In an article in an Urdu-language jihadist magazine, an Al-Qaeda Shura (executive council) answers the nine charges brought by the U.S. against 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and his colleagues. The Shura, an imaginary court, comprises Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, Ramzi bin Al-Shibh, Walid bin Attash, Mustafa Ahmad Al-Hao Saudawi, and Ali bin Abdul Aziz.
The article, titled "Replies to the American Charges: Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, and Colleagues vs The United States of America," appeared in the Nawa-i-Afghan Jihad, a monthly magazine posted on jihadist websites.
Following is the full text of the article, as translated from Urdu:
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"These Are Not Charges, These Are... Medals of Honor"
"We thank Allah for the descending of the heavenly books of the Torah, the Psalms, the Bible and the Koran for the guidance of human beings. Besides that, we invoke Allah's blessing and benediction for Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) because of whom Allah's blessings are raining on us and we would be the benefactors of the Prophet's (peace be upon him) limitless kindness and love on the Day of Judgment, Allah willing.
"Insofar as the nine charges on which the U.S. has taken legal action against us are concerned, we think that these are not charges, these are honors for us; these are medals of honor. We are thankful to Allah who considered us capable of waging jihad in the accomplishment of Allah's orders, that we wage war and fight against the United States, in order to accomplish Allah's orders and destroy you all.
"The United States is trembling under its feet at the name of Jihad; it is caught in the fear that we will destroy and annihilate it by attacking it. We have taken these steps because the U.S. has attacked the Muslims of Pakistan, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq…
"We launched this war for the security of Muslims. In the following passages, we will be replying to your nine charges, which are as weak and baseless as a spider web:
"Your First Charge is That We Conspired to Attack the U.S.; We Could Not Restrain Ourselves From Laughing At Hearing This"
"Your first charge is that we conspired to attack the United States. We could not restrain ourselves from laughing at hearing this allegation. Your intelligence agencies were unaware of our planning, despite all their expertise and talent. How could you be more powerless? Not even a hint of our planning reached your ears. Before leveling this charge against us, go and reprimand your intelligence agencies, bring them to the court, and charge them.
"We have all rights to plan and execute our war cautiously and with all secrecy. The Great Allah states in the Holy Koran, Chapter Nisa, Verse 71: 'O ye who have professed Islam, be always prepared for the challenge, and go out in different groups or together as may be the situation.'
"There is a saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that war is a campaign of deceit."
"To Your Second, Third, and Fourth Charges of Premeditated Attack on Population and Public Property, and Premeditated Killing of People – We Ask You, Who Took the Lead in Attacking Populations?"
"Replying to your second, third and fourth charges, of premeditated attack on population and public property, and premeditated killing of people – we ask you, who took the lead in attacking populations? Who destroyed people's property? Who has been primarily responsible for killing civilians? Was it you or us?
"You instigated Israel to attack us in Palestine and Lebanon. You gave monetary, military, and political aid to the global terrorist Israel to launch barbaric attacks on a civilian population; you destroyed the property of Palestinians and Lebanese; you invaded the masses and devastated civilians; you used cluster bombs, the globally banned lethal weapon, to kill human beings; and despite this you used this weapon on Palestinians and crushed the bones and ribs of their children. Israel's criminal activities against the civilian populations of Lebanon and Palestine are continuing. The list of its heinous crimes is long and unending.
"Besides, was it not you who destroyed Iraq, destroyed populations and demolished cities, destroyed sources of transportation, communication, and the entire infrastructure? You crippled Iraq economically by imposing sanctions on medicine and milk for children during the first Gulf War. In fact, it was you who destroyed two Japanese cities within minutes, killing 500,000 people – and hundreds of thousands of people are still the image of the devastation of the atom bomb."
You "Talk About Human Rights While Massacring People; You Are Professional Criminals; You Are Mercenaries"
"You are the people of the last aggressor nation, who talk about human rights while massacring people. You are professional criminals; you are mercenaries. Because you are a cruel criminal, you should be treated like a killer, criminal, and goon. You attacked us and you were the first in doing so. Thus you are proven guilty.
"Allah says: 'In their hearts is a disease (of doubt and hypocrisy), and Allah has increased their disease. A painful torment is for them because they used to tell lies.' (Chapter Al-Baqra, Verse 23)
"In Verse 179 of Chapter Al-Baqra, Allah the Great says: 'And there is life for you in Qisas (the law of equality in punishment), o men of understanding and intelligence; it is hoped that you will refrain from violating this law.'
"In Verse 40 of Chapter Shura, Allah the Almighty says: 'The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof; but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with Allah.'
"In Verse 45 of Chapter Maidah, Allah says: 'In Torah, We ordained on the Jews to take life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and avenge all wounds.'
"Verse 193 of Chapter Al-Baqra: 'Fight against them until there is no more fitna (disbelief and worshiping others along with Allah) and the religion comes to belong to Allah. Then if they cease, know that action is not right except against Az-Zalimeen (the polytheists and wrongdoers).'"
"In Reply To Your [Fifth and Sixth] Charges That We Committed Crimes by Violating the Laws of War… We Ask, Who Is Violating the Laws of War in This World?"
"Your fifth and sixth charges: In reply to your charges that we committed crimes by violating the laws of war and committed war crimes by destroying property, we ask, who is violating the laws of war in this world and tearing them to pieces? Is it us or is it you? You have violated all laws, worldly or religious. You have shattered the laws you yourselves made. It is you who violated all the laws of war, and aided and helped the terrorist Israel against Palestinians and Lebanese to occupy the Arab lands.
"Because of your support, Israel dislodged five million Palestinians from their homes. They are wandering homeless in their own country. You supported Israel in its tyranny, and it inflicted heavy atrocities on the innocent people. You supported the killer-butchers so that they could destroy the already devastated people."
"We Have Witnessed Your Brutality in Iraq and Afghanistan; We Are the Living Instances of These"
"You launched your first Crusade against an autonomous and independent Arab country [Iraq] in 1991, violating all laws of war. You occupied the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf. Besides these, you have today illegally occupied Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Your hostile attitude is clear as day. We have witnessed your brutality in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are the living examples of these. We are eyewitnesses to what you did with the prisoners of war, violating all the norms. We have suffered in your centers of atrocities and black deeds. You target prisoners with brutal violence and we have seen and faced it.
"The living examples of your brutal activities are the prisons of Abu Ghraib. Humanity would be ashamed of the shameful deeds you did with the people [there]. The civilized world has spat in your face for your ill-treatment.
"We prisoners are the witness to your brutal and atrocious activities at the Guantanamo Bay camps. This proves whether you are the high-class upholders of the laws for prisoners of war, or the worst kind of violators. The whole world is now witness to it.
"You are devoid of human values, ethics, and idealism. You have become a nation with no religion. We, in contrast, are proud of our religion. Our religion is Islam, which is a great religion and which teaches high human values and ethics and has a solid foundation.
"We invite you to come and walk the path we have chosen for ourselves. Peep into the windows of past; you will find there Salahuddin Ayyubi [the 12th century Islamic fighter]. Your forefathers fought wars of crusade against him and were convincingly defeated and became prisoners of Salahuddin Ayyubi. History has witnessed that Salahuddin Ayyubi did justice to them, maintaining the sanctity of the laws of war and of ethical ideals, and keeping human values in mind.
"We will continue to fight you for all eternity to safeguard our religion and our community, as our religion and the worldly laws permit this to us. We Muslims believe in the Koran, the Book of Allah. We follow the orders of the Koran, and we will continue to fight in accordance with them, and for this our most Merciful Lord has granted us permission.
"Verse 29 of Chapter Al-Hajj: 'Permission to fight (against disbelievers) is given to those (believers) who are fought against, because they have been wronged, and surely Allah is able to give them victory.'
"Verse 190 of Chapter Al-Baqra: 'And fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not your limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.'"
"Your Seventh Charge is About Hijacking Airplanes or Endangering Naval Ships... We Ask You: Which Is the More Dangerous Act, Hijacking… or Occupation?"
"Your seventh charge is about hijacking airplanes or endangering naval ships. We ask you: Which is the more dangerous act: hijacking, exposing a ship or an aircraft to danger – or occupying a region using military powers, and exposing its total population to danger, killing innocent citizens and unarmed people, harassing them and endangering their lives, and forcing them to die of hunger by clamping economic sanctions on them?
"If you don't value the innocent children of our Muslim countries, we will treat you the same. We will expose you to danger, and will inflict losses on you by air, by sea, and by land.
"Allah orders us in His sacred Book, Verse 5 of Chapter Taubah: 'Then when the Sacred Months (1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikeen [idolaters] wherever you find them and besiege them and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush.'
"Don't you remember? It was you who imposed economic sanctions on Iraq after the first Gulf War, to the extent that you also imposed sanctions on medicine and edible commodities, resulting in the deaths of over one million Muslim children in Iraq from hunger and lack of medicine. Their famlies are still shedding tears of blood for them. Is your blood valuable and Muslims' blood valueless?"
"Your… [Eighth] Charge is That We are Terrorists; We Ask You, Who Is the Real Terrorist, You or Us?"
"Your… [eighth] charge is that we are terrorists. We ask you, who is the real terrorist, you or us? You, the U.S., are the world's No. 1 terrorist. You have the nuclear weapon of mass destruction. You have [the] hydrogen bomb, and biological weapons. Your huge modern naval fleet, equipped with lethal weapons, is roaming the world's oceans, terrifying the whole world.
"Because of this, every country finds its defense and its security in danger. If a country is not ready to accept your supremacy, you are always ready to strike every brick of that country.
"You are the supporter of Israel. You the Americans have also helped the terrorists in the Arab and Islamic world. You have devastated the lives of those who demand [the] promulgation of Islamic law in their countries. We have occupied neither your military bases nor your nuclear installations. Instead, we are at war with you for the happiness of Allah, the most powerful and the most magnificent.
"We thank Allah a million times because He is the authority Who has created fear in your hearts. You tremble with fear all the time. This is the result of your disbelief and paganism.
"Allah says in Verse 151 of Chapter Al-e-Imran, 'We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, because they joined those in the worship of Allah for whom Allah had sent no authority. Their last abode will be Hell and the abode that will available to the cruel is very bad.'
"Allah says in Verse 10 of Chapter Al-Anfal, 'Allah has informed you about this only so that glad tidings be with you, that your hearts be at rest therewith. Else, whenever there is aid, it is from Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Mighty, All Wise.'
"Allah says in Verses 13-14 of Chapter Al-Hashr, 'In their [the Jews'] hearts, they fear you more than Allah, because they are a people who lack understanding. They will never fight collectively against you in the open field; if they fight, they will do so from fortified townships or from behind the walls. Their enmity among themselves is very great. You think they are united, but their hearts are divided from each other. That is because they are a people who lack intelligence.'
"You [Americans] strike from behind. You attack by blocking roads, hiding in military bases and fighter planes. We need no explanation as to what you did in Iraq and Afghanistan;it is known to the world.
"Abu Obaida al-Hadrami, a poet of the Arabic language, says: 'We will keep you in fear as long as we are alive, and as long as we have sword, fire, and aircraft.'"
"Your Ninth Charge is About Providing Resources for Terrorism... You Are Supporting the Terrorist Rulers of the Arab World and Pakistan"
"Your ninth charge is about providing resources for terrorism.
"The answer to this allegation is that the United States is a country with a vast territory. You have made your military power a symbol of terror, and you have engulfed the whole world in this terror. You are supporting the terrorist rulers of the Arab world and Pakistan with military assistance and other resources.
"Despite this, we will safeguard our religion and all our oppressed Muslim brethren of the world. We will try our best to safeguard them from your evil (wishes). We are always ready to sacrifice all of our savings, possessions, and property to achieve this.
"It is as clear as the sun that all Muslims of the world are one community (ummah), part of one ummah. All our resources are for them. We are ready to stake everything to safeguard them, and we will rest only after driving you unpious and filthy people out of our countries. Allah has shown us the path of jihad to achieve this goal.
"In Verse 195 of Chapter Al-Baqra, Allah says: 'And spend in the Cause of Allah (i.e. Jihad of all kinds) and do not throw yourselves into destruction, and do good because Allah likes doers of good.'"
"You Are Returning From [Iraq and Afghanistan] Defeated, and, Allah Willing, the U.S. Will Break Into Pieces"
"We call upon you to come and follow the path of Allah – or else we will keep fighting you, as jihad is a great obligation upon us.
"We have brought news for you – you are faced with a bad defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan. You are returning from these countries defeated, and, Allah willing, the U.S. will break into pieces.
"The U.S. is in political, social and economic decline. Your end is at hand, like your towers were destroyed on 9/11."
"We Are Growing Again... We Are Roaring With [Our] Head Held High in Honor and Pride"
"We are growing again, after coming out of destruction, by the grace of God. We are roaring with [our] head held high in honor and pride as the lion gets up in its den and roars. We will enter Paradise through the blade of [the] sword.
"Hence, we tell you, by the help and support of Allah, may Allah accept our attempts and our participation with regard to this Great Attack; May Allah grant this Great Attack and our 19 martyred brothers in the high places in the highest paradise (Jannat-ul-Firdaus). Amen!
"Allah is the Greatest; Allah is the most Magnificent; Allah's Greatness is evident; we take pride in Allah, his messenger the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and those who accepted faith.
"The 9/11 Shura Council – Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, Ramzi al-Shibh, Walid bin Attash, Mustafa Ahmad Al-Hao Saudawi, Ali bin Abdul Aziz."
 Nawa-i-Afghan Jihad, Afghanistan, November 2009.
 The article cites this verse as 23, but in the Koran it is 10.