August 1996: Bin Laden issues a public fatwa, or religious decree, authorizing attacks on Western military targets in the Arabian Peninsula. In previous years bin Laden was thought by some to be more of a financier of terrorist attacks than a terrorist himself, but this erases all doubts. [Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02]
February 22, 1998: Bin Laden issues a fatwa, declaring it the religious duty of all Muslims "to kill the Americans and their allies - civilians and military ... in any country in which it is possible." [PBS Frontline, 2001, Sunday Herald, 9/16/01, complete text of the fatwa from al-Quds al-Arabi, 2/23/98] This is an expansion of an earlier fatwa issued in August 1996 (see August 1996).
May 26, 1998: In a press conference from Afghanistan, bin Laden discusses "bringing the war home to America." [Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02]