Making Sense of Jihad posts an excerpt of a 2007 DRAFT report she delivered to a client that August. "It was never completed for reasons I just can't recall now. Re-reading the entire report again for the first time, there are parts I wouldn't write today, or I would write differently. My understanding of the adversary has grown and developed in many facets. And yet in other parts I can see where my current ideas on AQ's threat to energy infrastructure came from.
The working title was Fueling the Engine of the West: Jihadist View of Energy and the American Economy from Sayyid Qutb to Al Qaeda . The excerpt below is really the only section you may find interesting. Note that the references aren't available here. Also, I've added a bit of commentary in green," Marisa Urgo writes
In Their Own Words
There are several apparent, recurring themes associated with radical Islamists’ [I would use Salafist-Jihadist now] opinions on the United States and its economic power.
First, is the vision of an unstoppable, engulfing, inhuman power represented in the Muslim world by multinational corporations that are extensions of American foreign policy.
Second, is the theme of the theft of oil. In their eyes the Arab world’s preeminence in the energy sector is a God-given blessing, a birthright that can sustain the Islamic nation for generations. The West in general and the United States, in particular, are is paying too little for these resources, and that is tantamount to theft.
A third theme is the perception of energy demand as a strategic weakness. The United States relies on the Arab world’s energy resources to maintain its economic superpower status, disrupting that vital link offers radical Islamists one of their best opportunities to curtail American global hegemony.
From a letter dated December 23, 1949, Colorado
Here is strange/foreign, real foreign, psychologically, spiritually, physically, and mentally. Here is that big workshop they call the new world. I know the extent of propaganda that America overwhelms the world with, and the Egyptians who came to America share that propaganda and in that light make comparison. The extent in which that the Europeans overwhelmingly advertise, and the Egyptians who return from there. And they are weak people. They do not find any value in themselves, and feel big by inflating Europe and America and derive their self respect from that!
From The America I Have Seen In the Scale of Human Values (1951)
And we would do well not to forget the psychological state that wave after wave and generation after generation of Americans brought to this land...This psychological state springs from an enduring desire for wealth by any means, and for the possession of the largest possible share of pleasures and compensation for the effort expended to acquire wealth....
...They tackled nature with the weapons of science and the strength of the muscle, so nothing existed within them besides the crude power of the mind and the overwhelming lust for the sensual pleasure. No windows to the world of the world of the spirit of the heart or tender sentiment were opened to the Americans as they were opened to the first humans. A great deal of this world of spirit, heart, and tender sentiment was preserved by the first humans, and much of this continued to be preserved even in the age of science, and added to the account of human values that endured through time. And when humanity closes the windows to faith in religion, faith in art, and faith in spiritual values altogether, there remains no out for its energy to be expended except in the realm of applied science and labor, or to be dissipated in sensual pleasure. And this is where America has ended up after four hundred years.
Usama bin Laden, founder and current leader of Al Qaeda
From a December 30, 2004 audio tape
“Today There is a Conflict between World Heresy Under the Leadership of America on the One Hand and the Islamic Nation with the Mujahideen in its Vanguard on the Other.”
"You, the mujahideen: there is now a rare and golden opportunity to make America bleed in Iraq, both economically and in terms of human losses and morale. Don't miss out on this opportunity, lest you regret it. One of the main causes for our enemies' gaining hegemony over our country is their stealing our oil; therefore, you should make every effort in your power to stop the greatest theft in history of the natural resources of both present and future generations, which is being carried out through collaboration between foreigners and [native] agents… Focus your operations on it [oil production], especially in Iraq and the Gulf area, since this [lack of oil] will cause them to die off [on their own].
Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s second in command
From his commemoration of the fourth anniversary of 9-11 (September 2005)
"I call upon the mujahideen to focus their attacks on the stolen oil of the Muslims. Most of its revenue goes to the enemies of Islam, and most of what they leave is plundered by the thieves who rule our countries. This is the greatest theft in the history of humanity. The enemies of Islam are consuming this vital resource with unparalleled greed. We must stop this theft any way we can, in order to save this resource for the sake of the Muslim nation.
From his commemoration of the fifth anniversary of 9-11 (September 2006)
The materialistic Crusader western civilization knows not the language of ethics and principles but understands the language of punishment and retribution. So, if they taste some of what they are inflicting on our women and children, then they will start giving up their arrogance, stubbornness, and greed and will seek to solve the problem between them and the Muslims.
Sheik Abdelaziz bin Rashid al-Anzi, a well-respected Al Qaeda scholar of Islamic law [I would characterize him differently now]
From the Ruling on the Laws of Targeting Petroleum-Related Interests and a Review of the Laws Pertaining to the Economic Jihad (2004)
The mujahideen have recently targeted a number of petroleum-related interests. As expected, these attacks were among the most powerful blows dealt to the enemy. These attacks dealt a blow to the economies of the infidel crusader countries...The conclusions that I have reached in my study, thanks to Allah's guidance, are briefly summarized by the following points:
1) The targeting of oil facilities is a legitimate means of economic jihad. Economic jihad is one of the most powerful ways in which we can take revenge on the infidels during the present stage....
3) The infidels do not own what they have seized from the Muslims. It is still
4) The demolition of infidel property as part of a war is legitimate, as long as the benefits outweigh the costs of such an action.
5) It is okay to destroy Muslim property if infidels have seized control of it, or if there are fears that something like this may happen. This is true as long as the potential damage of the infidels making use of this property is greater than the potential benefit that can be obtained when this property is returned to Muslim hands....
Abu Bakr al-Naji, the nom de guerre of a well-known Al Qaeda ideologue
From the Management of Savagery (2005)
Therefore, what is the plan by which we shall shape [lit. “provoke”] events from now until we have completely accomplished (by the permission of God) our goals which we mentioned above?
- Diversify and widen the vexation strikes against the Crusader-Zionist enemy in every place in the Islamic world, and even outside of it if possible, so as to disperse the efforts of the alliance of the enemy and thus drain it to the greatest extent possible.. If an oil interest is hit near the port of Aden, there will have to be intensive security measures put in place for all of the oil companies, and their tankers, and the oil pipelines in order to protect them and draining will increase...
However, at least these operations will raise the price of oil, even if it is just covering the cost of the electronic security system and the salaries of troops and guards which will be disbursed along the paths of the oil pipelines and the massive factories of the petroleum sectors and their many annexes. We also anticipate an additional increase in the price (of petroleum) during the political crisis which the operations will cause. We also anticipate a rise in the price of petroleum even before the operations (take place) solely on account of the statement and the study which are issued. In this there is a good media gain since we raise the price of oil by merely issuing a statement, then we raise it again through some of the limited operations against petroleum targets which were poorly protected.
Al Qaeda’s Committee on the Arabian Peninsula, Al Qaeda’s affiliate active in the Gulf states
From the article "Bin Laden and the Oil Weapon" by Al Qaeda memberAdib al-Bassam, published Voice of Jihad (Issue 30, February 2007)
Even though the oil does not belong to (former Saudi King) Faisal or his parents, he claimed that it is permissible to stop its production. Based on this statement, we can assume that it is permissible for the mujahidin to target the oil and try to stop its export, or at least minimize its export, and raise its prices; this will benefit our country and our people...Any pious Muslim should not be against targeting the oil; we should all work together to stop the exporting of oil to the United States, if we are truly devoted to aid Muslims who are victimized everywhere, and we should work together to stop the American aggression against the world....
Sheikh Usama's orders regarding oil targeting are clear and in order for the mujahidin to fulfill their duties they must collect precise intelligence, they must carefully choose their targets, they must collect all media material needed for the operation, and they must have everything ready for the operation throughout all the stages, including planning, preparation and implementation.
In the end, I assure you that the biggest losers will be the industrial nations and on top of them all the Untied States, the carrier of the cross. Oil producing countries will not be greatly affected; on the contrary, the oil producing countries will benefit from the price increase. This was proven in 1973 when the Gulf States used the oil and their economy benefited a great deal from that. The effects on the United States were clear when the Minister of Defense Schlesinger stated that military force is needed to avoid new oil threats, which are considered to be a threat to the American economy.