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Treason and Espionage in the Name of Jihad

On the 28th February 2003, the internet site published an appeal to Muslims to betray their countries for the sake of Jihad. This site is popular among followers of Osama bin Ladin and his al-Qaida network, and is particularly designed to appeal to young Moslems around the world.
The appeal is addressed to Jihad activists in Moslem and Arab countries in which the U.S. armed forces and its allies have operational and logistical bases. It calls upon “all brothers working in air and sea headquarters, airports and harbors, serving the U.S.A. and their allies and to all employees working with the U.S.A. in the oil fields” to rise and act to save the Moslem “Umma” (nation.)

In emotionally-laden tones, the document asks “residents of the Gulf states working on loading and unloading in air bases” how they feel about unloading aircraft with missiles and other ammunition “knowing that they will be used to attack Moslem children.” Employees at airfields are told that they “assist in guiding the Crusader attackers’ aircraft to targets where Muslim brothers will be killed.” Workers in harbors who unload ships carrying ammunition, and “those who refuel the Crusaders’ aircraft, tanks and frigates” are asked how they feel when they watch TV.

This emotional entreaty is aimed at Islamic popular feelings, bypassing the political framework; it calls on Moslems everywhere to do what they can to sabotage the preparations for the war against Iraq “as a modest contribution to the Moslem struggle.” “Muslim Brothers serving the non-believers in all these places” are urged to carry out Jihad against the infidels. This command is a personal one, and is likened to that pertaining to the Mujehideen in Qaidat al Jihad (Al Qaida): “You are at the center of the campaign and the battle-fronts where the Jihad is occurring. The infidel enemy, which we command you to destroy on the battlefield, is the same enemy which you are serving. You know its bases, its abilities, its movements, its weak points and you are, therefore, the source of our strength. This fact places you in an important and special position in your ability to serve your land and your religion.”

The residents of the Gulf countries are commanded to show loyalty to the Jihad and to betray their countries. They are instructed to gather intelligence and report information in preparation of terror attacks. The appeal goes on to list the kinds of information that should be reported:

1. Information on targets of a military or economic nature which serve the American Crusader attacker and their allies:
2. The location of oil installation—particularly those of American companies (production installations, distribution etc.)
3. Oil and gas pipelines, particularly those of American companies
4. Location of housing accommodation of oil and gas companies’ employees.
5. Names of oil tankers bearing the infidels’ flag, the harbors where these tankers are docked (state the date when the report was sent)
6. Straits and transit routes of oil tankers bearing the Crusaders’ flag
7. Names of commercial ships bearing the Crusaders’ flag
8. Transport routes of tanks and military hardware carriers, from the ports to the points of discharge and their distribution to the areas of operation.

A more detailed listing of targets of intelligence gathering follows, and is translated below:

The Airforce

1. Names of airports which serve the American forces
2. Location of storage sites for missiles and military hardware used by U.S. aircraft.
3. Housing accommodation and administrative areas used by American technical teams.
4. Aircraft fueling methods, particularly those of helicopters at the points of deployment and marking their location on a map.
5. Flight paths for take-off and landing at the various airports
6. Units deployed around the headquarters and bases (anti-aircraft units, Patriot units, air defenses and communications etc.)
7. Aircraft landing at military bases and airfields (civilian) if possible, indicating their cargo. (State the date of the report).
8. Fuel pipelines in the bases.

Land Forces and Special Units

1. Arms and ammunition storage bases
2. Precise location of the operational headquarters and operations center
3. Housing accommodation camps and barracks of routine training forces
4. Housing accommodation of American headquarters employees (local employees)
5. Names of headquarters and units situated in the area
6. Routes used by American forces from the time of their landing at the headquarters or airfield areas until their arrival and deployment in the areas of operation.
7. Logistical preparedness and planning – Important!
8. Fuel and drinking water supply methods and points of supply

Naval and Marine forces

1. Location of American naval bases
2. Exact location of naval headquarters and operations centers
3. Harbors where ships are anchored and location of naval fuel supply points
4. Location of teams who co-ordinate unloading of ships

VIP’s – Holders of key positions

Reports on movements of the military governor appointed by President Bush to govern the Gulf and Middle East areas— General Tommy Franks. This is particularly important for the Brothers working in the Qatar area. We expect them to send reports.

1. Holders of senior military and political positions from the rank of General and above.
2. Location of housing accommodation of senior American personnel in the Persian Gulf countries.
3. Persons identified as CIA personnel stationed at the regional office and their housing accommodation in every country in the Persian Gulf.

“We know that you have committed yourselves to giving the Mujehideen every necessary assistance and at the same time, you are committed to your God to participate in the Jihad against the infidels. You are at present in a temporary difficult and distressing transitional period, which necessitates your assisting and serving the infidels. In the event that you are a witness to an attack by the Mujehideen against one of your work places, you are committed to cooperating with them. Remember that they are your brothers and that you will be considered responsible and accountable on the Day of Judgment before Allah. Remember that your blood is not more valuable than the blood of the Mujehideen. You must therefore act wisely and not turn your arms against them. You must act as the “Umma” expects you to act in these historic moments.

“Arise and carry out attacks of Jihad against the infidels whom you serve and whom you know well, know how to harm them and participate in what is expected of you in this historic period of the nation’s history.”


This document is an important one for two main reasons—one of them practical and the other ideological. The practical significance of the document is that it highlights the areas of interest to those waging Jihad for intelligence-gathering purposes, and thus gives a good idea of the type of targets that might be considered for attack. This information will presumably be used in planning terror attacks against the U.S.A. and its allies during the period of preparing for the war in Iraq. The appeal is thus a basic intelligence briefing which the believers are expected to use as a basis for forwarding information within the framework of field intelligence work.

However, the main significance of the appeal quoted here is in its assumptions regarding the Moslem residents of the Gulf countries. The Mujehideen consider those living within the logistical areas to be a perfect resource for intelligence gathering and that all that is required is motivation and a willingness to report. Thus the appeal calls upon them to consider their loyalty to the “Moslem nation” as above their loyalty to the countries in which they reside. They are told that their loyalty should be to the Jihad rather than to their secular lifestyle.

The Mujehideen who issued this appeal are not in any doubt that loyalty to international Jihad is diametrically opposed to loyalty to a country and the system of laws and norms. The Mujehideen thus set themselves not only above the law, but above the system of values customary in every acceptable political system. This document is a concrete call to commit treason and espionage for the sake of what the Mujehideen consider the highest aim – Jihad.