Crime As a Form of Jihad – Al-Qaida Calls for Bank-Robbery

by Florian Flade


In the latest issue of Al-Qaida in Yemen´s English-language Online magzine „Inspire“, US-Yemeni preacher Anwar al-Awlaki calls for Muslims in the West to steal the wealth of unbelievers and infidels to support Jihadi means and finance terrorism. Titled „The Ruling On Dispossessing the Disbelievers wealth in Dar al-Harb“ Awlaki´s text states Muslims in the West are not obliged to act according to the laws and rules of the Non-Muslim country they live in and respect its laws. It is theologically justified to steal the wealth of the kuffar, Awlaki argues. To do this becomes even more necessary as Jihadis worldwide lack funding and financial support.

„Dear brothers: Jihad heavily relies on money. In Quran, the physical jihad is associated with jihad with one’s wealth in eight verses. In every verse but one, jihad with wealth preceded the physical jihad“, Awlaki writes, „That is because without wealth there can be no jihad.“ The Jihadi cleric goes on by explaining: „Our enemies have realized that. Therefore they are „following the money trail“ and are trying to dry up all the sources of funding „terrorism“.“

As today´s Global Jihad largely and mainly depends on detonations of supporters, it´s financing is therefore very vulnerable. „It is about time that we take serious steps towards securing a strong financial backing for our work rather than depending on donations“, Anwar al-Awlaki´s text reads. Instead of depending on their own pockets to finance war against the infidels, Muslims should take from the infidels´pocket, Awlaki highlights. „We as Muslims should seek the wealth of the disbelievers as a form of jihad in the path of Allah“, the US citizen and wanted terrorist says: „That would necessitate that we spend the money on the cause of jihad and not on ourselves.“

The al-Qaida allied cleric argues the taking of wealth and property of Non-Muslims according to common and majority theological opinion is only allowed in countries where a war between Muslims and Non-Muslims is taking place (Dar al-Harb = „land of war“). This situation, Awlaki writes, nowadays exist in countries of the West as well, as these countries send out troops to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, and are at war with the Muslims: „It is the consensus of our scholars that the property of the disbelievers in Dar al-Harb is halal (allowed) for the Muslims and is a legitimate target for the Mujahidin.“

„Every Muslim who lives in Dar al-Harb should avoid paying any of his wealth to the disbelievers whether it be in the form of taxes, duties, or fines“, Awlaki writes. The question if this should involve illegal activities to raise money for jihad is a rather complex issue to Anwar al-Awlaki. „For Muslims who are associated with groups that work for jihad, we recommend that the decision to involve oneself in any illegal activ-ity to acquire money from the disbelievers be taken by the Amir“, he states. Muslims without any affiliation to a group and without any leader figure shall spend all the money gained from criminal activities to support the Jihad.

„The West has been plundering our wealth for centuries“, Awlaki argues, „Now is the time for payback. Allah willing, the chickens will come home to roost.“

Anwar al-Awlaki was born in the US-State of New Mexico in 1971 but grew up and spend his teenage years in Yemen. Later he studied and worked in the US for several years. He was a preacher at two mosques visited by some 9/11 hijackers. After September 11th 2001, Awlaki fled the USA and moved to the UK. In 2004 he migrated to Yemen and is now suspected of hiding somewhere in the Shabwa region with his family.

US officials believe Awlaki has close ties to the Yemeni branch of al-Qaida and has become a spiritual leader to the organization. He himself never admitted of being a member of al-Qaida but he appeared in a al-Qaida produced propaganda tape and writes for the notorious „Inspire“ magazine that attracts mainly young Muslim men in the West.

On the internet Awlaki had his own blog spreading his message of violent Jihad has a means to defeat and conquer the West. The Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan who killed 13 American soldiers in 2009 was in contact with the US-Yemeni preacher Awlaki. Both exchanged e-mails about religious justification for suicide bombings. Awlaki also knew the Nigerian underwear bomber Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab who tried to blow up an US airliner over Detroit after being recruited and trained by al-Qaida in Yemen.

Investigations of several terror plots in Western countries have revealed Awlaki´s influence on Islamists living in Europe and North America. US authorities labeled him the most dangerous terrorist in the world and the US government has approved assassination operations against Awlaki. He is the first US citizen on a hit-list by the CIA, ordered by the President to be captured or killed.

In December 2009 Anwar al-Awlaki survived a US drone attack in Yemen and later gave an interview to a Yemeni journalist who was sentenced to 5 years in prison two days ago because of his connections to al-Qaida.

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