What the 9-11 Plotters Will Say in Court

By Robert Spencer

With the Obama administration moving the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other masterminds of 9/11 to New York City, many have pointed out that the defendants are likely to use the trial as a platform to spread their views on jihad, the U.S., and the war on terror. That’s most likely true — and we already know what they will say.

They told us last year, when they wrote a six-page document they filed with the military commission at Guantanamo: an “Islamic Response to the Government’s Nine Accusations.”

“With regards to these nine accusations that you are putting us on trial for,” they explain, “to us, they are not accusations. To us they are badges of honor, which we carry with pride.” Their pride is explicitly and proudly rooted in Islam: “Many thanks to God, for his kind gesture, and choosing us to perform the act of Jihad for his cause and to defend Islam and Muslims.” With unusual forthrightness, they declare that “killing you and fighting you, destroying you and terrorizing you, responding back to your attacks, are all considered to be great legitimate duty in our religion. These actions are our offerings to God.”

That said, however, they view the conflict between the West and the Islamic world is all the West’s fault. This is a view that Barack Obama apparently shares. In his landmark June 2009 speech in Cairo he explained the conflict solely in terms of what the West had done to Muslim countries: “In addition, it is the imposed reality on Muslims in Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, in the land of the two holy sites [Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia], and in the rest of the world, where Muslims are suffering from your brutality, terrorism, killing of the innocent, and occupying their lands and their holy sites.”

Answering charges that they violated the rules of warfare by killing civilians, they frame the question in terms of Islamic law, claiming that it is the U.S. that is the lawbreaker: “Who is breaking the law of war in this world? Is it us, or is it you? You have disobeyed all heaven and earth’s laws of war, to include your own laws. You have violated the law of war by supporting the Israeli occupation of Arab land in Palestine and Lebanon, and for displacing five million Palestinians outside their land. You have supported the oppressor over the oppressed and the butcher over the victim.”

The remedy for our ills, according to the plotters, is Islam: “So, you are the first class war criminals, and the whole world witnesses this. You have no values and ethics and no principles. You are a nation without a religion. On the other hand, we are a great nation, with a great religion, values, ethics, and principles, which we comply with and follow, and we invite people to following [sic] our ways.”

However, the plotters stopped their blame game long enough to acknowledge that Islam mandates offensive jihad warfare against unbelievers, simply because they are unbelievers – a concept that policymakers and law enforcement officials have steadfastly ignored since 9/11: “Nevertheless, it would have been the greatest religious duty to fight you over your infidelity. However, today, we fight you over defending Muslims, their land, their holy sites, and their religion as a whole.”

The plotters quote the Koran to justify their jihad war against the American Infidels. “In God’s book,” asserts the letter, “he ordered us to fight you everywhere we find you, even if you were inside the holiest of all holy cities, The Mosque in Mecca, and the holy city of Mecca, and even during sacred months. In God’s book, verse 9 [actually verse 5], Al-Tawbah [the Koran’s 9th chapter]: Then fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, and besiege them and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush.”

We constantly hear that to speak about the jihad doctrine and Islamic supremacism as rooted in Islamic texts and teachings is to “side with the extremists.” All right — then why doesn’t a moderate Muslim go through this court filing and refute this use of the Koran? It would be most interesting to see Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR or some other vaunted moderate Muslim reply to the Islamic beliefs and assumptions manifest here. Now would be a perfect time to delineate in specific terms the differences that moderate Muslims have with this approach to Islam, wouldn’t it?

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