead guilty 100 times over,” said Mr. Shahzad, who faces life in prison.


Militant’s Path From Pakistan to Times Square
New York Times, 2010-06-23

[Faisal Shahzad] also told the judge that
“until the hour
the U.S. pulls its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan”;
halts drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia;
and stops killing Muslims,

“we will be attacking U.S. and I plead guilty to that.”

Wars Fought and Wars Googled
New York Times Week In Review, 2010-06-26


THE country’s attention was riveted last week by the drama of the generals:
Stanley McChrystal, whose indiscretions in Rolling Stone got him cashiered,
and his boss, David Petraeus,
who stepped in to take direct command of
the troubled Afghanistan counterinsurgency effort.

But a startling scene in a Manhattan courtroom on Monday
may have had more to say than the command shake-up
about the larger fight to contain Al Qaeda and its allies,
and the limits of any general’s ability to affect its outcome.

At a plea hearing,
a defiant Faisal Shahzad
admitted trying to blow up an S.U.V. in Times Square on May 1.

Calling himself “a Muslim soldier,”
he explained his motivation:
“avenging” the war in Afghanistan
and American interventions in
Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia.

“I am part of the answer to
the U.S. terrorizing the Muslim nations and the Muslim people,”
Mr. Shahzad said.

His candid confession raised two questions:

Has the military’s still-expanding fight against terrorism
now become the fuel for terrorism,
recruiting more militants than it kills?


2016-03-22: Brussels bombings


How Belgium became the hub of terror in Europe
By Greg Miller and Joby Warrick
Washington Post, 2016-03-23


U.S. officials and experts believe that
the Islamic State has shifted its strategy over the past year
as it has lost territory and momentum under a barrage of U.S.-led airstrikes and ground operations by Western-backed militias.

In its statement claiming responsibility for Tuesday’s attacks,
the group suggested that
the subway and airport bombings
were a response to “aggression against the Islamic State.”


“If you do not leave the Muslims alone,
you will never be able to sleep at night,”

a fighter identified as Abu Shaheed al-Belgiki warned in Belgian-accented Dutch.
“Know that we only needed six soldiers to shake all of Paris.”


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