A Saudi religious scholar long regarded as close to al-Qaida and an advocate of Muslim use of weapons of mass destruction has issued a new fatwa mandating jihad against Jews.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports that militant Naser bin Hamad al-Fahd's ruling referred to Jews as the greatest enemies of Islam in the modern age. Al-Fahd (whose work has won praise from al-Qaida boss Ayman al-Zawahiri) added that jihad against "the cursed Jews" everywhere is "one of the most important duties and greatest virtues."
Al-Fahd, currently jailed in Saudi Arabia, referred to Jews as "harbiyyoun" (infidels who must be fought) "no matter where they are."
"Allah said: 'Fight the leaders of disbelief,'" al-Fahd said of the Jews. "If I had ten arrows, I would have shot all of them, not at anyone else. By Allah, had I been able to carry out a martyrdom (suicide) operation against them, I would not have hesitated for a moment."
He added wistfully that if Allah had permitted 1,000 "martyrdom seekers" to attack Jewish "strongholds and interests everywhere," Muslims "would have defeated them and rendered them submissive and humiliated."
In May 2003, al-Fahd issued a fatwa approving the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by Muslims against the United States and Great Britain.
Pointing to U.S. use of the atomic bomb against Japan during World War II, al-Fahd said that if "Muslims could defeat the infidels only by using these kinds of weapons, it is allowed to use them even if they kill them all."
He was arrested by Saudi authorities shortly after a series of coordinated suicide attacks in Riyadh killed approximately 35 people and wounded 160 on May 12, 2003 and has been jailed since.
Obtaining mass-destruction weapons is a longstanding goal of al-Qaida. Jamal al-Fadl, who defected from al-Qaida in 1996 and became a source for the CIA and the FBI, said the terror group tried to obtain uranium in the 1990s while based in Sudan. Zawahiri published a 2008 fatwa justifying WMD use.
Al-Qaida's Inspire magazine has offered tips for American Muslims on the use of WMD to "wreak havoc on the enemies of Allah."
For "those mujahid brothers with degrees in microbiology or chemistry lays the greatest opportunity and responsibility. For such brothers, we encourage them to develop a weapon of mass destruction, i.e. an effective poison with the proper method of delivery," Inspire contributor Yahya Ibrahim wrote in the publication's October 2010 issue.
"Poisonous gases such as nerve gas are not out of reach for the chemist," he added. "An effective botulin attack administered properly could lead to hundreds if not thousands of casualties."