So Al Jazeera reports that Bin Laden has recently repeated what he has said from before 9/11 - which is that his attacks on the United States are a response to policies the US imposes on the region in the for the sake of Israel.
"America will never dream of living in peace unless we live it in Palestine. It is unfair that you enjoy a safe life while our brothers in Gaza suffer greatly.So that is 2010. Here is Bin Laden in 1997.
"Therefore, with God's will, our attacks on you will continue as long as you continue to support Israel," bin Laden said.
"If it was possible to carry our messages to you by words we wouldn't have carried them to you by planes."
REPORTER: Mr. Bin Ladin, you've declared a jihad against the United States. Can you tell us why? And is the jihad directed against the US government or the United States' troops in Arabia? What about US civilians in Arabia or the people of the United States?Hamas itself, which administers Gaza, has a less broad but not contradictory view of its conflict:
BIN LADIN: We declared jihad against the US government, because the US government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical. It has committed acts that are extremely unjust, hideous and criminal whether directly or through its support of the Israeli occupation of the Prophet's Night Travel Land (Palestine). And we believe the US is directly responsible for those who were killed in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq. The mention of the US reminds us before everything else of those innocent children who were dismembered, their heads and arms cut off in the recent explosion that took place in Qana (in Lebanon). This US government abandoned even humanitarian feelings by these hideous crimes. It transgressed all bounds and behaved in a way not witnessed before by any power or any imperialist power in the world. They should have been considerate that the qibla (Mecca) of the Muslims upheaves the emotion of the entire Muslim World. Due to its subordination to the Jews the arrogance and haughtiness of the US regime has reached, to the extent that they occupied the qibla of the Muslims (Arabia) who are more than a billion in the world today. For this and other acts of aggression and injustice, we have declared jihad against the US, because in our religion it is our duty to make jihad so that God's word is the one exalted to the heights and so that we drive the Americans away from all Muslim countries. As for what you asked whether jihad is directed against US soldiers, the civilians in the land of the Two Holy Places (Saudi Arabia, Mecca and Medina) or against the civilians in America, we have focused our declaration on striking at the soldiers in the country of The Two Holy Places. The country of the Two Holy Places has in our religion a peculiarity of its own over the other Muslim countries. In our religion, it is not permissible for any non-Muslim to stay in our country. Therefore, even though American civilians are not targeted in our plan, they must leave. We do not guarantee their safety, because we are in a society of more than a billion Muslims. A reaction might take place as a result of US government's hitting Muslim civilians and executing more than 600 thousand Muslim children in Iraq by preventing food and medicine from reaching them. So, the US is responsible for any reaction, because it extended its war against troops to civilians. This is what we say. As for what you asked regarding the American people, they are not exonerated from responsibility, because they chose this government and voted for it despite their knowledge of its crimes in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and in other places and its support of its agent regimes who filled our prisons with our best children and scholars. We ask that may God release them.
REPORTER: Mr. Bin Ladin, will the end of the United States' presence in Saudi Arabia, their withdrawal, will that end your call for jihad against the United States and against the US ?
BIN LADIN: The cause of the reaction must be sought and the act that has triggered this reaction must be eliminated. The reaction came as a result of the US aggressive policy towards the entire Muslim world and not just towards the Arabian peninsula. So if the cause that has called for this act comes to an end, this act, in turn, will come to an end. So, the driving-away jihad against the US does not stop with its withdrawal from the Arabian peninsula, but rather it must desist from aggressive intervention against Muslims in the whole world.
Osama Hamdan, a spokesman for the Hamas movement, told Al Jazeera that the Palestinians were focused on ending the Israeli occupation.The starvation of Gaza, the previous starvation of Iraq, the current occupation of Iraq, the littering of Lebanese farmland with cluster bombs, the wars now waged against Afghanistan and Pakistan all make sense if and only if one accepts the idea that the 5 million Jewish people of Israel must have a majority state there, and that it is immoral to believe otherwise.
"All Arabs and Muslims support our cause. [But] the Palestinian position is clear, the resistance is against the occupation, the Israeli army who is occupying and killing our people," he said.
"Everyone knows that the policies of the US have created huge problems in the region. At this moment, we know who our enemy is - the Israeli occupation."
For those who do not accept that premise, these Israeli policies supported by the US or directly imposed US policies are affronts against justice and against the people of the region that demand a response. There is a substantial problem that many Americans who are involved in US foreign policy have been conditioned to feel uncomfortable questioning or even considering that premise.
But if, for example, Barack Obama would feel uncomfortable admitting that it is reasonable to question the legitimacy of Israel, avoiding this discomfort carries a huge cost not only for the people of the Middle East, but more and more also for Americans.