Hamza bin Ladin, whose profile is being deliberately raised within al-Qaeda, released a speech on 7 November 2017, “The Fighter Against Invaders And The Inciter of Rebellion Against Tyrants”, an English transcript of which was produced by As-Sahab Media, and is reproduced below.
Hamza reads from a very traditional script: he insists that it was the jihadists who beat the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and says that after this America was left as “Pharaoh”, presiding over proxy regimes in the region, against whom the believers had to struggle. Hamza credits his father with punishing the U.S. via the 9/11 massacre and dragging the West into a war against the Muslim world, rather than just al-Qaeda. This terrorist strike and its counter-stroke awakened Muslims from a period of jahiliyya, or pre-Islamic ignorance—the concept originating with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sayyid Qutb, which holds that most Muslims are not really adherents to the faith—and made jihad into a mass phenomenon, rather than a vanguardist enterprise. America’s withdrawal from Iraq marked its defeat, says Hamza, who goes on to praise the “Arab spring”, but says that it fell to counter-revolution because the rebels lacked a solid defence, which the jihadists can—and have to—provide the next time. Any solution short of jihad is destined to be whittled down and reversed, Hamza adds. Showing the concern with popular will al-Qaeda has, Hamza suggests that a jihadist revolutionary government would be pseudo-democratic in structure—“consultation” is the key word used—and it would avoid “extremism” (an indirect criticism of the Islamic State). In preparation for the next revolution, Hamza says jihadists have to engage in proselytism and the youth should be sent to jihadi theatres—laying the groundwork for a “volcanic eruption” that will topple the dictatorships in the region. Hamza concludes by inciting attacks on the United States.
This is Hamza’s seventh speech. Hamza’s first was on 14 August 2015. In 2016, Hamza spoke on 9 May, 9 July, and 17 August. On 13 May 2017, Hamza made a speech calling for foreign attacks, and on 14 September 2017 Hamza attempted to frame the Syrian crisis as a vindication of al-Qaeda, and thus a reason for jihadi recruits to join them.
An adult picture of Hamza—who is approximately twenty-nine-years-old at present—was finally made available on 1 November, when a new tranche of the documents recovered at Usama bin Ladin’s Abbottabad hideout was released by the U.S. government. The picture comes from Hamza’s wedding, at some point before 2010, when Hamza was living, with a number of senior al-Qaeda operatives, under the protection of the Iranian government. A first look at the documents was given to The Long War Journal, and Hassan Hassan has subsequently excavated several intriguing disclosures from Usama’s diary (see here and here).
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In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful, all praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, the Ally of the righteous.
And I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger, may peace be upon him, his family and companions.
To my Muslim brothers the world over, Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu [May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you].
This talk of mine is filled with mention of glory and dignity, of freedom and prosperity; compassionate words from someone who wants his umma [Islamic community or nation] to break the chains of humiliation and lowliness, and live with dignity and respect, in accordance with the pleasure of our Lord. After this umma passed through decades of weakness in the previous century, during which it lost track of the way to glory, and was caught in the fire of the burning calls of jahiliya [pre-Islamic ignorance], and after an arduous journey across its illustrious history, covering vast distances, between the highs and lows of barren mountains, setting its eyes on two things in the horizon: its destination, and a bright torch illuminating its destination and shedding light on the path leading to its destined goal. The goal is the general political objective of the umma—the underlying purpose of all its efforts, on which the eyes have set aim and for which the hearts long, and on the basis of which organizations and groups coalesce.
After these difficult stages, and after the absence of the Islamic Caliphate, the path of the umma deviated from the lofty peaks of mountains to the low depths of valleys and blind alleys. It lost sight of its true goal, the guiding light disappeared from view, differences became manifold, and a large portion of the umma succumbed to foreign occupation, and being governed by man-made laws. The umma passed through an extremely difficult stage, a tyrannical era, until the best of its sons rose up in rebellion against the status quo, exhausted their lives for the sake of the umma, renounced their personal stakes, and expended all their energies to make their umma rise to a sufficiently decent level and recognize its general political objective, to follow the light of its illuminating torch and continue its journey in the correct direction.
The general political objective of this umma is liberating the Muslim lands, freedom from Crusader hegemony, establishing the Islamic shari’a, living freely under its merciful shade, and inviting people to it. Among the eminent personalities who possessed exceptional vision and foresight, and who were able to hold the hand of their umma and lift it from the base of the mountain to a high ground and yet still to higher hills, so that it might once again see the light of its illuminating torch on the horizon and set its eyes on its clear goal, was Shaykh Usama bin Ladin (may Allah have mercy on him).
He lived in an age in which the major powers held sway and did as they pleased; an age in which states, let alone individuals, could not dare oppose these powers. The world lived in extreme fear and awe of them, afraid to confront their oppression, aggression, and despotic hegemony. And so falsehood ran rampant, crossed all limits in its arrogance and declared, “Is there anyone more powerful than us?” The munafiqun [hypocrites] and those deficient in faith developed misgivings about Allah, and the condition of Muslims became similar to a herd of sheep caught in a rainstorm at night, knowingly or unknowingly being driven by the wolves to their death.
At this stage he (may Allah have mercy on him) appeared on the scene with a select few men among the believers. With very limited resources, light weapons, but great faith and immense trust in Allah and the steadfastness shown by him, his brothers and the resolute Afghan nation, the Soviet Union was defeated, reduced to a mere shadow of its former self, by the grace of Allah.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, it was America’s turn to cross the limits in its arrogance. It was deceived by its power, the masses spellbound by its apparent prowess. Yet America was oblivious to the fact that Allah had made it succeed Russia (a fallen superpower).
The Imam, Shaykh Usama (may Allah have mercy on him), returned to the fortress of Islam, Afghanistan, for the second time with just six of the best of his brothers. But they possessed tremendous faith in Allah, and above all trust in Him. Allah guided the loyal Emir, al-Emir al-Mumineen [the Commander of the Faithful], [the leader of the Taliban,] Mullah Muhammad Umar Mujahid (may Allah have mercy on him) to safeguard and help this young fledgling call. He set an example of generosity and loyalty which cannot be penned in words. And thus the numbers started to increase gradually, and preparations began to confront the second Pharaoh. Once again, with limited means—this time civilian aircrafts—the Imam, Usama, was able to rub America’s nose in dust and strike at its very heart, dragging it into a confrontation with the umma instead of a confrontation with just a few individuals.
And so America’s armies were forcefully dragged into the swamps of Iraq and Afghanistan. America was forced to flee Iraq defeated and humiliated, while it is still stuck in the quagmire that is Afghanistan, in spite of the admission of its former President, Obama, of the defeat of his country at the hands of the forces of the Islamic Emirate.
He was able to revive the spirit of jihad in the way of Allah, which had been confined to a select few for decades. Thus he was able to bring about the shift from the jihad of the elite to the jihad of the umma. He made the sweet springs of jihad gush forth from beneath the surface, one after another, in different parts of the Islamic World, and the good work continues, with the permission of Allah.
He, may Allah have mercy on him, was able to revive the spirit of honor, freedom, and glory in the individual Muslim. He taught humanity a lesson in rebellion against tyrants in an age in which there was no dearth of those willing to kneel down to and prostrate before the White House. His condition spoke for itself:
We set out crossing the path and ascending
Like falcons, rising beyond and taking risks
The thorns in our way make our footsteps drenched in blood
And with it our hearts and souls bleed
Our Religion leads us to the path of Truth
Enlightening our hearts and vision
A promise with the Gracious One, its light shining bright
Emanating radiantly to sweep aside the darkness
With such immense efforts, he was able to hold on to the hand of his umma and take it to new heights so that it could see its objectives in the horizon. He illuminated the way for his umma with the light of the shining torch and protected its dangerous path with jihad in the Way of Allah. His life story undoubtedly deserves to live on as an eternal memory, and the lessons of his life taught to the coming generations.
It is most appropriate for Muslims to present him in the true light, as an exemplary and symbolic leader, and a legend among their contemporary legends; not because he is the father of this humble servant—for this makes his right on me even greater—but because when the umma gives its leadership its due, knows their rights, and revives their memories, it rises high, progresses, leads and emerges victorious.
May Allah have mercy on him, he was:
- An Imam in declaring the truth;
- A symbol of rebellion against tyrants;
- An illustrious example of resisting occupation;
- A milestone in spending one’s life for uplifting the umma—like a candle which exhausts itself so that its surroundings may be illuminated;
- A model worthy of emulation in helping the oppressed, especially the people of Palestine;
- An inspirational role model for the cause he espoused;
- A shining example of kindness towards the Islamic umma;
- A converging point for uniting the opinion of the umma against an enemy whose enmity was understood by all;
- Exceptional in his high resolve and firm determination;
- Steadfast in patience and exhorting others to patience;
- Farsighted in wars;
- Imposing and sober in his asceticism; I remember seeing him at times with his lunch or dinner being mere oil, salt, and a piece of bread.
My Muslim brothers, Shaykh Usama (may Allah have mercy on him) sacrificed his soul, after spending his life and his wealth for helping the Muslim umma, liberating it, and sparking a revival in its ranks. He affirmed the veracity of his words with his blood. The Muslim nations with its masses and men is surely capable of defeating and overthrowing the tyrants imposed on them, with the permission of Allah. Those who have the capacity for this undertaking may utilize the Shaykh’s example as an inspiration for rising up against tyrants, changing the corrupt order, repelling the occupation, and returning to their Islamic roots.
O Muslims, Remember the saying of Allah, “They said, ‘We have no power this day against Jalut [Goliath] and his hosts’. But those who knew with certainty that they would meet Allah exclaimed, ‘How often, by Allah’s will, has a small force vanquished a mighty one?’ Allah is with the steadfast [al- Sabirin]” [Al-Baqarah (2): 249]. Bear in mind His saying, “And we desired to show favour to those who were being oppressed in the land, and to make them leaders [of the faith] and to make them the inheritors” [Al-Qasas (28):5]. “So fight [O Muhammad] in the cause of Allah; you are not tasked [with responsibility for anyone] except for yourself, and incite the believers [to fight along with you]. It may be that Allah will restrain the might of the disbelievers. And Allah is stronger in might and stronger in inflicting punishment” [Al-Nisa (4): 84].
Remember the saying of the Messenger (peace be upon him), “Know that if the entire mankind were to unite to benefit you, they would not benefit you with anything except that which Allah had already decreed for you; and if they were to unite to harm you, they would not harm you with anything except what Allah had already decreed for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried” [Sunnan al Tirmidhi].
So hold firm to the Book of your Lord and the Sunna of your Messenger (may peace be upon him). Rise in rebellion against the arrogant tyrants and return to jihad in the Way of Allah. The Imam, Usama (may Allah have mercy on him), departed this world encouraging and inciting you to continue the journey of the revolutions, warning you against pre-mature termination or diversion of these revolutions; and that no matter how logically convincing and eloquently presented a call may be, it shall never attain complete success unless it has a force to protect it, and the force that can protect the journey of our umma towards its destined lofty goal is none other than jihad in the Way of Allah.
Without jihad, the enemies will only repeat their attacks against the umma to set it back every time it overcomes a barrier or traverses a wilderness. Jihad in the Way of Allah is a divine decree ordained in our religion until the Last Hour [the Apocalypse]; it implies honour and freedom for those who adopt its path, and humiliation and dishonor for those who abandon it.
The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: “When you engage in usurious transactions, hold on to the tails of cows (busy yourself with worldly pursuits like rearing animals), be content with agriculture, and leave jihad, Allah will impose on you humiliation which He will not alleviate until you return to your deen [creed or religion]”.
The Arab Spring revolutions bore the message of freedom and honour, but they did not possess a protective force or a sharp sword for their defense, and thus the enemies assailed it and derailed it from its path.
O oppressed Muslim masses: Rise in rebellion against oppression and tyranny, revolt against the agents of the Americans, initiate armed uprisings to overthrow them and establish the shari’a of the Beneficent, for they do not understand the language of peace, nor is it of any avail against them. Nothing is useful against them like weapons, and nothing instills terror in their hearts like jihad in the Way of Allah, for an iron is only blunted by an iron.
This uprising to which we invite the umma must possess the essential elements of success. There must first occur a revolution at the plane of thought and awareness so that the masses are prepared for the next stage, so that they know why they must revolt, and when revolt they do, they must know their ultimate destination.
As for the answer to the first question: The Muslim masses revolt to affirm their belief in tawhid [monotheism; the unity of God], and a return to the complete sovereignty of the Islamic shari’a; make it the ruling authority and a point of reference for every system and constitution. The Muslim masses revolt to crush polytheism, to remove the polytheism of ruling by arbitrary man-made laws, and remove these laws with the justness of tawhid and establishing the complete authority of the Islamic shari’a.
The oppressed Muslim masses revolt when they realize the reality of the struggle between the followers of Islam and the followers of the Cross—the Invaders and their fifth-columnist proxies; and that the destined victory is only achieved by eliminating the internal enemy and defeating his Crusader overlord.
The Muslim masses revolt because they reject the current corrupt order, from its deviation from our noble and magnanimous shari’a to subjugation to Western Crusader hegemony, widespread political and financial corruption, social injustice and moral decay.
The Muslim masses revolt to live a decent respectable life of freedom and honour, to seek shelter in the merciful shade of Laws based on Divine Justice, in which there is no discrimination in favor of the white against the black, the Arab against the non-Arab, except on the basis of piety; in which the weak and oppressed is powerful and honourable till his right is restored, and the powerful oppressor is weak and humiliated until he returns the right which he unjustly usurped; the Law of Divine Justice which makes consultation a norm, gives the umma the opportunity to hold its rulers to account, spreads welfare and blessings, and ordains purity, rectitude and strengthening of communal ties.
The Muslim masses revolt when they realize that sincerity, virtuous intentions, and noble goals elevate its rebellion to the status of jihad in the Way of Allah, the way to honor in this world and success in the Hereafter for the masses.
And as for the answer to the second question is concerned, the destination of the participants in this revolt is one of the two virtues, as has been informed by the Glorious Lord: victory which lets them enjoy the fruits of reaching their destination and materializing their aspirations or martyrdom in the Way of Allah—a bridge for the umma to cross over to its destined victory, while its heroes transcend this passing abode to depart for the Best Companion (Allah), where lies waiting for them that which no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, nor has crossed the heart of any human.
This revolution necessitates preparation for jihad in the Way of Allah. Allah says, “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power” [Al-Anfal (8): 60]. And He says, “And if they wish to go forth, they would certainly have prepared some equipment for it” [Al-Tawba (9): 46].
The sincere people of authority and understanding among the Muslim masses must work to incite the masses and prepare them for an uprising. They must spread awareness among them regarding the means for a successful uprising, its purpose and goals, which must from the very beginning be in conformity with the shari’a of the Wise One.
They must accordingly work to prepare the youth physically in the arts of military training and fighting. This may be done by sending them in groups or individually to the theatres of jihad—the crucibles for the formation of men, the life springs of honour—so that they may engage in the necessary preparations and acquire sufficient experience before returning to the society.
And this must continue until the preparations are complete and the masses are ready for an uprising, so that the spark of an uprising may finally be lit, for its volcanic eruption to sweep aside the tyrant, liberate the masses from oppression, injustice and humiliation, and establish the shari’a of Allah.
The price of freedom is expensive, its bill exorbitant. Freedom cannot be earned with worthless pieces of paper cast inside a ballot box, nor by participation in polytheistic parliaments which legislate by man-made laws; it’s earned with the ultimate generosity, selfless sacrifice… jihad and martyrdom.
A group sacrifices, and the umma is liberated:
You’re standing between life and death
If you aspire bliss in life work untiringly
Who will drink and make others drink from the cup of death
If the free ones fail to do so
Empires are not built like victims
And rights are not doled out, nor is it befitting
For in the dead is life for generations
And in prisoners ransom and freedom from grief
And for the blood-soaked freedom is a door
Battered with every fist drenched in blood
Esteemed truthful scholars! Follow the example of Shaykh Usama (may Allah have mercy on him) in fearlessly declaring the truth.
Generous traders and merchants! Emulate him by spending in the way of Allah.
Honourable youth! The Shaykh exhausted his youth in jihad in the Way of Allah, so dedicate your youth to jihad.
Noble mujahideen! The jihad of the Shaykh and his clear and pure message found acceptance in the umma, so follow his path. Safeguard his message from deviation and diversion, from extremism and laxity, and be the best of his successors. To those the world over who love the Shaykh, I would like to say: Translate your love to actions.
To conclude, I invite Muslims generally to take revenge from the Americans, the murderers of the Shaykh (may Allah have mercy on him), specifically from those who participated in this heinous crime.
Allah guided the hero, the mujahid and soldier of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the martyr as we reckon him, Ghulam Hazrat Ayub al-Wardaki to take revenge from several of them after the battle of Abbottabad. I ask Allah to accept him in the ranks of the martyrs and to honour him with the best of rewards.
In the end, I would like to offer a few words of encouragement with these verses:
Tell America that our swords
In the battleground only increase in their sharpness
They will remain unsheathed to decapitate you
In the hope of reward from the Glorious Lord
Do you think that the soul of the Imam is cheap?
And his youth are not able to avenge?
No, by the Lord of the Throne, our Imam
Continues to rise in stature and defiance
The blood of the Companions of the Prophet (pbuh) is sufficient
To raise a generation that loves war
The light of its jihad will shine forth from Kabul
And its rays will illuminate the hills of al-Aqsa [Mosque in Jerusalem]
Allah is our Helper even if they gather
From every region an army against us
To hell may depart those touched by our swords
And for the gardens of paradise we bid farewell to our martyrs
Allah is All-Powerful over His affairs, but most people know not. And our last prayer is that all praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.